Wednesday, June 21, 2017
I'm Not Weighing Myself Anymore - Day 2 - Summer Solstice
June 20, 2017
Plattsmouth is not quite
the quintessential road trip
…but Cheryll lives here.
Daily goals report:
· Weigh in – didn’t
· Meditate – check
· Walk – not too much, but rocked my PT exercises for my knee at my PT appointment. Amy, my PT, rocks. She says I can walk more in a few weeks.
· Eat – I’m visiting Cheryll. We’re so bad.
· Wished high school classmate, Doreen P., happy b-day on Facebook - that counts.
Other goals report:
· Sang most of the way to Plattsmouth
· Showed Cheryll my art
· Wrote the Haiku at the top of this page, right?
· Writing this now
Cheryll is one of those people that becomes your closest friend once you become friends with her. She is not afraid to show you her vulnerabilities, which match my own. One of the things I love most about her is how she tells people the story of our first meeting.
She had heard of me in our professional circle. It annoyed her when people would say, “you would just love Lori!” When we met in Nashville, Tennessee, at a conference – she was unimpressed. I was my usual bubbly and outgoing persona, too self-concerned with making a good impression to notice the reactions and feelings of those around me. I took for granted that Cheryll appreciated meeting me and that we’d be colleagues.
Here is the part where she tells people that after meeting me, she could not stand me. I seemed self-important and superficial. Cheryll says she smiled politely and busied herself with other people and things. I didn’t notice, she says.
At the conference, later that day, Cheryll was attending a workshop presented by a musical duo called “Y’All.” They were telling their story of UU ministry and mission as a gay country/blue grass songwriters and performers. I’m not sure why I chose that workshop, but I did. The rooms was near packed with few seats left. When I saw Cheryll, a stately woman with signature spiked gray hair recognizable from the back, I approached her row. There was an open seat next to her.
What she says about my approach varies from mine, but her version holds the truth. I got her attention and pointed at the empty chair, then myself. “Oh brother, not her,” she thought to herself. But since, like me, she was a people pleaser, she put on a smile and nodded yes that the chair was open. Her happy anticipation at hearing “Y’All” so up close and personal changed to creating a plot to get out of there as soon as she could.
With satchels filled with books and brochures in tow, I scooched past seated people to my center spot next to Cheryll. I gushed over the great seats and what I’d heard about “Y’All.” I barely noticed her forced smile and few words of agreement. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be my friend?
Next she tells that the presentation, or concert, started. Those men were hysterical. Such sad, but genuine stories that they’d turned into beautiful harmony and joy. Their songs made us laugh – perhaps more than they should have. Both Cheryll and I appreciate some great self-deprecating humor when we hear it because we are authorities on self-deprecating humor. As we laughed our generous bellies shook in unison. Soon, we were bobbing toward, then bouncing off, each other. We could not contain ourselves.
Cheryll tells that during this laugh fest, she came to believe that I could not be a terrible self-important person if I could laugh authentically at gay, self-deprecating music and jokes. She decided maybe we could be friends. That concert of the now defunct “Y’All” led to years of road trips, sketchy experiences, gut busting laughs, tears for shared hurts, and a love that will always be with us across the miles.
Today is Cheryll day. I love her. I love those who love her. Ditto her for me.
So, this group we saw, "Y'All" was comprised of James Dean Jay Byrd (L) and
Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer (R) - both pictures.
Cheryll and I got to know them a bit better when she invited them to do a concert at the church she was working at in Omaha, NE. The were debuting their new album.
The talked of the difficulties of breaking into the big times as a gay duo out of Nashville. We heard, in 2002, that they'd quit doing music.
But now . . . . looks like Steven is doing well . . . .