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 Friends or Family?

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alj
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Number of posts: 8706
Registration date: 2008-12-05
Age: 70
Location: San Antonio

PostSubject: Friends or Family?   Wed Jun 24, 2009 2:07 pm

Whew!

My little front lawn is now newly mown, if not edged. That will have to wait for tomorrow morning, as it is already over 80 degrees outside. Hopefully I will have the fortitude to deal with it before I sit down here for my morning therapy, which is what I consider this board to be.

Alice is busy visiting her grandchildren. I cannot hope to run a thread with her skill, wit, and repartee, but, since I miss her, as do many of us, I will attempt to get one going.

I made an off-topic comment earlier today, one I heard by Dr. Wayne Dyer, on a PBS program based on his book, The Power of Intention:

"Our friends are God's way of making up for our relatives."

I am in something of a tizzy right now, because I have two different sets of those relatives coming here this weekend. Saturday, my brother and his family are coming to SA. The last time they were here was August of 2002. I had been living in the city for about two months, and had yet to find this new subdivision, or the lot that would become the site for my home here. They have never seen the house, so I would like to present it at its best. My brother and I were close growing up, but as grown-ups, our lives and viewpoints have gone in very different directions. We love each other, but do not really approve of each other. When my brother first married (at 37), his new wife and I became fast friends. Over the years, she has become more and more my brother's wife, and so, a relative. Their son, my nephew, a very special young man, will be turning thirty soon, and is heading out to LA for a new life, and doesn't want to leave without a visit. He is bringing his parents with him. I am taking them to a near-by Tex-Mex restaurant for our meal. A public place will likely be safer. I don't know whether the meal will be lunch or dinner. They have merely announced they will be here Saturday; they have not yet told me when Saturday.

Sunday's dilemma is quite different. My daughter's in-laws are joining the family dinner. They are in the process of retiring here, and will probably be a regular part of what is becoming a family thing. I like them a lot, and am glad they are moving here, but they are very picky eaters, and since it is the last weekend of the month, my grocery budget is not at its best. And as pleased as I am that they are moving here, I am aware that it will put an added strain on my daughter, who already feels that she must split her available family time between her father and me. (He usually gets Saturday.)


So much for my current family situations. Here is my question: When you have to choose, who do you consider first, your family or your friends?

See, I'm already messing up. Alice would have been much more succinct explaining her background info.


Ann
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alj
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Number of posts: 8706
Registration date: 2008-12-05
Age: 70
Location: San Antonio

PostSubject: Re: Friends or Family?   Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:46 pm

I know what you mean. I remember when I was getting married, my dad had one page of the guest list headed "Family and Relatives." Family being those who were considered friends and relatives being those who we had to invite anyway.

Ann
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Carol Troestler
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Age: 76
Location: Wisconsin

PostSubject: Re: Friends or Family?   Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:42 pm

When one has a bunch of kids, friends are scarce. No one asks eight people to dinner unless they are relatives. So my friends are few and my relatives are many.

But this weekend I will be spending with five of the dearest friends I have ever had. They are my past sorority sisters I shared a house with. It was a large Victorian house where sixteen of us lived in study rooms on the first and second floors and all slept in the ballroom on the third. Never since have I made friends like these five women. We will talk about old times and new times. We will promise to get together again soon. One was one of my main support people when I was sickest, calling frequently and sending me a basket of snacks and many cards. She lives in Tennessee and we always stop to see her and her husband when we head south.

I would have to say my family is more important, but some more so than others. I see my brother's widow once a year although she lives about ten miles away. I saw my brother's daughter and her family when they came to our cabin last week.

But life has changed. I listen to problems but I can't think of solutions or offer any. They are truly on their own. We are having a group to watch the fireworks from our deck on July 4th, but it will be potluck and simple.

Carol
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Dick Stodghill
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Age: 88
Location: Akron, Ohio

PostSubject: Re: Friends or Family?   Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:12 pm

Circumstances selected my friends. Chance selected those related tenuously by blood. I prefer the company of friends.
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Shelagh
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Location: UK

PostSubject: Re: Friends or Family?   Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:20 pm

I guess I'll have to make do with you lot. The things a girl has to do.

_________________

Amazon Author Central: Shelagh Watkins
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Carol Troestler
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PostSubject: Re: Friends or Family?   Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:47 pm

Shelagh,

I'd take this bunch any day.

Carol
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Betty Fasig
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Location: Duette, Florida

PostSubject: Re: Friends or Family?   Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:46 pm

I thought about this today while I was picking the black-eyed peas. My children are my family. They are my friends.

Of the people that I know that I could call friend who are not my children and not my David, are here. I wonder what that says about me.

I have my animal friends,

Oh, I know a lot of people. They are not like me in the least, they and I have a repartee but it is a laughing sort of thing that means nothing and says nothing.

