Friday, November 16, 2007

What a Difference a Playfriend Makes

Ahh...our birthday week is coming to an end. What a celebration! I’m wore out from the whole thing, that’s for sure. It has been fun. We hope you enjoyed not only partying with us this week, but for the last two years. You can call it craft or research or whatever, but we have fun every single day on our blog. We can’t help it. We’re just fun people.

In March, I will have lived in Alabama for 7 years. Crazy how time flies. Anyway, I moved out here knowing no one but the lady who hired me and my mom who came with me. I wasn’t really involved in a church or other social activities outside of work, so it took me a really long time to meet people. Most of my coworkers were 20+ years older than me or too wrapped up with their kid’s volleyball to go hang out with a 22 year old with no ties to anything. Aside from a friend or two at work and DB, I had no social life for about 4 years or so. (This helped when I did my one year master’s program, but the other 3 years were a drag.)

I was considering leaving. Moving someplace else. DB was the only thing keeping me here. Then I joined my local RWA chapter. Things didn’t change overnight - I had a slow start. I’m quiet and tend to scowl when I’m not paying attention, so people don’t naturally flock to me to introduce themselves. I was intimidated by the published authors. I watched each of the other playfriends, wanted to talk to them, but just kept my mouth shut for the most part of...uh...8 or 9 months. I only spoke up to volunteer to be PC’s roommate at Nationals. I ended up rooming with PC, Instigator and PM that year. It wasn’t until we were actually in Reno that things started to gel. I realized they were nice and wouldn’t bite me. They figured out I was funny and not nearly as intimidating as I seemed. The Mavens blessed us with a moniker that changed our lives. That was it. It was done. We were the Children. Somehow I had managed to get myself included in a great group of women.

By October, we were planning the playground and by this week, 2 years ago, we were launched. The last two years have been a fabulous roller coaster of friendship, tears, triumph, rejection, and most certainly lots of SQUUEEES. My life has changed by leaps and bounds and I can honestly say I don’t know what I’d do without my new family.

Some people come into your life and quickly go

Others stay for a while

Leave footprints on your heart

And we are never the same.

My roommate in college had a poster with this saying on it. I really liked it. I'm sorry for not crediting it to the author. I couldn't find it attributed to anyone online. A smart person, whomever it was.

We’ve had an over arching theme of friendship this week, of course. Have you ever had someone come into your life and make a dramatic positive impact, even if you only knew them for a short time? Share your story. One of our lucky commenter will receive some birthday goodies from my stash.


(PS. Don't forget to check back on the blog Saturday when we announce all our birthday winners. And, Monday - don't forget - we've got guest blogger Eloisa James! You can't miss it!)

(PSS. Raintree:Haunted by our very own Maven Linda Winstead Jones is still up for Best Romance Book of 2007 on I know many of you read the Raintree books and commented how much you enjoyed them. If you'd like, you can still vote for Haunted here. We're very excited for Maven LJ!)

(PSSS. Does the title of this blog make anyone think of those men's clothing commericials in the late 80s where there's a bunch of different hunky guys transformed from regular clothes into nice suits, ie. the hunk in a tennis outfit, then he's in a swanky suit? Anyone remember those? What a difference a day makes...and the difference is you. Just curious.)


Stacy S said...

I was friends with this girl for about 1 1/2 before she died. She was an amazing person. Just so much fun to be around and always happy. Still miss her!

Pat L. said...

Boy am I boring. I havent had a short term person who came into my life that had a dramatic affect.

Take that back, an inlaw came into our lives about 5 or 6 years ago and unfortunately has a big negative affect on the family.

Still trying to figure out what DB is. LOL.

We just put my Dad in a perm. nursing home on Wed. That will be drastic affect on our family; even tho not what you are asking.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

KimW said...

I often bring books to the local nursing home. One day, a few years back, I met a woman who was a resident there. She made it a daily routine to be in the lobby and great people with a hello and smile. Even on her worst days, she was out there. I would chat with her each time I would come and got to know a little bit about her. She had such a positive outlook on life. Unfortunately, she passed away, but she taught me what joy you can bring with just a simple smile and a hello. I use to walk with my head down and now I look up and say hello to people I've never met.

Pat L. said...

Stacy, so sorry for your loss.

Sounds like you were very lucky to have had her for part of your life. I am sure she was a gift to everyone who knew her. She is in the special place in Heaven for special people.

Pat L. said...

Kim, what a wonderful comment.

I have heard a few stories over the internet about people coming into others lives and changing them. Don't know if they are true; but I would like to believe so.

One was about the mentally retarded boy who when walking with his Dad came upon a group of boys playing ball and they included him and made him feel so special.

The other was a college boy was going to take his own life and while after cleaning out his locker and walking to do the deed, dropped his books and another young man met him, helped him pick up the books and they went for a walk or coffee. They became friends - the depressed boy got the pick up or intervention so to speak that he needed.

Kimberly L said...

I had a family member move here about 2 years ago. She was a really nice and fun person to be around. Then about 2 months later she wasn't here anymore. I found out that she went to jail for stealing family members checks, thank God I wasn't among the ones who had bad checks written on them.

Problem Child said...

Yeah, SP is awfully quiet when you first meet her. I, on the other hand, am often too loud :-)

Angel said...

Funny, I don't remember SP scowling for 8 months. :)

And Pat l. I believe DB stands for Dear Boyfriend, or something along those lines.

I feel y'all on the family members and in laws. There are those you love and cherish, and those you can't wait to disown.

We have a fellow chapter member who has always been the sweetest lady, but a few years back she had some severe health problems and almost died. After a long recovery, she returned to the meetings. I smile just seeing this lady. She's kind of quiet, and I don't get to talk to her much (because I'm too busy running around like a chicken with its head cut off), but she always has a compliment, congratulations, or genuine question for those around her. Her positive attitude (which I am severely envious of) shines with each smile.


