Thoughts for a Friend

Helping someone can be awkward. You don’t know what to say or do. You question your motives or whether you should get involved at all. Being a friend is about being there. Almost like a marriage: in sickness and in health; in good times and bad. That is how one should be with a true friend. It’s a difficult task.

My friend is in a dark place. Her life is shattered in many ways. The reasons are many and it happened over a very long time. I learned tonight that she is in need of professional help. She’s barely getting through a day. I can feel her pain. There is not much I can do – except just be there. I;ve been doing a lot of listening, but I realize her problems are so complex that I can;t begin to really be of any productive help. She feels alone and lost.

I know deep inside, she’ll find that place where she was long ago when she was a strong, vibrant person with love and laughter in her heart. She has lost that person. Perhaps with the right help, she’ll rediscover who she is and start anew.

I wish I could have helped her more a long time ago; but I did not know the trauma she was experiencing. I wonder if I was truly her friend because I did not know her pain. Some things are so deep, we do not share them even with the closest of friends. In sickness and health; in good times and bad. I will be there for her on the other side of her pain.

Mid-life Cri-seas

At what point do you look at  yourself and say, “I’m at mid-life?” Watching a reality show the other night I was taken aback when the contestant said she was a 51 year-old grandmother. OK, I can understand being a grandmother at 51, but this woman didn’t look a day younger than 61! She was gray, out of shape and just acted and looked old! I’m 51, and do not ever see myself that way, even on my worst days. Earlier this week, I had the wonderful experience of a routine colonoscopy. I am certain I was the youngest (biologically and psychologically) woman going through that gut-wrenching (literally) procedure. Plus, I got a squeaky clean, bill of health. (yea, good eating and living!)

NewBoat_day one

Doug drove the boat to "Duck Pond" in Toms River

On to the mid-life cri-seas. Where could I be going with that except to water? My husband starting researching power boats after this summer’s vacation in New Hampshire which as is tradition, included two boating days. We have been vacationing in New Hampshire for many of the past ten years and have spent enough on power boat rentals that we could have bought by now, at least a boat-and-a-half. Long story short, we have a boat in our driveway. Doug never does anything that costs money without hours of research. Thanks to the internet, that task is easier than ever. We ended up buying a 1992 Four Winns 20′ power boat from a guy who’s a cop in the Toms River area. He was selling the boat for his uncle who’d used it on a lake but had grown too old to be interested in the boat now. The toughest part, beyond parting with our cash, was searching for a proper boat trailer. Doug researched more and we ended up buying a new trailer. Now, I won’t worry about the trailer collapsing under the boat (which was a real concern considering some of the people selling used trailers really didn’t know what they had to sell!).New boat on the trailer

So, testosterone is flowing in our driveway now as Doug rushes outside to primp and inspect the boat, looking for boat doo-hickies he needs or wants. The guy neighbors are drawn to the boat as though it were a naked, buxom blond laying in the driveway. They talk and chuckle and point at things on the boat. It’s all part of male bonding.  Doug will have to get the engine checked out and winterized. That’ll require him hanging out with a boat mechanic with more male bonding. First, we may take a couple of rides on the Delaware in the next week or two. Spring break vacation will likely be somewhere a bit south near water so we can zip around on a bay, harbor or river.It’ll be great to have our own vessel and not have to go through rental expense. Vacations in New Hampshire will be even more wonderful with a boat at our disposal 24/7 .

Will we name the boat? Not sure. But Mid-Life Cri-seas seems to be the front-runner and most apropos. The boat is really nice. We will enjoy the heck out of it.  It sure is cheaper than a bunch of mid-life plastic surgery.