Friday, April 1

Quote of the Day:  The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the the belief in a thing makes it happen.  Frank Lloyd Wright

From Waking the Warrior Goddess:  Custom # 20  Don’t take birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy (HRT), except in rare circumstances determined by your doctor and only for a brief time.  She goes on to say:  Menopause is not a disease.  it is a natural transition of life that’s best approached naturally, if possible.

Thanks for the kind notes for Kathy Clark, Kathy Schjulderup and Shelley Hilpert Ebersole.  Thank you, Susie-girl, for the visit.  I love you!

April Fools Day- Mike’s favorite holiday.  He’s having a rough time with all his brother’s away-  no one to tease and he’s always on his best behavior at the Barker’s,  so I wonder what he has planned for me today!

Yesterday, I got this amazing, heart-felt, caring card for my sister Lynne’s friend, Shelley.  Lynne has a group of friends that met when they were 12 and they have stayed close ever since.  That’s more than 40 years of female friendship power.  What a testimonial that all of these women understood the power of connecting on a female level, continued to nourish these relationships and kept each other high on their lists.  Shelley was diagnosed w/ color cancer in 2009 and is now cancer free!  Yay!  Here’s what she said about Lynne:  “Lynne was there for me 100%  She would call me on the days that I had my treatments- she even rented a car to drive to Louisville to come and take care of me!  She always knew what to say to me- or to bring me back to the right mind-set.”   Thank you, Shelley, for those words of comfort and advice.  I will take them to heart!

This really got me thinking about Lynne.  I wrote about her a few blogs ago but we have had such great times together that I wanted to write more.  So, it’s the summer of 1990, and Lynne and I are passionate about tennis.  We love the game, can’t get enough of it and if possible, God willing, we play as many sets as we can each day.   We’re at the beginning of our love affair w/ tennis so we’re not hung up by ratings, or other people’s opinions of our performance or what team we are on.  I like to think of it as our carefree childhood period of tennis.  Lynne is pregnant w/ Tess.  Tessie comes into the world on November 27, 1990 so by summer Lynne is showing but this does not slow her down.  Lynne was my favorite tennis partner, ever.  We never argued, got mad at each other for missing shots, I can’t even remember a time being discouraged when we were behind.  But, here’s the magic of that summer.  We never lost a match.  We played in 5 tournaments, back-to-back, and won each one.  We played without fear but with carefree abandonment.  We ended the season as the top double’s team in 3.5.  But here’s the clincher, Lynne moved to Klamath Falls that Autumn and our fun, tennis partnering came to an end.  How grateful I am to have had that time w/ her!

Lynne is much more than a tennis partner to me, though.  She was the gutsy one who wasn’t afraid to voice her opinion and stand up for what she saw as injustice.  My Mom and Dad had 5 girls, Heidi, Shelly, Lynne, Joanie and Erin.  We are all 2 years apart.  My Mom and Dad eloped to Las Vegas as teen-agers and the next year Heidi was born.  By the time Erin was born, they were thinking about divorce.  So my Mom had some really rough years trying to take care of these little girls and work.  She married my step-dad, John, when I was about 5 and financially our lives improved but emotionally they did not.  Here is one experience that stands out with Lynne sticking up for me, particularly.   We were sitting around the dinner table and I was around 2nd grade making Lynne 4th grade.  John was criticizing me for the way I was eating my dinner-  always the  chiding felt like a slap in the face, and Lynne piped right by saying “I think she eats nice.”   No one, and I mean no one, dared to stand up to John, except Lynne.  Life for us was always spent on pins and needles worrying when his anger would flair.  Another time, Lynne called him out when his behavior was again causing our family distress.  She, alone, put him in his place.  The truth was that he really was a coward at heart, hurting vulnerable children.  He was weak and hurt inside but he never took care to understand what made him such a bully.

Here’s the best part of this story.  Most of my sisters and I never believed him. I don’t know if Heidi and Shelly fell victim to John’s harshness but I know Lynne, Erin and I never bought into his vision of us.  I think God knew that we would need some extra self-worth and moxy (sp?) and so he gave us an extra dose.  I’m eternally grateful for a Heavenly Father that put people or opportunities in our midst so that life did get better for us.

My mom and John did have a beautiful, little girl named Jennifer when I was 9.  I have always felt very protective towards Jennifer.  She and I have had a lot of fun w/ tennis and I love her dearly!

Lynne’s daughter, Tessie, w/ at String Lake Trailhead, GTNP, last summer                                   Lynne and I after winning a tournament, Sportsmall, 1990                     Jen, Erin, Lynne and Joanie in Peepete, Tahiti  Jan. 2011


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