Tag Archives: new friends

Sunday Sermon and a New Friend and a Sunset

12 Mar

“You don’t meet people accidentally. They cross your path for a reason, but it’s up to you to stop and say hello, or keep walking. I always stop and say hello.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Woa! It was a blustery gloomy morning. Then, with Daylight Saving Time, I didn’t even get five hours of sleep. (It didn’t save me any time! What’s the deal?)

I arrived in the St, Gabriel’s parking lot early, and as I crossed the parking lot, a lady rolled down her window and asked, “This is my first time here, could you tell me where the entrance is?” I pointed to the nearby doors then pointed where the parking was. I introduced myself, and her name was Jan.

When I arrived at the door, for my usual greeting spot, I told the others greeting, “There’s a new lady coming in shortly. She’s never been here before. When she gets to the door, why don’t you surprise her and say, Good morning, Jan. Welcome to St. Gabriel’s.” And they did. I was hiding behind the other doors. Jan was so shocked. Hmmm, how did they know her name? Then, I walked over and she laughed.

I escorted her into the sanctuary and asked her if she wanted to sit next to me where I saved my seat. After Mass, I invited her to stop for coffee at McDonald’s. We had such a nice visit, and of course, we are now Facebook friends.

This is my new friend, Jan.


The Gospel today was the story of Jesus placing mud on the blind man’s eyes and later his sight was restored. The others questioned and didn’t believe, but the blind man praised him and believed.

Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, so those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind.’

My take on it… we are given choices, and we can choose between right and wrong, to have faith or to live only for ourselves. To be selfless or selfish. There will be a final judgement day. Did you see, or were you blind?


When I got home, I changed and took a well needed nap. I took a nice evening walk. It was still windy and chilly, but the sunset was well worth the challenge.

Look at that! Only God could paint a glorious sky like that.

Thursday:) There Are No Strangers, There Are Only New Friends

29 Dec

“I meet people and they become chapters in my stories.”

Avijeet Das


Meet my new friend, Gustavo Bastidas. Gustavo sat next to me on my flight from Chicago.

I was supposed to sit in 15B on this tiny American flight, the kind with two tiny seats on one side and one on the other. I tried to get my backpack in the overhead compartment. Not a suitcase, just a backpack. It didn’t fit, and I managed to bump my head about twenty times trying to do so. In the meantime, I was in the aisle seat of two when a couple came by. The husband had the window next to me and the wife in the row behind me. While I was still struggling to figure out what to do with my backpack, I offered my aisle seat to the wife so they could sit together.

I scrunched into the row behind me, and decided to just scoot to the window seat and give my future seat mate the aisle. Heck, seat 16 was near the back anyway, I think only 18 rows. 3X18=54. The plane only held 54. I squeezed my smaller bag in the overhead and shoved my backpack under my seat. Ok, it fit, but no place for my feet. My feet rested on the pack and half in my chest. Ah, comfort on American Eagle! Not!

A young man came down the aisle and sat next to me. He offered to crawl over into the window seat, but I said I was fine. We buckled up and the plane was taxiing within a few minutes. The young man closed his eyes and I leaned against the window and tried to snooze. We didn’t talk.

It was just under a two hour flight. About an hour and a half later, I noticed my neighbor was drawing in a sketch book. I asked to look at his drawings. He was happy to show me the pen and ink characters, calligraphy and graphic designs. When we started talking, I noticed a slight accent and asked where he was from. Gustavo was originally from Venezuela.

Well, you know me. We shared pictures, and stories of families, friends, and artwork. I showed him some pictures of my hand-painted glassware, ornaments, and paintings. I even practiced some of my rusty Spanish with him. Then, of course, I had to take a selfie and ask if we could be Facebook friends.

Gustavo lives in Michigan, with a degree in commercial design, very talented and creative, and is looking for work. If you have any prospects, let me know.

I meet the nicest people at the airport or on the plane. I’m glad I offered my seat to the young separated couple. Look forward to keeping in touch.

Theme Song Thursday:) Making New Friends and Visiting With Old Ones.

17 Jun

Smile at people everywhere you go. Don’t just give them one of those half-smirk/head nod things. Raise your eyebrows, show those teeth, and chuckle while you smile. Next time you’re at the store, give a full-hearted smile to at least three complete strangers. You’ll be amazed at what this does for them and for you.” ― Dan Pearce


My visit here with Mom has been a mix of visiting with family and old friends. But, I’m always making new friends, too. Today, I had lunch with Linda. We’ve been girlfriends since freshman year of high school. ( A few years back…holy cow, almost 50, not quite.) We had a nice lunch and a nicer visit.

If you know me, you already know I talk to strangers, I smile at people, and I enjoy chatting and getting to know everyone.

This afternoon, I went out for my walk around Mom’s place. An elderly gentleman with a cane was out shuffling slowly on the same path going in the opposite direction. When I passed him the first time, I smiled and said, “Wow! It’s getting warm out here.” He nodded and agreed as I swished past. As I made my second loop, he had a camera out and was taking a picture of some trees, still on his first loop. He asked me how many times I went around. I told him usually around ten times. He said his pedometer showed each loop was 4/10 of a mile. On my seventh loop, I stopped to chat and introduced myself.

