Friday with friends: Sometimes life gives you lemons, sometimes it gives you watermelon.

Sometimes life hands you Lemons, and then it tends to even itself out by giving you watermelon.

What the hell am I talking about might be what you are asking yourself right now. To understand my mind you have to crawl in to it for a minute, come on in and sit for a while,  bring a flashlight… I have been told more than once it might be a little dark in here.

My Father and I didn’t have a relationship for a multitude of reasons, he really could not show love, it was something so foreign to him it just didn’t compute.  It was like handing a newborn chopsticks and expecting them to eat with them.   My entire life I felt unloved , not accepted, not understood by this man…this man I called my Father.

Somehow the universe knew I was handed this card, this lemon, this really sour , hard to swallow , bitter-tasting card…and in order to rectify itself it handed me a watermelon, a sweet, refreshing, burst in your mouth , watermelon.

The Lemon being my Father , the Watermelon being his little sister.

Let me introduce you to FRIDAY OCTOBER 30th’s Friday friend :  I call her Jewls

Sometimes I think she took on the job herself of making me feel all the things my Father was supposed to make me feel but never did, loved, accepted, understood, beautiful,  worthy, important, wanted.  That’s a big role to fill , not only does she fill it, she overflows it on a regular and consistent basis.

I know she loves me : I almost burned her house down when I was thirteen and she didn’t even kick me out.

YEP that is right, when I was thirteen I had decided in my infinite teenage wisdom that I was no longer going to visit my Dad during the summer, I was going to stay home with my Mother.

I had strict rules of where I could and could not go when my Mom was at work, the local ” watering hole for troubled youth, other wise known as Silver Lake”…was off limits , but I was thirteen and sure that I could get away with murder while she was at work as long as I cleaned up the blood and ditched the body before she got home.  Off I went to Silver lake ( because we didn’t have cell phones or pagers back then, so I had a good six hours of free time)- Until I walked in the lake, stepped on a broken beer bottle and it nearly went completely through to the top of my foot.    Someone seeing how profusely I was bleeding ran across the street to a convenience store and called an ambulance, the ambulance came and seeing that it was not life threatening actually took me to the nearest doctor’s office to have stitches…the double bad news for me?  It was the doctor’s office my Mother worked at.  ” It’s all fun and games , until someone almost loses their foot”.

Somewhere between saving my foot and kicking my ass my Mother decided I should head to my Aunt’s and help them on the farm and to babysit their one year old son that summer.   She thought it was punishment, I was thrilled.   Me and my crutches headed to Iowa.

I was put in the same room as the baby and he was my responsibility at chore time, I helped out with bailing hay , my Aunt taught me how to drive a pick up truck , we drank warm cow’s milk for breakfast, they took me out for ice cream, they fed me and gave me a warm bed to sleep in, and then when I was alone in the house….

I would steal my uncle’s Marlboro reds and a book of matches and head up to the CLOSET of the bedroom I shared with their one year old baby, and I would smoke.

  • This was a 100-year-old farmhouse , in other words, this was the equivalent of throwing a lit cigarette in a bail of dry hay and then putting a fan on it.   Had one lit ash found its way in to a floor board of that house, we were all up in flames.

My Uncle was livid, My Father wouldn’t even speak to me all summer after he found out, but my Aunt pulled me aside , gently put her hands on my arms and said ” Kristin, you can’t steal and you can’t smoke in the closet of an old farm-house.     No amount of anger would have resided with me as much as someone still loving me after a screw up that could have killed her and her family, I waited for her to scream, yell, kick me out, send me back to my Dad’s or my Mom’s…but she never did.

When I was younger she was my crazy, funny, wild, beautiful Aunt that taught me to love Meatloaf’s Paradise by the dashboard light and the therapeutic value of listening to it full blast and singing along in a convertible ,driving around watching the sunset in Iowa.  She taught me how to milk a cow, bale hay, she taught me by example  that in a family of very stout , serious people you should never be anyone but who you are and you should never waiver from letting your freak flag fly.

As an Adult she is still my Aunt, but first she is my friend,  my road trip partner extraordinaire, the person that makes me proud of my last name the one who tells me story’s about my Dad that make me understand why he was the way he was and in doing so has helped me be more accepting and forgiving of what he really couldn’t give and that somehow gives me peace in knowing it really had nothing to do me.

She often laughs at me on our road trips when I see dilapidated buildings in ruins on the side of the road and I want to take pictures of them, yet  she always humors me by pulling over and letting me snap pictures of them.

What she doesn’t realize is I see them in my mind before their paint started to chip, and the windows started to break and fall out, when they were new and shiny and in thriving towns , before the loneliness, the abandonment, the heart-break.   I see them the way she always see’s me, in her eyes I am as perfect as the day I was born…   If you have never been loved that way, let me tell you,  it is a love that grounds you, steady’s you and confirms something you have always doubted – that you are wanted, you are loved, and you belong.

I don’t usually post pictures of the ” real” friends I am talking about, but I am going to today, because the only pictures that can truly capture her essence and our relationship, are the ones when we are together- when both of us are exactly who we are and both of us are 100% Okay with ourselves, together.

jewls and IME AND JEWLSI have only one last thought


Thanks for giving me your sister…..


4 thoughts on “Friday with friends: Sometimes life gives you lemons, sometimes it gives you watermelon.

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