This is my sorority sister BobbieJo and me.

BobbieJo and Me at the Monster Mash Party

(I’m the cow. She’s the vampire.)

BobbieJo and Me

She’s actually more than just my sorority sister, she’s my official “Big Sister.” (You get to pick just one.)(It’s a big deal.)

BobbieJo and Me at Pledge Formal

There was a time when I was closer to her than anyone. We were roommates! She knew everything there was to know about me. I loved her deeply. I still do. But recently, all I knew about what was going on with her was what was written in her Christmas card.

Then, on my birthday, I found her friend request on Facebook. It was my favorite gift that day.

We made plans to get together the following Friday and I simply could not wait to see her again and catch up. I was so excited! I even bought a new outfit to wear on our “girls night out.” But on the way to meet her, that dirty dereccho blew through and did this…

Punctured Tire

with a tree branch. (Can you imagine how hard the wind was blowing to launch that tree branch into my tire and puncture it? I’m thankful it didn’t come through the window instead!) I crept off the highway in my hobbled car and headed for the nearest restaurant when this…

Fallen Tree

…got in my way. So, I turned in to a hotel parking lot instead when a tornado warning alarm went off on my phone. It was the first time that ever happened, which was sort of shocking, but useful. I ran into the hotel lobby and waited the storm out with a tolerant group of people who listened to me explain what had happened over and again in a variety of styles and inflections.

“I mean, the tree branch justflewintomycar. It just f l e w intomycar. The BRANCH FLEW into MY CAR.”

They were kind enough to act appropriately horrified with each telling.

Once the storm had passed, Dave came to get me and fix the car, then we came home to a house with no electricity. Now, when we have no electricity, we also have no water. (We have an electric pump for our well.) We can’t even flush the toilet, which means everyone immediately has to poop and someone will probably get diarrhea at least as often as they’ll open the refrigerator door. “Shut the door! You’re letting the cold out! Don’t try to flush it!” That’s what our house sounds like during a power outage. (I won’t tell you what it smells like.)

The power, thankfully, was back after about 48 hours, but not before Dave and I had a tough decision to make about Neil Diamond. (Well, I had a tough decision. Dave had already made his decision months ago when he planned the whole thing.) We had tickets to his concert and reservations for a hotel room with a working shower in Cleveland Sunday night. Something about doing all that didn’t seem right knowing my mom and the kids would be home fumbling around in the dark and flushing in vain. So I hemmed and hawed and maybe-we-shouldn’t-go-ed until I made everyone angry with me. Then Dave said, “Honey, you can stay here or we can stay married,” or something like that and so we left. The electricity was restored 84 minutes later. 120 minutes after that:

Waiting for Neil Diamond in Cleveland

(Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?) my phone died after that photo. If it hadn’t, I would have taken a photo of Neil Diamond amid the sea of smart phone screens – of 15,000 people posting on Facebook simultaneously – except that I probably would have been posting to Facebook, too.)

You guys, I cannot believe I even pretended I might not go and see Neil Diamond. He was amazing. His default hand gesture is the finger gun! The man is Smooth. (That’s right. Capital S.) He’s written some incredible music and he can perform the hell out of it. He can make Dave dance! (Yes!)

After a high like that, where do you go? Well, first there’s hotel sex. Then, you take your husband to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Dave at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Then you go home and get your period. You realize you’ve hit the if-I’m-not-pregnant-by deadline you set and you get angry because, well, just because. You write an indignant post about cashiers who comment on what you’re buying because who does that? (P.S. The answer is: Assholes. And I do not have to justify my cereal choices to them!) You do not publish the post. You decide you won’t publish or even say anything at all because you have nothing nice to say anyway, dammit, and everyone hates you, even God, which is probably why your air conditioner won’t work and the neighbor fertilized the field next to your house on the hottest day of the year. Days go by – enough days to make a week. And then a few more days. Suddenly, it’s not so hot out and you decide maybe someone out there doesn’t hate you and maybe they read your blog.

And here we are.

How have you been?