“God put us here, on this carnival ride.
We close our eyes never knowing where it'll take us next.”
There are good surprises, and there are bad surprises.
Years ago I met a woman who impressed me with her beauty and bubbly personality. I didn't know her well, and haven't seen her in years, but back then we shared a lot of laughs at monthly PTA bunco games (not as innocent as they sound!)
Today I attended her memorial service. She was barely in her 40's. Learning of her death earlier this week was a bad surprise.
I spotted many friends at the service who I haven't seen or spoken to in years...not since our kids grew up. We all agreed we need to get together, under better circumstances.
I hope we do.
Yesterday I drove to a small town near San Antonio to help surprise my dear friend Nancy for her 50th birthday. I liked being part of a good surprise.
Nancy was my first friend in Lago Vista, then later agreed to be my Confirmation sponsor when I finally decided to convert to Catholicism after years of attending Mass with Tom and the kids, and months of discussing it with our priest.
Within a few years she had to move away from Lago, but we've somehow held onto our friendship, despite the distance (and age difference!)
Happy birthday tomorrow, Nancy!
"May your September be spacious like a long, slow bloom..."
I've been reading Jennifer Richardson's beautiful, evocative, inspirational prose and photographs on her blog Ripplespeak for a few years now, so when she announced she was giving away a copy of her monthly zine, I crossed my fingers and tossed my comment into the bag.
What a great surprise to hear I'd won! She sent two copies - one for me and one for my mom.
Her words are like sunshine and fresh air, and I know I'll keep her zine close by to read often. You can get your own at her Etsy shop, Ripplesongs.
Another one of my favorite writers is Wolf Pascoe, author of the blog, Just Add Father. We met in person when he came to Austin for a blog conference a few years ago.
Wolf is actually a pseudonym. Besides being a gifted writer, he's an anesthesiologist. He wrote about it in an e-book "Breathing for Two" last year. I immediately bought it, of course, but months turned into a year while it sat unread on my computer. (Who has time to read for pleasure when they're starting a business?)
So I finally broke down and bought the audio book last week. Wolf himself read it to me while I worked out and drove around Austin. (Why didn't I do this before?)
Here's my review on Amazon...
"In "Breathing for Two", Wolf Pascoe does a wonderful job weaving his story through the dry medical stuff, making even the history of anesthesiology come alive for the reader. He compels us to care about his patients and root for him when things go wrong. And he's very honest and upfront about his mistakes. I felt I was standing right beside him in anatomy class, and then later, as he watched over his patients. He relates the lessons he has learned in his decades as an anesthesiologist in such a way that they can be applied to everyone and to all areas of life. This is a book I could read over and over again, because I feel each time I'll get something new from it. I recommend the audio version - Wolf is a wonderful reader."
In short, go buy this book!
I wasn't surprised I loved the book, but I never thought I would like audio books, so that was a great surprise. I have two other e-books written by friends getting dusty on my computer. I'm going to see if there are audio versions for those, as well!
A week ago, Tom and I were discussing making that decision about Max. This morning, he made it to the top of the walkway before I did, and while we didn't go on a long walk, he did prance around and play with Belle.
I believe in miracles. They are the best surprises, aren't they?
"I wish you hopeful eyes, fresh wings, and a second wind in the living."
~ Jennifer Richardson