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THE Story and A Secret Revealed

Winter Wonderland at Mom & Dad's in Eagle River, Alaska PHALL PHOTO 2014

Winter Wonderland at Mom & Dad’s in Eagle River, Alaska
PHALL PHOTO 2014 Is that snow flake shaped like a heart?

STAR DATE: 01/13/2014

No, I am so NOT a Trekky, but the numbers of this new year seem so sci-fi, so futuristic. Maybe even more so, since Mrs. M’s son has transported me back with memories of the late 1970’s. Also, way back in 2013…okay, a little over a week ago, I visited my cousins, who were as close as brothers and sisters back in the 1970’s. Even my reunion with Leslee was a trip backwards in time; to the late 1980’s and 90’s.

ON TO THE STORY…

The morning of New Years Eve found me all girlied up, with a pretty pedicure, unsnarled hair (thanks to my daughter), make-up and painted fingernails, courtesy of Leslee. Sheesh, this was just not me. Plus, I was on my way to see a guy who lives in the middle of nowhere and whose solitary life is very similar to my cave woman ways. At least they didn’t make me dress up.

I suppose that it would only be fair if I backed up a bit and and started from the beginning. THE story that I mentioned a few weeks ago…

Once upon a time (Oh! Don’t you just love those four words!?) in the Land of the Midnight Sun, lived a boy and a girl who were destined to friendship and merged stories…eventually. We’ll call them Kevin and Patti and their story began with a sweet love story between Kevin’s brother and Patti’s sister back in the summer of 1973.

This is also where Mrs. M. (you remember Mrs. M. and how I helped her escape from the rehab/nursing home in Oregon?) has a walk-on part in this story. See, Mrs. M. was not exactly a happy camper about that aforementioned “sweet love story” between her son and Patti’s sister. So, naturally, when Kevin’s 15-year-old rushing-hormone eyes caught sight of 15-year-old, tall, blondish Patti, keeping his interest in a Hall girl from his mother, was a top priority. (Right up there with getting a date with Patti!)

Memories blur a little here, but according to Patti’s 74-year-old mother and the now 54-year-old Kevin, the first date went something like this:

Patti’s mom provided the transportation to the Pearl Harbor war movie, “Tora! Tora! Tora!” where the teens sat in the front row, and where Kevin admits that he did not make a “move” on Patti. Technically, that’s 3 strikes against Kevin, but all these years later I give him credit for trying (oh, and tons of credit for remembering and admitting the error of his ways). At least one other time, Kevin hung out with the family at the Hall house, however…

Despite his best efforts, Mrs. M. found out that Kevin had been spending time at the Hall house and forbade any further contact with them. Within a few years, the sweet love story between Kevin’s brother and Patti’s sister culminated in a wedding ceremony in 1978. That marriage is still going strong 35 years later, while Kevin and Patti hadn’t seen each other in almost 40 years. Not that Kevin didn’t try…

This is the part where you really get behind Kevin’s efforts. Sometime, a year or so after that first date, on a bright summer day, Kevin was out putting stripes on his truck. The phone rang and it was Patti’s sister telling him that Patti was at the airport and was about to leave Alaska. Kevin got in his truck and raced to the airport…

He tried the airport parking, but didn’t have enough change, then he drove over to a small lot and parked there. He ran to the boarding gate…and he was 15 minutes late.  My airplane was gone.

Then life happened and almost 40 years went by. The same infamous Mrs. M. that kept us apart as teens, brought us together in our 50’s. Kevin private messaged me on Facebook to see how things went while I was taking care of his mom, and we’ve been catching up ever since. Did I mention that he is the biggest flirt on the planet?

THE NEW STORY

(Repeat) The morning of New Years Eve found me all girlied up, with a pretty pedicure, unsnarled hair (thanks to my daughter), make-up and painted fingernails, courtesy of Leslee. Sheesh, this was just not me. Plus, I was on my way to see a guy who lives in the middle of nowhere and whose solitary life is very similar to my cave woman ways. At least they didn’t make me dress up.

I had butterflies the whole way out to Kevin’s house. I pulled into the local grocery store and called Kevin to let him know I was in town, so I could follow him back to his place. Kevin might have been just as nervous, but he set me at ease right from the start. Smiles. Long hugs. Hello, old friend.

We had a mellow New Year’s Eve playing pool and listening to a huge list of songs from 1950’s, on up. There were a lot of songs from the 70’s and we had fun guessing names of songs and who sang them. Kevin created a homemade pizza, while I watched. It was delicious! Later, we took a walk through his neighborhood in the dark. Later still, his cat purred and finally scoped me out enough to hang out with us on the big soft couch.

Neither of us wanted to stop talking, but by 2 a.m. we were ready for sleep. I was exhausted by all the visiting and driving that I had done the past few days and fell into a hard sleep the second my head hit the pillow. If I would have just shut the bedroom door, Kevin would still not know about my occasional snoring issues:>)

The End…For Now,

Patti


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This One Is For Leslee; The Silk Ribbons of Friendship

Fall = Pumpkins and Corn=Leslee Phall Photo 2013

Fall = Pumpkins and Corn and…
Phall Photo 2013

Fall’s magic and joy

shines from her heart to her eyes

corn stalks and pumpkins

Of all the people on this planet that I know, no one brings the magic and joy of each holiday to life, as Leslee does. Halloween and Christmas are her yearly pedestal projects, but oh, her Valentine and birthday creations are also grand. She beckons the inner child from anyone in her orbit, and sings the fairies from their hiding places.

Sadly, Leslee has been out of my orbit for too many years. She’s getting closer though, and once I knew that she was back in…I began to feel a girlish giggle and a fairy’s impish grin emerge from somewhere deep within. They swim up through the pain and loss that I have experienced in her absence. What wonders will now be unleashed?

Within about 18 months, 25 years ago, I met four incredibly strong and supportive women. Leslee was one of them. The other three, Gwen, Vickie and Roxanne, each have special ribbons that bond us together. If I had to pick one word for the ribbon that connects me to each, it would be humor for Gwen, strength for Vickie, and spirit for Roxanne. Of course, they are all a mixture of those, and many other beautiful silk ribbons.

This writing inspires me to remind us all to write a love/friendship letter to those that we share that special ribbon with. Have I ever told Gwen how much her laughter means to me, or Vickie, how her steadfast strength has always helped keep my feet on the ground, or Roxanne, how her gentle spirit soothes me like a babe in arms? And Leslee, how the fairies welcome me into their circle when she is in my life? She sets my imagination free.

Peace,

Patti