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    VALERIEMAHA   50,223
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Sister Love!

Monday, August 16, 2010

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Does it get any better than this: I pull in after three months *on the road* around noon yesterday, pull myself together, gather gifts and take off for festivities with dear friends for three birthday celebrants at Ellen's fabulous hilltop *Tree House* (so called because it's built on a hill up among them) whose kitchen window looks out directly at Pinnacle Mountain.


Ellen, one of the birthday girls, who is the hostess-with-the-mostest with Chloe!


Me with two of the birthday girls, former housemate Janice and Ellen.


The third birthday girl, Gail on the left, with Fritzie in the middle, and Pat, who shaved her head in solidarity with a dear friend who is grappling with breast cancer


Fritzie, Pat and (blinking) Janice again. The first celebration was for my birthday, held at Fritzie's place. I blogged about it back-when:
www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
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Anne Avant, famed and favorite Iyengar Yoga teacher, Ellen, and Amy (just back from 3 weeks in Bulgaria...and earlier in the summer yet another trip to China). After the February celebration, Anne sent an email out to everyone and said we should keep doing this periodically...and the next one was held at her place last May!


Johnye (Janice's mom and the matriarch of the group), Pam who, instead of completing her PhD in English Lit, got practical and picked up an accounting degree and ultimately became a CPA -- fortunately, I think, she has stopped playing with numbers and is back to playing with words...she is the quintessential wordsmith!), and Camille (who finished the semi-finals game of a tennis tournament in time to join us). Camille started the prison project and Pat, Gail, and I volunteer in it with her.


Some kitchen action.


Here Janice, just back from two months camping and volunteering for the National Park Service (she and her sister Judy lead light house tours where they stay at Devil's Island in Lake Superior) at the Great Lakes, is singing the song she wrote for Ellen and Monroe's wedding, was it three(?) years ago (one of those storybook romances...lucky Ellen!)

Unfortunately Judy missed the celebration because she was on-call at the hospital. (She's a pediatrician.) SparkFriend Sandra also missed it because she's in Wisconsin helping her mom post-op; Jean and Pamela are also in WI...visiting friends and family; Siaw Khian is visiting family in Malaysia and Marilyn is in Missouri, supporting her mom, whose partner is very ill.


At our next celebration Johnye will be celebrating her EIGHTIETH! I wish this was lighter...I swear she looks longer than me! (ROTFLOL!!! Gotta' leave that typo -- since at almost 6' tall, she is DEFINITELY "longer" than my 5'3" and she looks YOUNGER than me too.) Mid-life Johnye decided she wanted a PhD, finished it and proceeded to join the faculty of the English Department of U of AR and taught English Literature for many years there. And it makes my head spin to think of everything she's involved in now! Is that the formula Johnye???


Pinnacle Mountain at sunrise
www.visionmena.com/Arkan
sas_State_%20Parks/pinnacl
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A FRIENDSHIP BLESSING

May you be blessed with good friends.
May you learn to be a good friend to yourself.

May you be able to journey to that place in your soul
where there is great love, warmth, feeling, and forgiveness.
May this change you.

May it transfigure that which is negative, distant, or cold in you.
May you be brought in to the real passion, kinship, and affinity of belonging.
May you treasure your friends.

May you be good to them and may you be there for them;
May they bring you all the blessings, challenges, truth, and light that you need for your journey.

May you never be isolated.
May you always be in the gentle nest of belonging with your anam cara.

-- John O'Donohue, from Anam Cara
(Anam cara is Gaelic for "soul friend")
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRANCESCANAZ 8/22/2010 1:36PM

    emoticon Maha! Livin life! Te amo mi hermana. emoticon

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PUDLECRAZY 8/18/2010 8:21PM

    I am so glad you made it back for the birthday bash! It looks like everyone had so much fun. emoticon

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DARKTHOR 8/18/2010 12:30PM

    This is so wonderful. You are filling your days with greatness that stretches the seams.

