Friendship refreshes

Kelly and I enjoyed a warm spring day at Mt. Vernon, Virginia, April 2017.

“A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.” — Proverbs 27:9 (The Message)

It’s a good thing, too, because my soul was badly in need of refreshment. My voice is still gone, the bureaucratic hassles continue, and of course all this is nothing compared to missing Jeff. Spring is lovely but without him, it’s just not the same.

What a perfect time for a Boomdee Boost. Kelly’s visit has been a wonderful mixture of laughter, tears, taking photos, looking at photos, sipping coffee, strolling, talking (even with my raspy voice), watching funny videos and sharing favorite songs. It has been a great way to re-boot my frozen spirit and remind me that even the deepest sorrows can be bearable if we keep focusing on the blessings.



  1. Boomdeeadda! I have read her words for over four years,now, I guess. Her image is certainly no disappointment. I love it when ladies dress as ladies.

    • Nothing about Boomdee ever disappoints. She is one in a million.

  2. raynard

    Julia, you just reminded me of that 70’s t.v show ” Taxi”. The opening credits as that taxi ” seems to take a long time to get over that bridge. Moral of the story. You will one day ” get over that bridge of ” dealing with goverment red tape and ” it will all be in your spiritual rear view mirror( and maybe stop for ” ice cream( almost had a Fredian slip and said” ice coffee which I stll don’t get like ” why do people drive on parkways and park in driveways? I digress lol

    • Hi Raynard, I always enjoy your digressions and I really need to digress myself tonight. Hint: we are almost over the bridge, turns out it was blown up and ends with a 1000 foot drop into a canyon straight ahead. No turnarounds possible. Details unfit for a blog called Defeat Despair! Please give Mary a hug for me, and we hope you both have a blessed Easter.

  3. Oh, I’m so glad that you’ve had a visitor to bring cheer and remind you that there are still reasons to get up in the morning.
    As for bureaucracy … it is particularly cruel to have to deal with it when one is also dealing with loss, grief and grieving. All I can say is that eventually the paperwork subsides… I dealt with much of it for my sister when she lost her husband and it felt unending (not to mention unreasonable sometimes), but we did work our way through it and my, what a relief it was when the last thing was sorted.

    • Yes, I am looking forward to at least knowing the decisions are final, even though they are pretty devastating in our case. It’s so sad that programs designed to “help” people often case far more trouble than they alleviate. In our case, Matt is losing ALL his services (even his day program) because the VA insists on sending him a survivor’s check that will put him $200 over the limit for Medicaid. This will cost him everything, all the supports he waited for through every move to a new state and finally for the seven years we waited here in Virginia. And they won’t even allow us to refuse the money in order to keep Medicaid. So frustrating.

      • Oh, that’s terrible. It is astonishing that you can’t refuse the money, or that the VA can’t find a better solution. I just hope that you can find ways to allow him to continue to have help. Much love x

        • Thanks for sending your love and encouragement. I am exhaustively exploring various options, hoping to find something that might work out for us. I’m nothing if not tenacious, and I keep praying that this is all meant to lead us to something better…

  4. Lydia

    I continue praying for you as you walk this new way of life without Jeff. May the Lord keep bringing you small doses of joy throughout the day, whether thru nature or through the sweet aroma of friendship. You are an inspiration. Blessings to you and Matt.

    • Thank you so much. Your kind words truly are an encouragement to me!

  5. Amy

    I am so very glad that you have such wonderful friends who come like fresh blossoms and warm sunshine after the hard winter. God bless you dear friend. I love you.

    • I love you too, Amy, and Matt and I miss you! Hope you are having a wonderful time!

  6. Cherie

    So happy you and Kelly could get together and share fun times in the beautiful spring! Always thinking of you, sweet sister! Love and Light!

    • Thank you, Cherie. I so appreciate how you bring love and light to these comments!

  7. Seeing this photo of Kelly and reading your words has me in tears, Julia. Life, loss, love, friendship, you’ve touche on it all. I will try very hard not to break your ribs when I gather you into a full-on hug. See you soon.

    • Wow, Alys, “soon” came and passed all too quickly, but it was wonderful. Thanks for visiting Jeff’s grave with me. I know Col. Clinton was happy to meet you too! 🙂

      • Julia, what an extraordinary day. I think we all shed tears. I’m glad to know Jeff’s place of rest. It was good to visit in that peaceful place, and to meet Col Clinton, and momentarily share in his grief as well. I hope you find some comfort there on future visits. It’s all so incredibly hard. xo

        • Yes, it was so good to have the two of you with me there. I appreciate your being with me not only there, but here, and all the other places we meet. 🙂

  8. A good friend….PRICELESS!

    • Yes! and growing more so all the time, as with all good things that improve with age. 🙂

  9. MaryAnn

    What a precious photo, friend, & uplifting words of encouragement (from you).
    You spread God’s Love in myriad ways!

