The Gift of Friendship by Diane PerkinsWhen a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don't stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven't hoed,
And shout from where I am, What is it?
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit. --- Robert Frost
It seems entirely appropriate for me today to talk about this special set of friends called The Wet Noodle Posse. This is the time of year to remember friends and to let them know what they mean to us, so here is my special thanks for this special set of friends.
We joined together at first as the 2003 finalists in RWA’s Golden Heart contest and it was terrific to share that experience with each other, when we spend a great deal of time on the important topic of What to Wear at the Awards Ceremony. I mostly lurked in those days, because so much of that time was overwhelming to me. I sold my first book, The Mysterious Miss M by Diane Gaston, because of being a finalist and I was preparing to retire from my day job.
When I had been a GH finalist in 2001, a similar loop faded away, but not this one. I continued to mostly lurk, but I watched this set of women become closer and closer. In 2004 one of my big regrets was that I could not be with them at the get-togethers that they’d planned for the Dallas RWA conference, but after that time, I was determined to be more involved with them. This group was too important to pass up. I began posting more often and, even though I felt like a party crasher, I was met with open arms, more like a prodigal daughter! Now messages from the GH2003 loop are what I open first in my morning email, before I start writing, even.
The Wet Noodle Posse is also one of the first places I go to for support. These ladies care about each other in a total way. I’ve seen it over and over. The cyber hugs flow no matter whether they are needed for a writing crisis or a personal one. No matter is too small--if it hurts, hugs are forthcoming. What is remarkable is that you can feel the genuineness of the hug coming through, even though we are merely communicating through the written word. When the issue is bigger, more than hugs are given. Similar experiences are shared, so that no matter what it is, you never feel alone with your crisis.
These are smart ladies, too. They also give wonderful, sensible advice, but never in a way that makes you feel the friendship is dependent upon you following it. Advice is given as a gift, a prop to help hold you up when you are feeling low. And if action is required, these ladies pour in support for whatever you decide to do. It gives a person the feeling that their own judgment can be trusted.
The ladies of The Wet Noodle Posse also care about their world. It would have been more difficult for me to endure the Hurricane Katrina devastation without these ladies, especially Sandy, Debra, and Anna, who became personally involved. The thing is, they let us be a part of the direct help they gave: Sandy taking in a hurricane victim family, Debra going to Louisiana to help, Anna volunteering with victims evacuated to her town. We could send Sandy’s family clothes, gift cards. We could help fund Debra’s trip. We could feel the value of our assistance in the stories they told of how they helped. I think we felt we were all in this together and knowing we could help meant a great deal.
If you keep reading the Wet Noodle Posse blog, you will soon see what I mean. The blog is one way these ladies are sharing their special gifts of friendship to a larger world. Read the blog daily. You will soon see how special a group of women this it.
When I think of being a Golden Heart finalist in 2003 and how it led to me selling my first book and how I actually went on to win my Golden Heart category, it all pales in comparison to the real gift of being a finalist that year. The real gift is The Wet Noodle Posse. They are what I treasure most.
So at this holiday season and in the New Year to come…..remember: Be Good To Yourself….Or Else!
The Wet Noodle Posse demands it.
(for more musings on friendship, see Diane's posting on the Warner Women blog, http://warnerwomen.blogspot.com/)