Thursday, July 27, 2006

Enjoying the Good Times

As some of you may know, New Orleans has become an extremely stressful and toxic place lately, and it can be hard to enjoy what are usually the most pleasant and joyous occasions. This year I've been through a lot of hard experiences; from serious depression, a bad breakup, alchohol and drug abuse, being out of work, and most recently a fire in my building that rendered me homeless and one of my cats badly injured in the hospital. (She was finally released last week and is doing much better)

Terry, Me, Stacy

Even though things haven't been the most positive lately, I decided that enjoying celebrating the day of my birth with family and friends would be a great way to remind myself and everyone else that one of the most important things in life is having caring, positive relationships.

So the day before my birthday, I phoned my friends Terry and Stacy to ask if they would be willing to give me use of their house in Mississippi for a birthday gathering. They have been going through a very stressful time themselves, after 3 of their 4 properties flooded; and dealing with all the work involved to get that taken care of. They're also working on preparing their home in New Orleans for sale, so they can move to the peaceful atmosphere of their home on the Jordan River in Mississippi. Of course, being the loving, generous friends that they are, they immediately agreed.

The next day I picked up my friend Toni, who was just 4 days away from delivering her second child, a beautiful girl named Sage Saylor. We were joined in Mississippi by Terry & Stacy, my dad Don, my friend Leslie and her fiancee Ray, my new friend Bert, and my friend Tammy.

Toni and Me

Leslie and Me

After eating some delicious ham and turkey po-boys on fresh, soft and chewy french bread; along with some other munchies, we took a ride on the party barge. We headed down the river until we found a nice beach to disembark. There were around 5 or 6 other boats docked there with families and friends enjoying the water and beautiful natural setting. We swam, talked and were having a lovely time together.

Terry giving Don Instruction at the Beach

My dad Don had never ridden a jetski before, and was reluctent to try it; thinking he might crash it into the trees! After a 15 minute safety and instructional lesson from Terry, he was off into the river. He slowly drove away, but when he came back around the corner towards us, he was flying with the wind through his hair and let out a whoop! of joy. Seeing him so excited like that waws probably the best part of my day.

Don on the Seadoo

Moments later, someone noticed a dark storm looming in the distance, so we climbed back aboard and headed for home. We docked the boat, got everything unloaded, and were under the saftey of the house just as the downpour began. It was an amazing storm, and seeing the hard, fast sheets of rain slide over the river as lighning struck in the distance was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. While we watched the water pour down, Bert cut some steaks and began grilling them. We had a great meal and then my friends and family sang to me as they gave me a lovely cake and I made my wish for a peaceful year for myself, my family and friends, and everyone else on this beautiful planet.

What more could one ask for?