Pinky Pie

Chicken Q, Julie, Oprah & Me

Posted on: April 20, 2010

Many moons ago, Julie, Paige, Maggie and I met in Chicago for a weekend. This photo illustrates the competition in this card game we also play, Hand and Foot.

Many moons ago – far to many to count without taking off my shoes and socks – I was working the Chicken Q line at Emerson Elementary School. It was a great fundraiser that required many hands.

Across the way from me was a woman who had just moved to La Crosse from Virginia with her two daughters. Her husband would soon be there as the new head of the local Navy Reserve Center.

One of her daughters, Paige, was in fifth  grade with Maggie. I had heard of her as the girl who thought 40 degrees was cold.

Maggie and Paige became best friends for life, even though she and her family moved to Bob’s next duty assignment back in Virginia after seventh grade.

Julie and I would much later be Scrabble competitors for life. She is the best player I know and I want to beat her badly, although it maybe happens once in every four or five or six games.

Between the day I met Julie on the Chicken Q line and the discovery that we were both Scrabble fanatics, we visited their family in Virginia twice, as well as stayed with them in their lake cabin on Burt Lake.

The second time we were to visit them, Julie had just learned she had breast cancer. We took Paige with us to celebrate Passover at the home of my cousins, Arthur and Edie in Washington, D.C., so her family would have one less kid to worry about as she had surgery.

It’s been about 15 or 16 years since Julie was diagnosed. She has long recovered and is doing wonderfully.

She has been great support to me, of course, once I was diagnosed. We can laugh about all kinds of things that would have been unfunny to me ten months ago. And we agree that any day with hair is a good hair day.

In the midst of my treatment, Julie came back to La Crosse to visit me and of course we played Scrabble.

She suggested that we fly to Australia to visit Paige to celebrate the end of my treatment. Paige has lived there with her husband for the last couple years. I wasn’t sure I could make a commitment to that kind of trip financially or physically.

So instead, we are going to go to Oprah Thursday on tickets she was able to get. I’m taking the train to near her home in Kenosha today. For a couple of days, we’ll take walks, play Scrabble and laugh a lot. After Oprah, she said there is an adult spelling bee (is it rated X?) at the Kenosha library. I will lose that one, but it will be fun.

Meanwhile, Paige and Maggie remain best friends and were in each other’s weddings. They stay connected via, email, Facebook, text messages and telephone. It’s amazing how connected you can be with someone halfway around the world.

I’m off on this trip in a couple of hours but without my beloved MacBook to play Scrabble on Facebook. Monday night I described my plight on Facebook this way:

I am in panic mode. My MacBook is in the shop so I can’t take it with me on my trip tomorrow. That means I won’t be able to take my Scrabble turns on-line unless my buddy Julie, with whom I’ll be playing Scrabble in person, allows me to use hers. It will be Scrabble withdraw. I need at least a 15-step program to withdraw.

And the comments on that post:

Laurie: oh no! do you realize how that impacts all of us!!! What happened to your MacBook?

Paige: Have so much fun!

Me: I’m sorry to all of you. But I’m hoping that I can play on Julie’s laptop when she is not playing on it. What do you think, Paige, can I?

Julie: Calm down…I have TWO computers so we can do dueling Scrabble and you can keep up with your other 27 games! Can’t wait….

Me: Yes, and we can have an in person game going at the same time.

Paige: You two are Scrabble freaks and I mean that in the nicest way possible. 🙂

Me: I can’t explain why I love it so much. I think I’m making up for all the years that I had no one to play with.

Me: Naturally, I believe in playing Scrabble only in moderation.

Patty: Hi, my name is Patty

Me: And my name is Sue. I’m a Scrabbleaholic.

Patty: Everybody together–HI SUE!

Carlo: You will have to stand up in front of God and everybody and say, “I’m Susan and I play Scrabble.”

Paige and Maggie in more recent years ...


3 Responses to "Chicken Q, Julie, Oprah & Me"

I know you will have oodles of fun.

I love you, man!
Let the games begin!!!

Do we need to take away any sharp objects while you duel it out on the scrabble board? Have so much fun! I wish, wish, wish I could be there with you!!!!

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