    • Thank you, Mary Ann. 🙂 ❤

  10. Ann

    How wonderful to have a friend like Kelly. If you get a chance, read the Upper Room devotional for April 7, Pray a Happy Prayer.

    • Ann, thanks so much for sharing that lovely devotional with us. WOW, it surely hit home with me. And at a time when I really, really needed it. What a lovely family in their photos — and I felt an immediate bond with them, knowing what they endured. I appreciate your presence here, and your sharing!

  11. Hi honey, I’m so happy to have had you all to myself. I think I’m still catching up on sleep. It’s not easy to out awake la Boomdee, but you may have succeeded in that one. OMgosh, 4:00am…we are totally nuts my dear

    Thanks for meeting us up today with your charming and cheerful Matt. He is just too adorable. I love his heart and smile. I hope he enjoyed the visit as much as I did. Please tell that brunch was extra special with him there. I hope we can see you Tuesday for a visit to Arlington. Will text tomorrow night. xo Love you dearly K

    • K, I can tell you that during the entire 36+ years I was married to Jeff, I don’t think I ever once stayed up til even 1:00 am, let alone 4:00 am! Even when insomnia struck, it usually didn’t hit me until I would awaken in the wee hours. But how often does one have such an agreeable person as La Boomdee around to chat with in the evenings? If one is me, never, really– at least not for 6 months or so. I told myself that I was just hoarding talk time to see me through. 🙂 Now having said that, in my college years I often stayed up that late, or nearly so…sheesh! No wonder I was such a monumental under-achiever compared to my classmates!!

      Yes, our meal out was extra-special…I probably will post photos of it soon. So glad we did get to Arlington together. I’ll post a photo or two of that, too, eventually.

      P.S. — I forgot to mention, I think the combination of drinking coffee with you and taking decongestants for my cold was responsible for my Olympic-level ability to stay awake way later than usual. 🙂 I’ll have to remember that trick if I ever have to pull another all-nighter for school. (I only had to do that once in undergraduate school, for a Constitutional Law final, and I never had to do it in graduate school, but my academic ability is fastly disappearing, to quote Earth Wind & Fire.)

      • Julia !! I’ve found your comment in our new Urban Blog on WordPress 😀 I must have been logged into urban -vs- Boomdeeadda when I visited you. Sorry for the tardy reply.
        You outlasted even me my dear on our late late late night convo’s! That’s really saying something because I am a night owl for sure. I’ve been crazy busy since I got home with little time to spare. As I’m certain you are too. I must get a Long Distance call plan so I can just call you up and chat whenever for however long we want. You’re adorable! Thanks so so much for hosting me. I loved visiting with you and Matt too. BTW, I doubt very much that you were an under-acheiver in school…..You’re the smartest person I know and I’m not just blowing smoke you know where, LOL xo k

        • Well, talk about your tardy replies…I’ve been thinking of you even though out of touch. I think my old timey landline phone has free Canadian calls, I’ll have to check it out. You’re very encouraging as always, but believe me, it’s easy to feel like an underachiever when I look at where my college classmates ended up…not just your usual doctors and lawyers, but, for example, a circuit court judge, a dean of two different dental schools (not at the same time of course), and the first female Speaker of the House in the state of Tennessee (and she’s still in that role today)…and those are just a few of the women I went to college with, not even counting some of the equally-successful guys. But I guess one could argue that my achievements are just in a different category? Whatever. Thanks for the vote of confidence. ❤

  12. Sheila

    Good Sunday morning, Julia. We have sunbeams and java this morning here in Garden City. I think it’s a healing recipe for the soul and the spirit, for sure. I’m so glad that Kelly was able to visit and it really sounds as though you were able to enjoy every minute. If she is as delightful as her blog, then she was certainly good medicine. I hope you’re able to resolve these issues that you’ve mentioned recently. My thoughts are so often of you, then I smile. Love crosses the miles! 😎 Sheila

    • Sheila, java and sunbeams sound like a great combo to me. K and I did enjoy every minute that we were awake, and some that we were only half-awake because we stayed up WAY too late!! Issues are unresolved, but I’m just hanging onto the lifeboat like Truman did (in one of my favorite moments of one of my favorite movies, The Truman Show). Love that crosses the miles is extra special because it picks up sunshine along the way. 🙂 ❤

