Category Archives: Friendship

4thJulyBlog

Happy In(ter)dependence Day

Perhaps you will attend a parade today or a block party or family barbecue. Interesting, isn’t it that all the activities we typically participate in to celebrate July 4 involve people?

For several years now I’ve wished we could rename this holiday and call it National Interdependence Day—seems, really, to describe the day more accurately. Those early settlers needed each other to draw up and execute their plan for a life in America.

When I think of the word independence, I think of a sturdy, determined two-year-old proclaiming, “Do it self!” But no single person among us is smart enough, strong enough, capable enough to do life alone. Maybe we know that deep-down and that explains, in part, why we celebrate Independence Day surrounded by others.

If you read my blog last week http://ow.ly/yK7n301UajB, you read my musings on playing second clarinet and friendship. I talked about the idea of playing a supporting role in friendship and letting others shine. I think I missed a piece of the puzzle, though, the idea of working together for the greater good of the whole no matter what your role—first clarinet or second clarinet. My clarinet-playing friend, Roberta, commented on the blog and beautifully explained this.

As you think this weekend about independence and interdependence, let me leave you with the wise words of my friend Roberta. (Oh, and she found a yearbook photo of us holding our clarinets—too funny!) And I also leave you with a short sentence that has become my favorite: “Let’s do it together.”

Roberta writes:

If given the choice, I, too, like to hide in the back. It was a challenge to be “first clarinet” sometimes. But it was so much fun to be a part of something “bigger,” like a “music team.” God calls us to use our talents to support each other, just like the Body of Christ. My favorite part of our musical journey was playing clarinet duets with you. Loved the harmony. We can challenge ourselves to be our best, whether it be in the lead or a supporting role. Together we are more than the sum of the individual parts. And I am glad that you had the opportunity and challenge to be first chair our senior year. You have grown and blossomed from the experience.

Thank you for your continued friendship!

Roberta

 1979 All State Band Roberta, Mike, Afton

FIreblog

It Takes a . . .

The incessant pounding on our front door woke us at 2:30 A.M. on a Monday morning a few weeks ago. My thoughts raced to our kids. Were they okay? Had something happened that brought them to our doorstep from Ohio or Colorado?

Then I saw the police officer and heard her shout, “Get out of your house! And get your cars out of your garage!”

John handed me our dog, and I stumbled to the front lawn while he raced to back the cars out of the garage.

From my front lawn, in my bathrobe (!), I began to piece together the story.

Seems my neighbor happened to wake up around 2 A.M. and noticed a fire in the backyard of the house between us. A large shed had caught fire and flames were creeping up our back fence toward our garage. Julie called 911 and within minutes our street filled with emergency trucks and personnel. I’ve only seen more fire trucks at one time at our town’s annual Fourth of July parade.

Things don’t sink in immediately at early morning hours, but now, weeks later, it all seems more real, especially as I survey our burned fence and shrubs and the melted siding on the back of our garage.

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Forgive me, writer-friends, but as I try to wrap my mind around this whole incident, this sentence comes to mind: “It takes a village.” I hate to use clichés. BUT it fits. Without the efforts and concern of so many people, we would have had a much more serious situation. Ultimately, we did not lose our house or our lives, nor did any of our neighbors. Our insurance will replace what did burn.

It takes a . . . neighbor who can’t sleep.

It takes a . . . bevy of emergency responders who also didn’t sleep.

It takes a . . . caring Fire Chief who noticed frightened little boys at 3 A.M. and took the time to reassure them.

It takes . . . people caring for people.

Connected living. What a life-sustaining gift! Literally.