Melinda’s Brew : Counting My Blessings

Melinda’s Brew : Counting My Blessings


Quite a while ago in a galaxy not all that far from me…

I was invited to meet an individual for lunch one chilly, Sunday afternoon during the holiday season. We had been internet friends for a little while, meeting through the now defunct blogs, and through our correspondence, we learned we lived relatively close to each other. In different states, mind you, but certainly within driving distance. I agreed to the luncheon meeting — amid choruses of “but you said a person should never meet (face to face) anyone they meet on the internet!” resounding from my (at the time) two young daughters. Oh, I was setting such a fine example. Do as I say, not as I do.

As best I could, I explained to my girls that Bethany and I had gotten to know each other pretty well, and I felt quite confident that she was as kind and down-to-earth in person as she appeared in emails and letters. I also explained — or tried to, I should say — that my years of experience as a skeptical newspaper reporter should count for something. No stranger was I to meeting complete strangers, and here I was meeting some I “knew” for a little while. “Besides, girls,” I added, “I was a Marine, and I still remember a thing or two when it comes to self-defense.”

“We’re meeting in a very public place so I really don’t think I have anything to worry about,” I continued. “And to be perfectly honest, the same concerns go for Bethany. At this point, she really has only an idea of what a nice person I am.”

That was almost seven years ago. Many subsequent get-togethers later, we’re still good friends. Into the fold we have welcomed two more like-minded (as in we’re all Star Wars fans) friends who live within easy driving distance of each other, and we’ve been friends for many a year. 🙂 Star Wars was the common denominator that brought us together, but it is not the glue that keeps us together. We genuinely enjoy each other’s company, and while we don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like, we manage to stay in touch. 🙂 For the first time in more than one year, Erika, Lisa, Bethany and I were able to see each other this past Sunday. We saw “Ender’s Game” (Star Wars Connection 😉 ), and then had dinner at our favorite restaurant — at which we celebrated Lisa’s birthday (which is today, by the way! 🙂 ).

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I have much for which to be thankful. My family tops the list, and coming in a close second are my friends. 🙂 I might categorize my pals into groups (there are my college friends, my Star Wars friends, my high school friends … you get the idea), and I hold all of them near and dear to my heart. My Star Wars friends are very special to me. Star Wars adds a special dimension to our lives, and we don’t have to explain it. We get it. We understand. We’re all geeks; we don’t apologize for it; we are accepted for who we are. That is an exceptional commodity. I am so very lucky — and thankful — Bethany, Erika and Lisa came into my life. Please know I carry your friendship in my heart wherever I go; firmly ensconced there will it forever be. (Over the years, my cadre of Star Wars friends has grown — and I treasure each of those friendships. However, this is where it all started, and it bears special note to pay homage to the beginning.)

If I’m going to give credit where credit is due for all these wonderful friendships, I really should say THANK YOU to The Maker himself — George Lucas. His creation of “Star Wars” and getting it to the silver screen was at the root of all of us meeting and forging friendships. Thank you, GL!

Thank you, Bethany, for taking a chance all those years ago to reach out to me, to make a virtual stranger a real friend.

Thank you, Erika and Lisa, for jumping on the bandwagon to round out our quartet. (Happy Birthday, Lisa! 🙂 )

Thank you, all my Star Wars friends, for being a special part of my life all these years. You mean very much to me.

To those of you I have yet to meet … yet are kind enough to stop by to read my musings … thank you for taking the time to do so. I hope we have the chance to meet one day.

(Thank you for putting up with my very personal message here. We will return to our regular, scheduled blogging when next we meet. Which will be Dec. 1, if you’re keeping track. 😉 )

MTFBWY, and Happy Thanksgiving, All!

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  1. Neil
    November 15, 2013 at 17:14 Reply

    I think we’ve all been jolly lucky to have you in our lives, Melinda – your friendship and generosity are second to none, and I hope that one day all of us, the ex-bloggers and significant others, get a chance to relive the glory days over pizza and LFL wine 🙂

    1. Melinda
      November 15, 2013 at 21:43 Reply

      I agree … about wanting to get together one of these days to relive the glory days — over pizza and LFL wine sounds wonderful! 🙂 — and to make some new memories.
      Likewise — how I feel about you, Nobby. 🙂 Hope all is well in your neck of the woods. 🙂

  2. danz2013
    November 15, 2013 at 19:07 Reply

    Well said, Neil! You are right; Melinda is one special lady we are lucky to have as a friend and colleague here and at GHG! Great Blog post!

    1. Melinda
      November 22, 2013 at 17:03 Reply

      Thanks for having me on board. 🙂 I know this might sound “mushy” (as one of my daughters would be quick to point out 😉 ); however … my life really is all the richer by being a part of such a wonderful community, and having so many special friends! 🙂

  3. Sarah Woloski
    November 15, 2013 at 23:43 Reply

    What a lovely story! I agree that Star Wars makes instant friends of people. Smooths over any new meetings. I mean, my first words to my now-husband were, “Can I dance with a Jedi?” Of course we ended up together! Thank you for sharing, and I hope to meet you and your friends…perhaps at Star Wars Celebration VII!!

    1. Melinda
      November 22, 2013 at 17:01 Reply

      Sara, that’s the perfect way to get someone’s attention! I love it! 🙂
      I hope we all can get to CVII! Wouldn’t that be a treat! 🙂

  4. Kathy Griffee
    November 16, 2013 at 03:58 Reply

    You are a wonderful person and I feel truly blessed to have met you and the others in your quartet in real life! I will always treasure our first meeting in Oklahoma City and our trip to the museum in Chicago to see the Star Wars exhibit. And I echo Neil… I hope we will all be able to get together again someday!

    1. Melinda
      November 22, 2013 at 17:06 Reply

      That stopover in OC brightened my trip home from LA. 🙂 Leaving Erin at school was not one of my happiest memories (so sad to have to say good-bye), and meeting you gave me something happy to look forward to. 🙂

  5. Bethany
    December 5, 2013 at 20:15 Reply

    I love reliving those moments! You do tell such a great story, Melinda. 🙂 The best part is that whenever we get together, no matter how long it has been, we pick up right where we left off!

    1. Melinda
      December 14, 2013 at 00:23 Reply

      As it should be with friends. 🙂

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