  13. Good morning, Julia! And Hooray that there’s a Boomdee in our world! (Thank you, Kelly!)
    I also enjoyed a Saturday of chortling thanks to my friend, Darissa, who inspired me to try my hand at bonsai. Bonsai is a completely inappropriate hobby for someone like me (so I will have some gifts for some friends soon), but it was so fun to play in the dirt, and to really study the textures and interesting branching patterns of some small trees. I often overlook the trunks and forms when I’m so engrossed in the flowers.
    P.S. Walmart has some quasi-bonsai arrangements for sale that are inexpensive enough that I won’t become destitute indulging in this (destined to be short-lived) new hobby! However, I recommend getting real “bonsai mix” type soil, and re-potting in a pretty pot (or similarly formed bakeware) from Goodwill. YouTube has many informative videos (I like Nigel, best).
    Have a great week!

    • Susan, Hello! I have missed “chatting” with you via emails and here. I was intrigued by your statement that Bonsai is inappropriate for you…how so? Is it because your job requires so much travel? You certainly don’t lack the artistry or affinity for nature. A couple of years ago I got a bit overly enthusiastic pruning back one of our evergreen shrubs, and it ended up looking like a wannabe Bonsai bush. I rather liked it, but it did have that “bad haircut” look. I had never heard of Nigel so I just had to pop over to YouTube and watch one of his videos (see why I have to take my time with these comments? I learn SOOOOOO much from y’all!) Wow, I never realized how many different plants can be used for Bonsai. Hearing Nigel’s accent made me miss Boomdee, though I don’t know whether I was just imagining that his (Ontario?) accent was similar to K’s Alberta accent. Thanks for sharing your Bonsai adventure with us. Keep us posted — and happy spring!

      • Good morning, Julia!
        I brought my six bonsai attempts to our choir potluck between Easter services and put them up for adoption. Every one was adopted! Whew!
        Yes, I travel too much to water them as often as they would need. Although my friend, Darissa, suggested that I get a pet-carrier to bring them with me in the plane! LOL – I can just imagine! Probably a pet rock would be a safe choice for me! 😀
        I am “home” in Minnesota this week, and about to give one of my shrubs a “bad haircut.” Ha! I’ll think of you – at least you are not alone in that regard; pruning shrubs is not my forté.
        I remember hearing some “advice” (I think it was actually a joke) about not “letting Mom cut your hair when she’s mad at Dad.” There’s probably a lesson in there for both of us.
        Praying for victorious resolution of your current insurance related issues!
        Much love to you!

        • Hi Susan! WOW, I’d have to have a pretty high level of enthusiasm to put bonsai plants in a pet carrier and check them on an airplane. From the very brief months I spent working on ramp for USAir, I know WAAAYYYY too much about what happens to checked baggage after it disappears through the hatch at the counter. Let’s just say I wouldn’t ever check anything that was really fragile or had sentimental value. When some of the workers whom Daddy used to refer to as “baggage smashers” would get bored or annoyed, they would take out their frustrations on the baggage. Besides, I’d be too cheap to pay the fee for checking them! 😀 Thanks for the prayers and love. I am always in need of both. Hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead!

          • Oh heavens, no, I wouldn’t check the bonsai as luggage! It would have to be an under-seat carrier.
            Then I could talk to it from time to time throughout the flight, so that people could wonder what sort of pet I had …. LOL

            • Susan, I guess that makes sense; I hadn’t thought about the bonsai being small enough to carry on. If anybody asks you what kind of pet you have, I dare you to say “a green one” — they’ll probably think frog or turtle, though, so on second thought I guess that won’t sound as odd as I might hope it would. I see little dogs on airplanes all the time now – some are supposedly “therapy” dogs who are suspiciously without the usual vest or insignia or tag (and more importantly, the well-trained behaviors) that one would expect from a therapy dog. Oh well, dogs are always OK by me…but I’m quite sure nobody could object to a bonsai in the cabin! 🙂

  14. You are lucky to have such good friends to comfort you in your difficult moments. God bless!

    • Yes, I can say in all honesty I could not survive without my friends. At Jeff’s funeral I had my friends sit with me on the front row where families are supposed to sit, because my friends have become family to me and they have been the most crucial factor in my ability to survive since Jeff died. I do count myself fortunate to have such wonderful people in my life. And to have so many here at this blog to cheer me up and encourage me!

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