Sunday, December 7, 2008


Can you imagine nine men meeting at a support group, signing up to provide and receive continued support after the support group program ends? Then imagine fast forwarding three years and see those same men, on an early December evening, sitting around a beautiful home, exquisitely decorated for Christmas, with no less than four decorated Christmas trees (one of pink included of a few of them), laughing and carrying on at least three conversations at the same time, finishing each others sentences and asking probing questions without offense. Imagine the topic of one of those conversations is the organizational details of how they are coordinating the shopping and wrapping that is being done to put together a trunk full of presents for a needy family that goes to the community center where several of those men around the table volunteer their time. Imagine, in the middle of the table, a colossal, fully loaded Shrimp Louis and home made split pea soup: so tasty and special it brings at least a few gathered around the table to tears: tears of gratitude. Imagine the host man jumping up from the table and offering to go through his closet to pull out a few different suits for one of those gathered to try on because he isn’t sure what to wear for an upcoming event. Thank you Katie for the wonderful meal and your generous heart. I love your style.

Did I lose you at “imagine nine men meeting at a support group…? It’s things like the above described scene that make me so grateful that I was made a woman, not a man. I may write more about it later, but this is not an easy season for me and I find myself often immersed in some darker place. Grace shows up in so many forms, some little, some huge. Often in the form of my girlfriends. Who can remain in a funk when you are sitting around the table with those friends?

The night before the one described, I was sitting around another table with a different group of friends. This time at my church attending the Women’s Christmas Dessert event. Here table hosts go all out and decorate their tables with their best china or Christmas dishes, nicely polished silver service, sparkling crystal stemware, candles, flowers, nativity scenes. Each table different, reflecting the sense of style and personality of the table host. Charlie and Stacie joined forces this year and did a gorgeous table which I was fortunate enough to be asked to join. Gave me a chance to see them as well as other dear friends. After a short musical program and entertaining talk by pastor Kendy Easley to help prepare our hearts and minds for the holiday season we went to our candle lit tables. There a gorgeous little dessert was at our place, and men from the church who had volunteered, served us coffee and kept our water glasses full. Time flew as I caught up with this group of friends. It was another beautiful evening with my girlfriends.

And speaking of girlfriends, as promised, here are “the girls” as they appeared Saturday night at the event the borrowed outfit was for. The body painting was added during the break between my dealing at the Black Jack table when I told the painter “I need to earn tips.” It worked! Two self shot photos taken after the event to show the painting and the cleavage I’ve been telling you all about. I was also wearing the masque which helped to pull off the cleavage shot a little less self consciously. Was able to spend the evening at the party with another girlfriend, Janelle, who also volunteered as a dealer. Love my girlfriends!

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