Considering that nine months ago it was November - a month that can get pretty cold even here in Texas - it's no surprise that my August calendar is dotted with names (wink, wink!) It's been tough to keep up with them!
Now, I don't really follow horoscopes or any of that, but according to "astrology-online", these are the traditional characteristics of people born under the sign of Leo; in other words, people born between July 23 and August 22.
Generous and warmhearted
Creative and enthusiastic
Broad-minded and expansive
Faithful and loving
...and this description certainly fits a handful of Leos I know who celebrated birthdays this week...
Sandy first entered my life in 7th grade...I don't have a whole lot of memories of our friendship from back then, don't remember why we drifted apart, but on the back of her picture is written "one of best friends" and the impression that remained was a good one...so it was with joy and excitement that I recognized her on Kendall's first day of pre-school back at St. Hyacinth. It was Sandy's son Sammy's first day, too, so we had that whole year of holiday parties to get re-acquainted...then we both moved hundreds of miles apart - me to Austin and Sandy to Louisiana. We kept in touch through Christmas cards, letters and emails, especially in the last few years, but it wasn't until this year at my birthday party that we finally came together again face-to-face and even cage-danced together, despite her pretty recent knee replacement surgery. Sandy didn't let her breast cancer slow her down, and she didn't let her knee surgery stop her from dancing. That's enthusiasm!
My sister-in-law Erin unofficially entered the Shallue family before me, but we both married into it in 1982, and except for her husband Joe's Air Force stints in California, Korea and Alaska, we've lived relatively close over the years. They even lived in Texas for a time, and we made it a point to visit a lot. Erin and I share a love of the beach (she lives in Florida now), antiques, coffee and margaritas. She kicks my butt when it comes to playing cards, baking and gardening, though. As with all of my sister-in-laws, I feel we are more sisters than in-laws - years might go by in-between visits or even phone calls, but the time crumbles when we're together. I mean, who else really understands what it's like to be married to a Shallue boy? Now THAT's a connection!
Jim and I became friends when we first moved to Lago Vista - he had stepped up to organize a Cub Scout pack and I stepped forward to help. He and his wife Liane were the first people I called when I got word Tom had been in his accident...within minutes they were at the door to take care of the kids so I could head to the hospital. When Tom was recuperating, he and Liane would swing by the house to let me join them on their evening walk, giving me a chance to get out of the house for some sanity-saving fresh air and exercise. Our friendship took some punches over the years, but we've managed to nurture it and see it begin to grow back. I'm glad - we've been able to enjoy his music (he's a talented musician) and benefit from his support of our "Battle of the Dam" (he's an avid environmentalist.)
Last, but not least, my big sister Brenda...my best friend from the day I was born (not counting my parents, of course!) celebrated her birthday today. Not a day goes by that I don't thank God for blessing my life with her love and friendship. She is a true Leo - she doesn't let anything knock her down, break her Pollyanna "Glad Game" spirit - not even Parkinson's disease or unfair treatment by those she thought were friends. Like a lioness, she's also a fighter. From the time I used to shadow her around the house, she has been an inspiration and role model to me.
Happy Birthday to all of you...and thank you for enriching my life!