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…Run Out of Friendship Tea

Something about the November rain fills me with the certainty of change. Leaves relinquish their tenuous hold on branches trembling in the wind, tumble across yards mown for a final time weeks ago, and gather in soggy corners. The sun rises and sets with a shorter span between those hours. Blustery winds drive us to the closet for warm jackets and gloves. The year hastens to its close, with a burst of holidays to keep us from minding the weather too much.

I know what you’re thinking.

You’re thinking, ‘Where’s the sass?!’ You’re thinking, ‘I read this blog for the humor!’ You’re thinking, ‘I thought these posts were about the foibles and fun of friendship!’

Yeah, yeah, yeah. ‘Hold yer horses!’ I’ll get there.

As I was waxing nostalgic about the season’s change and my advancing age and the grey November that leads, as it always does, to the sparkle of December, I realized, ‘dang!’ it’s cold in this house!’ I’ve already donned slippers and an extra sweater, and the damp chill lingers. What’s a girl to do? Make more coffee? Mmmm – tempting as that may be, it just didn’t feel right.

Then I remembered. ‘Friendship tea.’ The spicy, citrusy, warm-your-hands-around-a-mug of wonderfulness that never tastes right in July, but warms

friendship tea

friendship tea


you from noes to toes in the midst of the Autumn drear.

You’ll note, I trust, that the jar is nearly empty. This is unacceptable. Friends don’t let friends run out of friendship tea. It simply isn’t done.


Because. Because friends don’t let friends go through crises alone.

Friends get us through the summer crisis of buying a swimsuit that we can wear outside the dressing room, reminding us that we can’t see ourselves when we’re at the beach, so who cares what it looks like, really?!

Friends get us through the crisis of making the Thanksgiving gravy, bringing a jar of already made ‘just in case.’

Friends get us through the crisis of raising kids, commiserating, cajoling, comforting us by turns as we slog through the toughest job we love more than anything.

Friends get us through the crisis of the empty nest, bringing a jar of freshly made ‘Friendship Tea’ and filling up the empty rooms with warm laughter, shared stories, and reminders of how good it is to embrace another season of change, together.

A nearly empty jar of ‘Friendship Tea’ hardly qualifies as a crisis. Still, the jar reminds me — friends don’t let friends run out. Not out of the dressing room scantily clad in an ill-fitting swimsuit. Not out of the kitchen when the gravy doesn’t ‘get.’ Not out of the nest it’s taken a lifetime to feather. And friends don’t let friends run out of ‘Friendship Tea.’ The tea merely symbolizes the friendship. And these days, with change we can hardly believe, much less believe in, well… we need our friends to help us weather that.

So, put the kettle on. Don’t let your friends run out…



…Ignore National Poetry Month!

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I just have to be a literature nerd for awhile. Sure, the expected advice would be “friends don’t let friends be nerds. Of ANY kind.” Frankly, that’s dreadful advice. I can’t get behind it. My profession won’t let me. My heart & mind won’t let me either. I love Jane Austen. I love CS Lewis. I love John Steinbeck. My thesis work, for cryin’ out loud, is in late Renaissance drama (Shakespeare et al, y’all). And so, when April rolls around, I get my literature nerd on. Why? Because April is National Poetry Month. (OH!……)

And so, I don’t want any of my friends here to miss out on the poetic fireworks going on at commonchapters, a little blog I nurse along when I’m not making public service announcements. 🙂 Seriously now. Friends don’t let friends ignore National Poetry Month.

You might have hated poetry in high school, but that doesn’t matter anymore. (and it doesn’t count!!!) If you love love, fear the unknown, marvel at the moon, hunger for beauty, wonder about life, then poetry is for you. If you like words, if you value wit, if you have a pulse, then poetry really is for you, because, well:

Poetry. It’s not just for nerds anymore.

Come and visit me at commonchapters. A poem a day. All April long. You’ll love it. Guaranteed.

…Neglect Their Style (DP)

Here I go again, getting sucked into the vortex (no, not the POLAR one) of the Daily Post. This time, a day late. Surely the adage applies? (you know — ‘better late than never?’?!?!? ) On the slim chance that things late aren’t always ‘better,’ I would invoke the aid of the ‘writing gods,’ right about now if I believed in them. Wait. There WERE writing gods of a sort in the ancient world. Well. Goddesses. (Who’s surprised, really?) Ah, the Muses. Inspiring mere mortals to write, to dance, to sing. O, Thalia, be with me now! But I digress…

So. Style. The Daily Post wonders: ‘what’s your style?’ And then ticks off a few possibilities:

Fashion. My closet testifies to this: I love clothes, and mostly wear them well. Boring.

Hair. ‘Only my hairdresser knows for sure.’

Eating. REALLY? I’ll be honest, I don’t get this one. Pick up the proper eating utensil (sometimes fingers are permitted. Nay, encouraged.), put a proper amount of food on said utensil, open your mouth, insert food, close mouth, chew, enjoy. Well, that’s my style, anyway…

Communication. Aha!

Well, let’s see. Sass. Snark. Sap. That sums it up really. My communication style suffers from the following:

I have attitude. As one who writes a bit, attitude is a plus. It provides tone. (At no additional charge, I give you this additional PSA: EVERY bit of writing carries tone. Tone is implied. If not implied, it will be inferred. Guaranteed.)

I have a superiority complex. I’m smart, fairly well read, thoughtful. As one who communicates regularly (teacher, friend, mom, wife) I find it unconscionable that people oftentimes don’t appreciate my highly evolved and sometimes necessarily sarcastic wit. Can I help it?

I have an opinion on everything. EVERYthing.

But on the softer side,

I am a “major weeper.” (hope you watched that…)

The little clip from “The Holiday” highlights my own ‘styles’: good clothes, British accents (don’t have one, wish I did),  books, books, books, family, love… And weeping — over nearly everything, but certainly over good movies, great novels, over a beautiful landscape, a cozy fire…

And the next thing you know, I realize this about STYLE: Friends don’t let friends neglect their personal style. Here’s why: Sometimes, our styles need refining. Just this morning I shoveled out a bit of the excess from my closet. Just last week I spent some time in the hairdresser’s chair. But just this moment I realized (again!) that, while I’m smart enough to change my wardrobe and keep a standing appointment to get my hair done, I’m stupid enough to forget that sarcasm isn’t always in season, that sometime sincerity trumps sass, and every time, a bit of sap sweetens everything!

When you’re still trying to wear your mom jeans from the 1980s, when your roots need a touch-up, or when you try to eat corn-on-the-cob with a knife & fork, your friends will be there suggesting that your style needs an update. That’s what friends are for, after all. Friends don’t let friends neglect their style. Especially when it comes to communication. Turns out, too much snark will leave us without any friends at the Bar-B-Q. Next thing you know, you’re wearing mom jeans, your roots are hideous, and you’ve got corn kernels stuck in your teeth, Melpomene will be singing your sad, tragic song, inspiring some writer…

Don’t let it happen to you.