...the sister-ladies in our that our children are totally comfortable climbing all over.
I have mentioned them before and now I'm givin them a name. Combining girlfriend, aunties, with a tiny hint of panties in there too for good measure.
In the span of a week and a half, I was lucky enough to hang out with three separate groups of our franties.
First of all, my dear friend Ryann Savino made a spontaneous trip to town from Utah. I met this girl at Addie's birthday dance party in 2009 (?) and it was like meeting a long lost little sister. She has had many adventures since then, attending Whitman College and studying environmental literature in the Walla Wallas, a summer working on St. John Island, becoming a river guide on the Colorado and the Green Rivers in southern Utah, and boating down the Grand Canyon. But she always checks in, writes the sweetest letters, and shares her stories with Em and I. We all feel lucky to have each other; we know it's something special that we forged. It was written in the stars when we saw Pat Benatar together at the Dixon May Fair and sang/shouted/danced along: We belong Together. I once interviewed Tootie when she was two years old and she consistently answered the question, "Who's your favorite person?" with a clear and resounding "Ryann Savino!" Both girls call her by her full name and when she shows up, you hear that name over and over as they wildly call to her, ready to bombard her the moment she enters the room. They love to swim with her and read with her, snuggle her and tell her all their favorite things.
|Emmy, Addie, Ryann and I: June 6, 2016|
Doniella, one of my besties for about 17 years, lives and teaches full time in the city now. So she sets up an annual week-long camping trip at the local lake, Sly Park, for us all to come together and hang out. She is always accompanied by Amanda, who has a daughter named Chloe just ten days older than Polly. Chloe calls Doniella "Auntie D" so my girls do too. There are lake swims, barbecues, pool hang outs here at my house, dinners at Rebecca's, casual meet ups in town all through the week. This time, Suzanne (Doniella's sister) had her engagement party at Jack Russell Brewery (more on that later) on Saturday to bookend a grand week of fun. It feels like forever that these ladies have been mine. Three of us are college English teachers now (Don, Rebecca and I). One college geology teacher (Suzanne), and one farmer-social worker (C.A.). One musician-vintage sheet music dealer (Ade.) Four mamas, and two will probably be in the next couple years. We, and our offspring, will grow old together. I love us. These gals play with my kids, scold them when needed, know their dirty secrets, pick them up, and love them. I wish we could live on a commune together.
|Doniella and I: June 11, 2016|
I had the even rarer chance just a few days later to see a few of the dearest treasures the interweb world ever gifted me. This story has been told many times, but I met Milla, Missa, and Mary (along with a handful of other moonsisters) through our blogs about six years ago. We keep getting more daughters, our interests have grown and shifted, life has brought us all varied challenges, dreams, and bounties, but our love remains true. We spent one beautiful Santa Rosa June day together, eating at our favorite little taco joint, Las Palmas, swinging the girls under the plum tree of Missa's backyard, watching our little ones build forts together out of every sheet from Missa's closet, and catching up on some of the intricacies of our lives. They had been together at the Women's Herbal Symposium and I got to hear about the Spirit Weavers gathering from Milla as well. I listen closely to these friends, my beloved herbal elders, earth-wise and witchy, and someday I hope to drink in more of the real goods from them. To go out amongst the plants and learn. For now, I am too busy chasing my extremely spirited little ones around, but I foresee years unfurling that are full of knowledge, kindness, stories, and wisdom for us together.
|Mary, Milla, me, and Missa, with Clover, Polly and Lucy in front: June 15, 2016.|
|Mar, Milla, me and Missa, with Fern, Polly, and Lucy in front: June 15, 2016|
I've said it before, and I'll say it forever, what could be more powerful and positive than a little girl growing up totally comfortable and at ease with a whole bunch of strong, intelligent, thoughtful, and inspiring girl franties? We are one lucky, lucky little family.