Eva said...

I knew a lady who didn't have much in terms of family or funds but who would always give what little she had to others

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Yesterday was my one year anniversary of arriving in Alabama. And, as sort of a fitting tribute, I had to go to the very airport where I arrived and pick up my hubby who'd been on a business trip. We both thought it a touch ironic that we were back there on the anniversary of our arrival.

A year ago, we arrived with high hopes. All we had here were my parents, who aren't native to the area, and a lot of faith in the opportunities the defense industry would provide.

Today, he has a great job, we have a great house, new friends, and I have the most rocking chapter ever in HOD. I'm very happy. :)

The most dramatic positive impact anyone has ever had in my life comes from a man who is still a dear friend. Hubby and I met him years ago, when we were teens in our first college class. He was the most interesting, odd, dynamic person we'd ever met. He wore tie-dyed shirts, a peace sign, and made us think about things we'd never thought of before.

He's still a friend, and he's always come to visit us through the years, whether it's in Germany or Hawaii or DC. He's cranky and irritating, but I love him anyway.

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Sheesh, I wasn't clear that my friend was the professor, not a fellow teen. Damn English language... ;)

Instigator said...

I don't remember SP scowling but I do remember her being quiet. Reno was a big turning point for all of us I think. So see, national conference IS important and not just for the classes and free books.

I've had a lot of people come in and out of my life. The one I miss most is my Grandfather who I didn't get enough time with. I also don't remember my aunt. I really wish I could sit down with her now and talk. From what I've heard she was an amazing and dynamic woman.


verification word - pluududt. Is that the sound a book makes as it tumbles down the stairs?

Meljprincess said...

Oh my...I've had several someone's come into my life for a short time and I miss them so...
I can't wait to talk to Eloisa! She's an auto-buy for me and I just got AN AFFAIR BEFORE CHRISTMAS. I think the book has the most beautiful cover!
I don't remember those men's clothing commericials. Probably 'cause I was out partying every night in the 80's.
It has been fun celebrating your 2 year birthday. Look forward to celebrating next year.

xoxo Melissa K.

Playground Monitor said...

Right now the person who invented influenza vaccine is making a dramatic effect on me. I had my shot Wednesday and my arm's still sore and I still feel blah. I'm not really sick, but all I want to do is curl up and read or watch TV. This too shall pass.

Other folks who made an impact? A woman from church who was fighting ovarian cancer. She just never gave up and at one point was even seeking out her own treatments because the doctors HAD given up. She created a laugh therapy program at the hospital because laughter IS the best medicine. She eventually succumbed to the cancer but not without the biggest, bravest fight I ever saw. I always think of the lyrics from Alabama's song "Angels Among Us" when I think of Rebecca:

Oh I believe there are angels among us.
Sent down to us from somewhere up above.
They come to you and me in our darkest hours.
To show us how to live, to teach us how to give.
To guide us with a light of love.

PM -- who was SP's bed-mate for that fateful trip to Reno

Jen said...

SP, my RWA local chapter experience was very similar to yours and it wasn't until Anna Adams said something to me that it became a whole different experience.

Barbara Vey said...

We all have different people who come into our lives and shape it one way or another.

For me it was the fateful day I met Karen Holt from Publishers Weekly. A phone call about a year later changed my life forever (in a good way :g:).

I shall be eternally grateful.

jenna said...

WHile in school I met this charming young woman who was always upbeat and approachable. When we graduated we went our separate ways but I will walsy remember her for her sweet nature and her lovely character.

jjelliott said...

Happy Birthday!

I've been lurking for 2 years and have enjoyed "getting to know" the Playfriends through their website. I'm always amazed by the differences that connect them.

I have been blessed with many special people coming into my life. I knew my best friend socially for two years before we finally clicked. But when we did, it was as if we had known each other all of our lives - and a past life, as well.

The Raintree trilogy is so awesome! I loved the way Maven LJ worked in Moonbeam! Murder, mayhem, love and humor, what's not to love!

Carol said...

When my children were young, I had a neighbor whose children were the same age as mine. It was a big help to me to have someone to talk to about the things are children were doing and how to deal with everything. We moved and I lost touch with her but I still think about her sometimes.

ruth said...

When I moved to my present community I knew no one. I joined a gym and met this unusual woman who immediately took a liking to me and was so warm and welcoming. She is generous, kind and caring. I see her periodically but she has a very busy life and I am still a small part of it.

Kathy said...

I've had many experiences where I feel as if I'd met an angel. When I first joined HOD, I was a little overwhelmed and felt a little discombobulated. PC met me for lunch. Angel called me up and gave me some advice. SP helped me get through a difficult time. As a matter of fact, all the playfriends came forward at some point or another and made me feel like I belonged. Not having had the opportunity to share ideas and stories with people who understood why I wanted to write, that meant the world to me and still does.

I count myself very lucky to know you guys!!!

robynl said...

My bff, Bertie, changed my life upon coming into it. She gives advice gently and kindly and is always there to listen. She has lost a leg below the knee and is still upbeat. I can phone her whenever I feel down and I feel better after talking to her. It has been years since we've seen each other in person and as she says "are we going to get to see each other here or in Heaven" next.

catslady said...

Back when I worked I had a couple of really nice women that we all pinched in for each other when needed - we've all scattered now but I still keep in touch with one by that yearly christmas card.

Anonymous said...

Everything is better when you have a friend to share it with. It makes tears easier to take and it is great to have someone to hsare your happiness. My account is not working again. Debby

Debby said...

I think it work now. weird