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RUBIA_LIZ 8/17/2010 10:59PM

    Fantastic! I don't know what I'd do without my Sister Love either. Glad you've made it back home safe and sound! Have enjoyed following your travels. Great stuff!!

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PENNYAN45 8/17/2010 10:14PM

    I am so happy for you that you are back home again with your intelligent, interesting and loving friends! Thanks for the poem, too. I like it!

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DENI_ZEN 8/17/2010 8:43PM

    Wow, Maha! Thank you for sharing this wonderful gathering with us! The sisterhood among you is palpable, too :) And oh, to have a treehouse like that! Thanks SO much with your help with my SparkPersona/Identity/Page! As you can see, I've had sooo much fun today! (And, I'm a kid at heart - so it's all good! :) - Sandi emoticon

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KALIGIRL 8/17/2010 1:06PM

    What a marvelous group of sisters - you are blessed with their friendship as are they with yours.

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CMRAND54 8/17/2010 12:42AM

    What a wonderful celebration.

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GETDONE 8/16/2010 10:10PM

    Thanks for the party--I felt like I was there.

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BRIGHTSPARK7 8/16/2010 8:49PM

    What a joy filled celebration, Mahalakshmi, and a lovely homecoming for you. And a gathering of remarkable women. The love and warmth in the room comes across in your blog.
And thanks for sharing the anam cara blessing with us! Love it.
Usha xx

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MISS_VIV 8/16/2010 8:48PM

    What fantastic writings of a heart warming reunion/birthday/sisters get together.
You are truly blessed.

hugs

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COSMIC_ENERGY 8/16/2010 4:39PM

    What a wonderful homecoming!

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WALKINGANNIE 8/16/2010 4:14PM

    Thanks for sharing your celebration of friendship between some remarkable women. What a gathering of wisdom, strength, intelligence, empathy and generosity.

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SLASALLE 8/16/2010 3:35PM

    Sister love, indeed. Often made even better with "chosen" sisters!! Don't know what I would do without the many "sisters" in my life.

Welcome home (to me, too!!). Enjoy. We'll talk soon!!!

xoxoxo
Stephanie

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VALERIEMAHA 8/16/2010 3:25PM

    THIS FROM JOHNYE:


Nice photos, Maha.

Just a couple of corrections to the text (you know, it's the editor in me--or maybe the English prof):

I was not really middle aged when I "decided" to get my PhD. That had been my intention all along. I was fulfilling a prenuptial agreement, made when I was 17, prior to our summer wedding before the beginning of our sophomore year. I was only 31 when I began the final phase, so it was hardly my middle age, as it turned out. (We both committed to being supportive of the other one's getting a PhD. He already knew he wanted to be a chemist. I told him I too wanted to get a PhD. Just didn't know what yet.)

My work history was with UALR, not U of AR (which is commonly understood to be the Fayetteville campus).

I continued taking classes virtually every semester until 3 years after my retirement, when health issues made it physically uncomfortable. (Then I began working at home editing two international haiku publications for 7 years, until that work became uncomfortable.)

Interestingl
y enough, we were given tiny boxes created from lovely greeting cards at the birthday celebration....The one I chose was filled with "comfort".

Peace, Love, and Joy to All.

Johnye


Comment edited on: 8/16/2010 5:51:01 PM

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FERRET_76 8/16/2010 2:55PM

  Wow - wonderful friends and a blessed celebration all in a gorgeous setting? Sounds great! Here's wishing you continued success!!

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VALERIEMAHA 8/16/2010 1:53PM

    Oh yeah -- Pat is DEFINITELY and INDUBITABLY an AMAZING woman!

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LYNNANN43 8/16/2010 1:10PM

    What a wonderful looking & celebration, MAHA!

And hats off to Pat for shaving her head in solidarity! What an AMAZING woman she must be to got to those lengths for a friend!

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