Just Plain Foolish

Just a chance for an old-fashioned, simple storyteller to say what needs to be said.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

A day spent with friends

Yesterday, my husband and I met up with some friends and explored the National Folklife Festival on the Mall. I recently heard on the radio that Americans recently responded to a survey saying that they had few close friends. That sounds to me like a major problem. Friends teach us patience, compassion, and so many other good things, sometimes by being there for us and sometimes by needing us to be there for them. They let us use our imaginations together, sometimes by just sitting around in a "bull session." They dream with us.

When I wrote that I would like to be able to put up some small houses to share a single urban lot, the first names that came up that I would like to share said urban lot with were the folks that we went to the festival with yesterday. They also don't need much in the way of space, but would prefer to have the privacy of a separate house. Plus, if we're going to share some dining and cooking facilities, she's someone I'd love to share those with. It *would* be every day I got to say I sat down with a professionally trained chef to eat. While we have had arguments in the past, and fiery ones occasionally, we've also learned the power of saying, "I'm sorry."

And when life happens, we're there for each other. And helping make each other stronger to reach out to others. I live just outside Washington, DC, and on September 11, 2001, I went to an assignment for my job that was very close to the White House. Like so many others, on that day, I was evacuated from my workplace and went home. That afternoon, as I sat there feeling helpless, a friend called me to ask if I would help out. It seemed that the Red Cross was overwhelmed with people wanting to donate blood, and had closed down the donation point for the day, but needed people to come in on the 12th. We were there, bright and early, helping keep the line of people that stretched around the block entertained. I learned how to make balloon animals, and taught others to make origami cranes. We all painted cheeks with greasepaint smilies, flags, stars, butterflies, and roses. Thanks to a friend of mine, that dark week had a bright opportunity to get out of my apartment and help other people. And in being cheery for others, to find some brightness for me, too. After an entire day of clowning (I wore a ren faire costume, because that's what I had), we went for kebab together.

When I chose what I wanted to do with my life, one of the choices I made was that I wanted a job I could leave at my desk after a 40-hour week. No calls after I'd left to bring me back in. No being chained to a cell phone, pager, laptop, etc. Time to have friends, live a life, do things is important, and I wonder how many people lose sight of that.


Blogger Lorcan said...

Wishing thee all thy wishes!
Thine in the light

7/03/2006 4:40 PM  
Blogger Plain Foolish said...

Thank you. And you, too.

I spent part of tonight discussing exactly *how* such a thing ought to be done with the folks I'd most like to share such an arrangement with.

7/03/2006 10:29 PM  

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