Is friendship a shallow thing, a surface thing, and are we attracted to message boards because we can be more our own self and find something in other people that is us.

Love,
Betty
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alj
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Number of posts: 8706
Registration date: 2008-12-05
Age: 70
Location: San Antonio

PostSubject: Re: Friends or Family?   Thu Jun 25, 2009 1:10 am

Oh, my. Betty. In my mind I am sitting on Granma Windham's porch, with my little bowl while my mom and granma both have huge bowls and we are all shelling black-eyed peas. I am fascinated by the speed in my mom's hands, and the deft skill in granmas, in spite of the knuckles swollen by her "rheumatism." I am struggling with each pod, trying to get it open, finally managing to release the peas into my bowl as granma comments that my bowl is already half-full while theirs are barely started. I am four years old.

Sometimes, some family members are worth the trouble.

Ann
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Betty Fasig
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PostSubject: Re: Friends or Family?   Thu Jun 25, 2009 1:21 am

Dear Ann,
I see you there on the proch with your feet dangling and your mom and gandma smiling. How nice and what a loving vision that is.

You are part of my family and you are no trouble.

Love,
Betty

Love,
Betty
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Carol Troestler
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Age: 76
Location: Wisconsin

PostSubject: Re: Friends or Family?   Thu Jun 25, 2009 1:46 am

I sometimes think of those grammas of long ago and what they would have said on a messageboard like this, how it would have given them a place to speak from their hearts with others.

Carol
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Betty Fasig
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Location: Duette, Florida

PostSubject: Re: Friends or Family?   Thu Jun 25, 2009 1:55 am

Dear Carol,
You know, it has given us gramma's a place to speak, too. I imagine that those old gramma's would not have said what was in their hearts in those days. Look at us now! Our hearts are blurting stuff we would never have said to anyone 30 years ago.

I wonder if people who never met in the olden days and wrote letters to people they never met had the same raport as people do on this message board.

I used to write letters long ago, wait for the letter in response, which took a couple of weeks, and smiled and wrote back right away.

It must be in the nature of people to reach out with ideas and thought.

Like I always said, writing is the closest thing anyone gets to telepathy.

Love,
Betty
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Dick Stodghill
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Location: Akron, Ohio

PostSubject: Re: Friends or Family?   Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:53 pm

My maternal grandmother, Margaret Lynch, was a flake living in a world of her own and sponging off whoever she could.
My maternal great-grandmother was born about the time of the Battle of the Alamo. She was in school at the beginning of the Civil War but when she turned 13 she began working full-time in a factory as most kids did.
By the time of Custer's Last Stand she had eight or nine children. Julia Burke drove her husband to an early grave because he didn't make enough money, at least in her opinion. When her daughter Margaret married a Lynch she gave her one of everything, one spoon, one pillow and so on because the Lynch's were Shanty Irish and the Burke's were Lace Curtain, again in her opinion.
She was elderly when her grandson was wounded during the First World War. She was a typical Irish Mammy, a true matriarch, when I met her when I was three and again when I was four. A formidable woman who tolerated my presence, but just barely.
She was a very old woman when I was in World War II. She finally cashed in her chips in 1947 without having really accomplished a thing other than staying alive up to that point.
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Carol Troestler
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Location: Wisconsin

PostSubject: Re: Friends or Family?   Thu Jun 25, 2009 1:08 pm

Dick, you just confirmed the reason I am feeling blessed to be a gramma in 2009!
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alj
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Number of posts: 8706
Registration date: 2008-12-05
Age: 70
Location: San Antonio

PostSubject: Re: Friends or Family?   Thu Jun 25, 2009 1:11 pm

She died before I was born, but her children all said my great-grandmother, Euna Hughes, was as mean-spirited as they come. She had two granddaughters, my grandmother, Berta, and my great aunt, Edna. She spoiled Edna and neglected my grandmother. She doted on Edna's daughter, Lessie, and made my mother's life miserable. I wouldn't be surprised if all the mother/daughter troubles that run through this family didn't begin with her. Yet, her mother, Ailcy's daughter Martha Ann, who was born into the Missouri Borders wars, survived a childhood which included the loss of most of her siblings and her mother during the Civil War, is remembered as one of the most loving and gentle women known to the family.

Check out my blog, "How Much is a Mess?" at the bottom of the page linked below:

http://www.annjoiner.com/myblog.htm


Last edited by alj on Thu Jun 25, 2009 1:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Carol Troestler
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Number of posts: 3827
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PostSubject: Re: Friends or Family?   Thu Jun 25, 2009 1:44 pm

Ann, I love the title. It is a mess. Families are messes and if we care, as you do, we organize them and sort them out and find meaning and why we became who we became.

I love this stuff.

I do not know exactly how to write my next great-grandmother book. It is begun with an experience a few years ago. Perhaps writing it backwards to show the meaning for today. Not an easy task but an interesting challenge.

Carol
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