Recognizing the evolution of friendships

A girlfriend from my early 20’s posted this on Facebook this morning.

As I was responding to her, I was thinking about friendships. Today is the birthday of a friend who no longer circulates with me in the physical world because he passed on 11 years ago. He’s the kind of friend that still visits with me often in my thoughts. I often wish I could “gossip” about something with him or hear his “oh gurl” one more time but I understand how lucky I am that so many things in my present life call him forward in my mind and I know he will always be with me .

I used to have a poster in my “teenage Nina” room that had a picture of a butterfly on it and the words were “if you love something set it free, if it was yours it will return and gently land on your shoulder”. That was my anthem for teenage boyfriends and crushes. It may have been a quasi spiritual knowing even back then….

I dreamed last night about a good friend who moved away. I woke up recognizing that this is what life is about. All of the important personalities moving in and out of my life when my soul needs a charge. I have a tendency to hold onto people. If you’ve been my friend, chances are You will never be free of me…I very seldom burn bridges. But life happens and we move around just as we are supposed to….and then there is that blessed, surprise contact you receive. It feels so good…often I long for everything to go back to the way it was…but the relationship of the souls has changed…we are still grounded in a history of love and trust but it is just different. I’m learning to accept the difference and embrace these dear souls in my life without expectations. The connection is strong, it’s how we choose to engage right here and right now that makes the difference.


Who are Donna and Jeff

Some things just make you go HMMM. I’ve been going thru totes of memories that we have moved from one house to another to another to another. The best part was reading through old letters from friends of 45+ years…laughing, shaking my head, and doing a lot of WHATS??? I read things that could easily have been someone else’s life because I had a lot of blanks in my memory. I took snapshots of some things and emailed to my loves who are still a part of my life….and….googled other people who are not in my life anymore and sent out some feelers because I want to know how they are and if they are happy and content. It’s been a great few days getting to know me again as a young woman!

But the one that really got me was finding a box of our wedding reception napkins. I decided to just take them upstairs and use them instead of storing them. I mean after 41 years, we haven’t needed them for anything else.

Who the hell are Donna and Jeff. Half the box. Question number 1. If Donna and I both had the same color combo in our weddings a week apart, I need to find her.

Did Donna find some of our napkins in her box of napkins?

Did Donna and Jeff make it 41 years.

I need to know!

Until next time….

My family (and friends) lovingly indulge my love of carousels

I was so excited to find the C W Parker Carousel Museum in Leavenworth,Kansas about an hour away. Carousels are magical for me…I think it’s a little slice of childhood that didn’t leave me….happy memories of lights and tinkling music and going around and around with my hair blowing in the breeze.

Looking forward to my yearly trip to Union Park in Des Moines for my ride on the Heritage Carousel!

Just one of those folksy stories

Our neighbor who lives the second house down is from Des Moines. Now for those who don’t know, I’m originally from Des Moines. She’s probably a decade older than I am so we wouldn’t have the same friends…..and she went to a high school on the other side of Des Moines…interestingly enough my high school’s chief rival back in the 70s. We see each other on the street occasionally but she comes down to visit during City wide garage sales and that’s how our common geography somehow came out.

The Quality of the USPS here in small town Missouri suffers during the month before Christmas. It is actually so irritating that I could do an entire blog rant about it but Right now I don’t need to build the drama in my head. We have metal mailboxes every so often on the street. Each box contains 8 little boxes and the mail person has taped inside each little box a card with the residents name and street address. With that being said, today when I gathered the mail, there was no mail with our name in it but was full of mail for my Des Moines neighbor. I knocked on the door to drop it off and spent a significant amount of time with her taking a tour of the house, talking our like political leanings and had a wonderful visit with this fellow cat lady. On the way home, I once again had one of those “what are the chances” thoughts in my head that two women from a city of approximately 200,000 would end up neighbors in a town of just north of 8,000 people 4 hours south.

Until I saw him standing in the driveway shielding himself from the wind in his socks and t shirt….oh and he had jeans on trying to figure out if I had been kidnapped or was laying dead at the curb. I’m well taken care of …. although I did think it would be a great ending if squad cars running lights and sirens would have squealed around the corner…………..

Until next time….

Des Moines, Iowa

I am always proud when I hear good rankings of Des Moines in Forbes Magazine, Huffington Post and other news sources I read about through Twitter or on the best news source *rolling eyes… Facebook. I was born in Des Moines and made my home in Iowa’s Capitol city until I was 23 when I moved to my husbands home town 30 miles east on I80.

I am always irritated when I hear people talking about driving through Iowa being similar to driving through Kansas and Nebraska…nothing to look at…cornfield after cornfield….yes it is true…the corn state does produce a lot of corn in corn fields.  But, how could you possibly negatively compare the lush, green rolling hills of Iowa to the desolate brown, flat interstate highways of Nebraska, Kansas and for that matter eastern Colorado?

