Thank You For Being a Friend

Traveled down the road and back again...

Yeah, you'll be thinking about Golden Girls for the rest of the day and that heartwarming theme song at the beginning of the show. I don't care who you are, young or old, man or woman, cat or dog, you're going to get that oozy feeling when you hear that song.

And you just might get it again before this post is over. Especially if you're one of the people I'm talking about right now.

Recent events in my life have put me in some great places like Nashville and New Orleans (the only cheap flights in the South are out of New Orleans and I love music). I'm blessed to have close friends in both of these places.

Irises blooming all over Nashville--ALL OVER. Was it like this every year? Or is the underrated iris the new peony?
Little fact: Iris is the Tennessee state flower. And my hunch is that everybody in the city just figured that out and got extremely state-proud and went off with the Irises. OR someone who saw that the city was lacking the state flower went around offering to plant them for everyone, but they are literally ubiquitous. 
So it's May now. I realized that yesterday. And um, let's say I've had better springs. I'll stay on the surface here and talk about the rain, the torrential flooding downpours and cold weather that insists on delaying all the farmers around here: yes, April showers do in fact bring May flowers. You can guess where this is going. Hard times make you beautiful and light like a flower. Bata bing bata boom. 

That's not necessarily true. I don't feel light. I actually feel kind of heavy. Sisters and brothers, I don't exactly look like an Iris either. Or smell like a peony.

Catherine smelling the first blooming peony we saw on a walk in Nashville. She loves them. 
My first published article was for a magazine called Her Nashville and was about this saying. It was a short, light precursor to this astoundingly, almost dramatically optimistic blog you are reading. I'll never forget when they asked me for an invoice. I was like, "What? You're going to pay me for something that I enjoyed doing?" And dreams were born quickly after that. 

So because I believe in that nursery rhyme saying, I have a new take on it. 
Stressful or sad times flower your friendships and relationships. When the people around you step up and say, "I care and I'm here for you." Or "I love you, and I think you are strong." Or "I'm proud of you, and whatever I can do let me know."

Virginia and Jackson cuddling on the streets of New Orleans.
There are people around me going through worse than I've been through recently, and I'm just wondering what I can do. Because my friends have inspired me. In two cities, I've gotten to be supported by six of my best friends. Everything from laughing really hard with me to a good cry. From  airport pick-ups to watching my dog and giving the precious boy a bath. From loving words to beautiful flowers. From just being there to listening to my belligerent venting and crying. 

Sarah and Jessie at the Viz-Carlton in New Orleans.
Eating lunch with Catherine and MB in Nashville.
Thank you. No girl has ever lived a more charmed life. I don't want to get emotional here. Actually I don't have much left but to quote Clarence at the end of It's a Wonderful Life, 
"Remember, no man is a failure who has friends."

You don't have to do it by yourself. Because you are loved.

Liza Jane