Last night I drove down to Broomfield to meet up with some online buddies. I’ve “known” both of them since the summer of Y2K, when we were all expecting babies in March 2001.

I actually met Becky face to face when the babes were one-ish [? I have no memory nowadays] or so. Since then, though, Becky has been dealing with life as the mother of an autistic son – and early on in this leg of her journey, play-group type gatherings were just too painful. Not to mention planning a meet with our busy paces of life. Despite not meeting up all these years, she has very much been with me thru some hard times– particularly last year when Charlie Brown and I were very, very low. I love her dearly and think of her and J often. And thank God daily that I am not yet the mother of a teenaged girl, as Becky is.

Heather and I just met face to face in October when she graciously hosted me for a couple of weekends while I was doing school. Heather is a social cheerleader – not the fake kind, but the real deal and thus brings a smile to my face constantly. I am so glad for her recent move to CO!

Last night, was just for us, and it was delicious. Both the food and the company. But mostly the being in the company of fabulous women, away from my children/school/house in serious need of being cleaned from top to bottom part.

I don’t have a lot of girlfriends – never have, as I was always that outsider looking in whom everyone liked well enough, but never went that next step and invited into their circle. I certainly don’t have any day to day friends that I’ve known for 7+ years. With that dynamic in place, the internet has given me my deepest woman-woman connections and blessed me with the diversity of experiences, opinions, and circumstances that my homogenous hometown can’t even begin to touch. I loves me my computer, folks, because like the corny e-mail says, all my friends are in it. Ok, maybe all is an overstatement, but many of them are.

As I cruised on I-25, I blared the music and sang along with the radio. That’s the way that Hammy (that’s me for those of you newbies who know me as Red) rolls. Always – I have two photo radar speeding tix with my mouth hanging wide open in mid-song to prove it. charlie Brown used to have them posted on the refrigerator because he THOUGHT it would embarrass me. When I turned west onto the Broomfield exit, I saw the makings of a glorious sunset.

Alien contours of the Foothills, previously only attended to by me briefly in the due-south pavement pounding trip known as “going to Denver,” spread out right before me, dotted with remnants of snow, some wispy stratus clouds above and to the south, and a continuous wall of thick, white thunderheads that stretched on for miles to the north.

As dusk overcame the mountains, they took on the appearance of burnt camp-fire wood; the mountains dark and rugged, the spots of snow becoming gray-white ashes, with the amber glow of the sun dropping behind them lending to the image of smoldering embers. The sky was the pristine blue of topaz, with the stratus clouds becoming opalescent; white with flecks of that palest blue, fiery pink, and molten orange showing through the translucencies. The thunderheads gleamed with whiteness.

I was so moved by it – and remember making a mental note to myself to re-capture this image with words – that I quickly breathed a prayer of thanks to my Maker, Maker of this sunset, and hummed the beginnings of a song that’s been on my mind often of late.

“Oh Lord I need a mountain to climb on
Just a quiet place to go and know you’re there
Oh Lord I need to spend some time with you
Jesus spent the night with you in prayer
And the greatest friend you’ll ever find
is on the lonely mountain
And the highest high you’ll ever feel
is when you kneel to pray
And the brightest light you’ll ever see
is when you close your eyes
Oh Lord you are my first love at last
I realize ……”

And, me being me, I quickly put it out of my head as the twilight won its battle with the sun. I had girl-time comin’ up, yo! Like I could even fully process the meaning of this little “moment” between my Lord and me…I had bigger fish to fry, right?

The girl time was fab – with convos ranging from the woes of feminine facial whiskers, to how jealous we were about women we know who are expecting, and not so much because we are wistfully coveting the babes they are growing but more because, duuuuuude, they’re so totally doin’ it for that to have happened [and we are not. So much], to how all three of our daughters are first pancakes*, man, and we so do not want to screw them up.

*First Pancakes – when I worked mental health, a therapist friend and I were talking about our childhoods one day, and he goes, “So, when you make pancakes, you know how that first one always flops, but the rest of them turn out great?” Nods from me. His conclusion, “All oldest children are their parents’ first pancakes – parenting is really little more than trial and error.” Truer words have never been spoken – frightening, eh?

But alas, all good things must come to an end – and at 10:20 we bid adieu. I then proceeded to get lost on the way home, but eventually crawled in bed next to Charlie Brown.

Which brings me to today.

That moment between me and God came back today. And O, Lord, at last I realize is right.

Are you chuckling at me?

Because I’m crying down here.

I’ve got a bad case of the February Crazy.

Irritability

– check.

Strong urges to run away and join the circus….urges may also be experienced as desires to…do a stint in a nunnery

– check, just about every day for the past two months.

Feelings of Guilt

– Freaking Ginormous CHECK! I will have to post more about this one another time. Let’s just say it was that sermon at church today. And in light of recent childcare needs, I sort of roundaboutly told myself today that, “Gee, if I REALLY was a great mother, my priorities would be totally aligned with STAYING AT HOME MOTHERING and we WOULDN’T EVEN BE ENTERTAINING THIS DILEMMA.” Yeah, I cried…which brings me to the next point –

Sudden weeping

– In case you aren’t following, that’s a check.

Vivid dreams that are emotionally upsetting

– surprisingly – I failed to correlate this to the February Crazy until I happened upon Schmutzie’s post, but uh, yeah – CHECK!

Actions contradict emotions

– totally, if feelings of “I really need to spend some time with LMNOB and get her some good quality sensory inputs,” do not actually manifest themselves through HOURS of closet cleaning (accompanied by sudden weeping at the insurmountable task ahead) erstwhile the children are outside playing with Charlie Brown, then I am racking this one up, baby. Check.

I thought it was just January – but mayhap this funk is stickin’ around….and now, I need to figure out what that means for me – back to meds?

Also – yes, I totally heart, newly discovered by me, RealMental.org – talk about keepin’ it real peeps!

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