I really love going home to Des Moines after living in the hustle and bustle of the Kansas City area.  I get a warm, nostalgic feeling when I hit the down town area when traveling thru on I235.  My daughter and her husband live in a loft downtown Des Moines and when I visit, I always think…I could live this life….  The downtown area is alive, revitalized, friendly, safe and with a mixture of old architecture and new construction.  Other than the occasional over the top frigid winters and occasional over the top winter snowfall, I could be very happy in Des Moines again.  I snapped a few pics while on my estrogen tour of Des Moines…they aren’t the best pictures but they are mine.  I wanted to get them in my blog (diary) to remind me of the peace of my former home.

I like to think the blue on the building on the right was to celebrate the Kansas City Royals….and maybe it was…the colors change depending on the holiday.


View from the top of the Butler Mansion

And most importantly….Tasty Taco

Until next time…..

Don’t leave me now!!!

As I was rolling down I35 this afternoon from Des Moines to Kansas City, I was transported into one of those metaphysical caravans.  That feeling of belonging to the group when you travel behind or in front of other cars who have their speed control set at exactly the same speed.  Today’s relationship involved an older red Pontiac grand am with Minnesota plates and an older dark colored GMC pickup with Iowa plates.  I followed the pickup for many miles, passing other cars in rhythm and the red Pontiac was following me.  I first became aware of my group when the Pontiac brazenly passed me and got between the pick up and me.  That was fine…we stayed in this little fictional group for many, many miles.

I’ve had this little comradory before but usually when I’m traveling behind someone traveling over the posted speed and I slide in behind them feeling safer with someone ahead of me drawing the radar attention.

But as usual…someone had to mess it up!  The pickup just had to pull off at a rest area so it was just the juke and the Pontiac….when I pulled off on 470 and the Pontiac continued on 435, I wondered if the driver had any idea that he/she was such a part of my life.

Until next time……

…and then…just like dominos, the doors started to slam shut

Returning to Des Moines, my original home town, makes me feel nostalgic….those long-gone moments!  It just feels good when we drive through the west mix master and start our journey across the freeway of memories.  For Katy and Adam’s wedding, we made our weekend home at the downtown Marriott.  From our hotel window was this view of the Equitable building (on the left)


I remember my mom telling me, every time we shopped in downtown Des Moines, that the corner by the Equitable was the windiest corner in Des Moines.  I also saw the iconic Traveler’s Insurance sign several times and the Colonial Bread sign.


Late Friday night, He and I decided to go out and walk around downtown Des Moines.  We had been on Court Avenue earlier in the evening for dinner with the brothers and wives – the street full of restaurants and bars and street musicians has evolved over the years.  It was a lot of fun.

We took the skywalk from the hotel but found it to be empty and boring so grabbed the first elevator down and we ended up in the movie Lost in New York.  We exited on the ground floor of a building under construction and when the revolving doors to the outside were locked, the hair stood up on the back of my neck.


so we meandered around some hallways because we figured if you could get in by elevator – there had to be a way to get out – right?





Standing here, I was starting to do an internal panic and totally freaked myself out because I’ve seen way too many movies; I would totally not have been surprised if the steel doors started slamming shut.  I actually expected it.   I took one last picture as we got on the same elevator to go back up to where we had been.  Just in case we missed the wedding.  Someone could check my apple pictures account and know what happened.


Obviously it all turned out okay!  Learned a huge lesson.  NEVER stop exploring!

Until next time….

Pleasant Hill – full circle

Jen from the bank just called to tell me we will be signing papers on Thursday with closing on Friday then we will own a house in Pleasant Hill, Missouri.  Ironically, I grew up just across the cornfield from Pleasant Hill, Iowa and lived in Pleasant Hill, Iowa for about 3 years prior to marrying him.  I'm so looking forward to returning to Pleasant Hill as my return address.  I've never felt permanence in where I have lived.  I'm not going to say I haven't been content in most places but I've never felt like…ok…this is it…this is where I"m planted and this is where I"m going to bloom.  I've always known that I didn't want to always live where I live now.  The history is irrelevant  for this post but suffice it to say that in the past, I've been just happy to go with the flow; but recently, have been restless and have been experiencing a lot of discontent — probably because both girls have moved away from Newton.  I used to run, run, run volunteering for this and that but as the community has changed, so have I and I just have no desire to continue giving myself here.  The promise of a new place and new community has given me a lot of hope.  Moving closer to my only grandson was the catalyst I needed to make the move to get the hell outta dodge.

…and speaking of Des Moines…squirrel

Knowing I'm moving away from the proximity of my birth city, I've been a lot more aware of Des Moines.  It's kind of a new look at a fresh,  vibrant city.  I would have probably been reasonably content to move back to the Des Moines area – actually while I was contemplating this, I realized what I really enjoyed was the fresh new downtown area with the living in the city, walking to and fro, being able to attend concerts along the Des Moines river…but if I were to stay in Des Moines, I know that I would probably live in the burbs and only occasionally visit the city which I can do now, probably just as much as I would, with  Katy now making her home in the downtown area.  The other moment I had thinking about leaving Des Moines was coming off of 235 onto I80 west, coming around the curve just before E 14th St took my breath away the other day.  The tree line…the city rising up, the beautiful capitol to the east…I had not noticed this momentary view at 65 miles per hour before.

That's it ….. until next time