I finally pulled up to Nancy and Kevin's house at four thirty in the afternoon. I parked on the street since I noticed a bunch of vehicles in the driveway, and around their house. I wondered who was here. Were they already having a party without me?
It was pure bliss for the trip to be over. I was happy to get out of my vehicle after that long drive. I needed to stretch my legs, and let my now numb butt find feeling again. As I stepped out of my vehicle I can hear their dog Murphy barking from inside the house. He’s a loud ass German Shepard with a lot of energy and a lot of kisses to give.
Nancy ripped the door to the house open in excitement, and everyone that was inside spilled out onto the front yard to welcome me. All I can see and feel is the excitement from everyone. Happy faces and loud laughs. Everyone was here just to see me.
I’m passed around and hugged by everyone that was in the house. Nancy, Kevin, their two kids Elena and Jodi. Alicia and her husband John and then Linda and her husband Eddie. There was a lot of love here with my friends and I was grateful for it.
Once everyone greeted me we all filed into the backyard. I’m grateful it’s not very cold outside today so we can enjoy sitting outside. Then again, in Texas, winter isn’t very cold. We don’t get a lot of snow and when we do it’s normally in January.
They had a fire going in the fire pit out back already. We all grab a chair and sit around talking about things going on in our lives. All the men have now left the national guard and the ladies have since stopped volunteering as councilors for the units. We were all moving forward in life somehow.
Nancy came out of the house with some pink vodka lemonade for everyone, except the two kids, and soon the party is on. We all sat around talking about fun times and sharing stories while drinking our glasses. I took a sip of my drink and was instantly in love. I would need to have this again before I leave.
Nancy was in her early forties now. She was a heavier set woman about my height, with black hair and dark brown eyes. She was full of life and loved to live it. She was a total mom to anyone around her including me. She loves to talk so there was never a quiet moment around her. Her husband Kevin was a little taller than her. He’s a bald guy with dark brown eyes. He’s quiet most of the time unless he has a lot of company. Then he likes to talk.
Alicia is the oldest lady of all of us. She’s in her early fifties but is rocking it. Her black hair now has streaks of silver in it. It honestly looks good on her, and I wonder if I will be blessed like that when I’m older. She’s a thinner woman and is a couple of inches taller than me. She tends to be a bit eccentric at times but we still love her. Her husband John is about the same height as Kevin. He has light brown eyes and dark brown hair.
Linda is the tallest of all the women in our group. She’s even taller than her husband. She has dark brown eyes and black hair also. She’s sweet, but she doesn’t take crap from anyone. Her husband Eddie is closer to my height and is a stout man with light brown eyes and black hair.
If you haven’t guessed everyone here is Hispanic and I’m the only white girl at the party. But I never feel out of place here. Not even when they start speaking Spanish. I learned how to speak Spanish because of all of them, and can now keep up with the conversations and contribute. The only thing that made me stand out from them was my blue eyes and brown hair instead of black.
All three of the men in our group were military leadership years ago when me and all the ladies met. My husband wasn't in higher leadership but was still in charge of other soldiers. We were a little different like that.
Everytime we are all together they share stories about military deployments, and stupid things they did or other soldiers did that they were in charge of. We ladies share things about our kids, work and things we encountered in our units. There was always a story to tell and always a laugh to be had.
We all sit and talk about our lives for about an hour. Alicia, John, Linda and Eddie all head home soon after they finish their glasses of pink vodka lemonade. It was great to see everyone but it was too loud for me with everyone hooting and hollering and laughing up a storm. I was very much used to the quiet.
The five of us that are left at the house then move inside to hang out. Elena shows me around the house and what updates they had made since the last time I was here. That’s been about three years. She then shows me her room and the new things she’s gotten. She’s now a seventeen year old athlete with lots of dreams and hobbies. She wants to be a nurse when the time comes for her to go off to college next year.
From sitting in her room I can see she has picked up a collection of all kinds of books to read. From young adult to adventure, self-help books and a few romance novels. I look through the titles and see my series of young adult books and my first two romance novels.
“How did you like reading my books,” I asked her as I sat down in a chair in her room.
“Me and mom both loved them. We can’t wait to see what you come up with next,” she answers enthusiastically.
This makes me smile that even my friends are enjoying the books I’ve poured my heart and soul into. I then look at her mirror and notice tons of concert ticket stubs. She’s always loved music and socializing. The concert scene was definitely for her.
“What else have you been up to lately,” I ask looking back at her.
“Me and mom have been going to a Zumba class twice a week at the YMCA here. It’s tons of fun,” she answers.
“That’s awesome,” I tell her.
We sit and chat for a few more minutes about various things until Jodi walks in and has a seat with us. He plops down beside Elena on her bed.
“So how’s college going,” I ask him.
“Going good. I’m almost done,” he answers.
“That’s awesome. It will be a relief when you're done,” I tell him. “What have you been up to other than college though?”
“I started hiking every Saturday morning with some friends. I like to go to a kickboxing class twice a week, and I’ve found meditation every morning has helped me relax and not stress over college so much,” he tells me.
“That’s amazing. Can you teach me some meditation techniques while I’m here?”
“Heck yeah,” Jodi says excitedly.
I think meditation will help me with work and stresses of a personal nature. Plus my kids stress me out and make me mad on a daily basis so this might help. We continue to chat until Nancy walks into the room with Murphy prancing around with his rope toy in his mouth. I instantly grab the rope and start playing with Murphy.
“Would you like to go to the grocery store really quick with me and Kevin,” Nancy asks.
“Yeah sure,” I say standing up from the chair in Elena’s room to follow Nancy.