About 3 weeks ago my friend Cindy invited me to a group that gets together once a week on fridays to eat, chat, hang out in the hill country, and listen to one of the men, Danny White, play guitar and sing. I didn’t want to go, as i generally don’t enjoy other people. I find them disingenuous and preoccupied with frivolous hierarchies and social rituals…people are not usually my scene. But, Cindy has not yet introduced me to something that i didn’t like…save for a recipe with jalapenos that she insisted didnt taste of jalapenos because there weren’t any seeds. She was right, it wasn’t spicy, but the smell was jalapeno all the way. I didn’t like it, but i took what she calls “a thank you bite”. Anyways, Cindy has been responsible for introducing me to most of the things that make my life enjoyable at this point. She and her late husband Peter were the whole reason i bought my land. I used to house sit their homestead while they traveled and it made me realize that my soul died a little every time they returned and i had to leave back to my apartment in the city. So i forced myself to attend this thing involving humans. Maybe i would like it. She doesn’t know this but i was thinking of ways to back out of it up until 2 hours prior. I just thought, what could i possibly enjoy about spending time with other humans? Trees…dogs…horses…deer…cotton tails….now there’s good company. None like it. Humans: unpredictable…complicated…stressful. Long story short: I was wrong.
There was this beautiful group of people who i quickly became attached to and looked forward to seeing every friday. They each had their own unique personalities and quirks. One of them was an amazing painter who could recreate a scene he was looking at in watercolor in just a short time while standing next to you in the yard. Another was a fellow bird enthusiast and we swapped stories and pictures of baby birds growing in their nests. One of the women cut hair and she cut the hair of several people present at the gathering and would later go on to cut mine. I met three or four people that lived in my little town. My very favorite person at the gathering was a very tanned lady with well entrenched laugh lines who cut and dyed her own hair a very white shade of blonde in a rather stunning self-devised style, wore a “dang proud” shirt and had thoroughly dirt stained hands. I loved her immediately and immensely but my intrigue was cemented when she stated that at this point in her life she didnt have time to waste on men who were going to come in and take her away from everything she was already doing. The only kind of man she had room for was someone who was going to come in and help her get closer to God, further in her faith, and more involved in the lives of her children and the things she loved. She mentioned how many years she had been single and one of the men looked shocked, “well i just can’t believe that, i mean you’re a gorgeous woman.” She answered unapologetically and without skipping a beat, “i got attitude problems”. Which made everyone laugh. That was it for me. I was hooked on Friday group. I had to see more of the talented painter who could recreate a scene exactly as it was in a few moments, the talented musician with a voice that could lull cotton tails into a trance, the independent rancher with enough personality to conquer the world twice over, my neighbor who was a talented hair stylist, my fellow baby bird enthusiast, and a very intriguing woman that kind of had a bohemian style with long flowing wavy hair that was very easy to talk to and spend time with. There was another person as well that im not sure how to describe except to say that she was the social glue. She was clearly an extrovert and she got along well with everyone, starting a conversation here, a conversation there, until everyone was chatting away happily. She was fun to be around. It seemed that these people had gotten together and created something worth having, something special…something to be treasured and looked forward to…Friday Group.
It changed my quality of life drastically as i now had something exciting to look forward to every Friday. I was looking forward to spending time with people, but not just any people…people who sung songs like “cows around”, got their hands into dirt on a regular basis, and took photographs of baby birds as they grew. My Aunt said, “i’m glad you found your people.” Once again, Cindy had introduced me to something else in life i hadn’t known i needed. To date, she’s taught me what holiday celebrations are, how to iron, how to hem pants, how to play qwirkle, how to eat jalapenos without seeds, how to live off the land, and how to enjoy the company of other people.