a support placed at the end of a row of books to hold them upright, usually used in pairs.
Twenty-four years ago I moved to Texas -- seven months pregnant and the mother of a two year old. Pregnant, I wasn't exactly an ideal job candidate. Home with the first child and then a new baby was unfamiliar territory for me, the working girl. Each day I listened to the lady across the street drive away to work and was extremely jealous. I began another day of uncertainty, trapped in a house in a new town with two babies and no friends.
My mom and dad arrived in town shortly after the birth of the second child to help me for a couple of weeks. My husband, very serious about his career, worked long days and I appreciated the help my folks gave me.
However, mothers can be mothers. One afternoon she walked with my two year old to the neighborhood park. At home, the baby napped and I took one, too. Next thing I awoke to was my mother standing beside me.
"Come outside," she said. "I want you to meet someone."
My heart collapsed. I felt like I was five again. I recalled this scene from my childhood to the detail. My mother had found a friend for me. For me, the shy, little girl who couldn't find her own friends. My mother waltzing on air to introduce me to my new friend -- and me, wanting to hide in the bathroom.
I trudged out to the driveway where a young woman my age stood beside a minivan. "This is Rebekah," my mom said. "She gave us a ride home from the park."
I stood in the yard, shuffling my feet back and forth, blushing I'm certain, saying my hellos. My mother's new friend had two children -- a beautiful little blonde girl about two with a mad look on her face and a boy of three, who whipped out the pistols in his gun belt and shot me.
Suffice to say, 24 years later, that little boy with the guns is now getting a Masters in Creative Writing at a London university and "Mad Maddy" is madly in love in Vancouver. Rebekah and I are still friends and from that union a grand group formed -- the Bunco Bitches.
I have my mom to thank for that.
Rebekah and I met the rest of our motley crew while pushing our kids in the swings at the park. We weren't always bitches, but we are now. We don't necessarily remember anyone's birthday with any consistency. We all have different professions, friends, and activities that keep us apart except for once a month on the second Tuesday when we gather to eat and drink and yack. We haven't played bunco in over 12 years. But we are who we are and when we get together, there is no pretense. We put up with each other just because.
Being together for so long, it is kind of like home. We take each other in no matter what. Very often, it is the safest place I know to go.
In September, I hosted Bunco Bitch LakeFest. I knew at that time my mom was having great difficulty and that her life would change very soon. I didn't know she was to die, but I knew we were headed on a new journey. I'm uncertain exactly what my mother's journey may now be, but I know mine is rather emotionally-wracked at the moment. Most fortunate for me LakeFest served as the left bookend to the beginning of the past month and Bunco Bitch BeachFest bookended the right.
This weekend, Rebekah hosted the BeachFest at the Gulf Coast. I must say, Friday afternoon after our arrival, I sat up on the Bird's Nest deck of her beach house and with the sea before me and a slew of ships and sailboats coming in and out of the harbor, I took the first breath I'd taken in quite a few weeks. Glass of spirits in my hand, sunshine overhead, a clear view before me, I couldn't think of any place more comforting at that moment.
So, must share. Lake first, then the beach.
|Remember the Recreation Station? It had blown down the lake so this crew swam down and retrieved it. Notice the supervisor on the right.|
|Not quite as comfortable as we'd hoped.|
|Eat, Float, Drink|
|Graceful Rope Swing Entrance|
|View from the Bird's Nest - the path to the Gulf of Mexico|
|Bitches at Work|
|See us way out there?|