It was cute because he asked me how long I lived there. I explained I was visiting Mom. (It’s a senior facility. Granted, I could qualify, you only have to be fifty-five.) So, I took out a little time and broke my stride to talk to a nice gentleman.

This is my new friend Jim. He likes walking,taking pictures, talking to strangers, and doesn’t mind selfies. My kind of friend. 

Sunday Sermon and Some New Friends

4 Apr

“It only takes a moment, a smile, or a handshake to make a new friend. That friendship may last only a few months, but, then again, it may last a lifetime.” 

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Today is Sunday of Divine Mercy. I went early to church to greet for 9 o’clock Mass, only to find this very large, burly and jovial man already passing out the Mass pamphlets and greeting. Oh my! He was standing on my side of the double doors. Mary was out of town, so I manned her side. Gordon had a joke and a handshake for just about everyone who entered, often times backing up he procession of parishioners scurrying in to find a seat. It was nice to meet Gordon, also a Knights of Columbus gentleman. 

I saw Mr. Jerry on his way in. He usually sits behind me and Miss Virginia, and he mentioned a couple of weeks ago that he was going to Turkey on vacation. I asked him how his trip was as he walked past me. He smiled and said,”Great!” Before he got too far, I asked, “What are you doing after Mass. Want to get a coffee at McDonald’s?” He said sure.

About the sermon, being Divine Mercy Sunday…OH! I had a BIG problem with that. Father Charles talked about the woman who forgave the people who killed and tortured her family. Sorry! I couldn’t do that. If you harm me, my family, or my friends on purpose, knowingly, with malice, no remorse, I am not forgiving anybody. Sorry! I sang my hymns and recited my prayers, and thought about the sermon. I searched my soul. There are just some things and some people I will never be able to forgive.

I only knew Jerry as the man who sits behind me at church with the lovely voice. We only said hello and shook hands at the “Peace be with you” part of the Mass. Today, he drank coffee and I drank tea, and I heard all about his adventures and fabulous sight seeing in Turkey. I know about his daughter and grandkids. He knows about my family in Chicago, my art, my writing, and how I hate the smell of coffee. We shared stories and laughed.

Now, the man who sits behind me on Sunday is not a stranger, he’s  my new friend Jerry. 


Saturday: Shopping and Someone Fun

13 Jun

There’s always a good lesson in meeting new people, its enlarging your circle of friends. And though there are times you don’t match with their likes, there are some whom you just blend well.



You never know when or where you are going to meet someone interesting and funny. 

Today , I went shopping with my best friend, Lin. We went to Woodfield Mall and hit all the usual suspects. Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s , etc.  I was on the quest for a pair of dressy shoes for the wedding. Big dilemma… Something to match a dark grey dress and comfortable yet elegant shoes for gigantic feet. We found a pair at L&T, but too small. Ordered some to be shipped within a week. Good !

Next mission… Some elegant, yet not too flashy jewelry. That’s where we met Maureen , in the fine jewelry department. She had to be the all time most helpful , sweet and energetic salesperson that I’ve ever met in my life. 

Not only could Maureen sell ice to an Eskimo, she would be invited for dinner and ice cream. As a matter of fact , she said she had been invited to several weddings of customers who bought wedding rings from her. One of those friendly people who goes the extra mile. 

After a long conversation, we knew all about Maureen and her 25 years at Dominick’s prior to JCPenney. She helped pick out the perfect bracelet and earrings, suggested I open a charge to get an additional savings , and added the additional coupon savings. By the time we were done, we ended up exchanging email information and I kiddingly invited her to Joe’s wedding. She just giggled and said, “Please, don’t invite me to the wedding. I have 6 weddings this summer. ” (I bet she does.)


It was lovely meeting you Maureen. Let’s keep in touch. I told you I was going to blog about you today, my friend. 

Tuesday: TOTS Table Of Talent Sisters~ Old Friends and New Friends

22 Apr

If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find himself alone. A man should keep his friendships in constant repair.

 ~Samuel Johnson


New friends become old friends, always making room for new friends.



Today, our little core group of girlfriends (known as the TOTS- Table Of Talent Sisters) had an impromptu get together to celebrate Lynda’s birthday. Unless I’m in the emergency room or out of town, a quick call or text for lunch is met with…”What time and where we goin’?” That’s what girlfriends do, especially good old friends. Actually, good friends. Nobody old here.


So, now to a new friend. When I’m out walking everyday, I usually wave or say HI to people passing by or sitting in front of their house. It’s a new neighborhood and everyone is pretty friendly. So, last night, I passed a neighbor sitting on her front porch, enjoying a glass of wine. I trudged along and asked, “You have an extra glass for me?” As I passed, the response was,”Sure, we’ll be here.” When I passed the second time around, she asked, “Ready for your glass of wine?” I laughed and said, “I’m almost done walking, I’ll be back.”

It was starting to get dark. I finished my walk and went home. I giggled to myself, unlocked the front door, grabbed one of my hand-painted wine glasses, and walked back around the corner. I introduced myself and Darla poured me a glass of white wine. We talked for over an hour. I have a new friend and Darla has a new wine glass. She said she’d keep it ready for me.


Friday:New Friends and New Flowers

11 Oct

“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
This morning, I went for a nice long walk with my new friend Diane. New neighborhood, new friends. She lives just down the street and she likes to walk, too. We met at 7:30 this morning and walked for about an hour, then I took a couple of more laps when she went home before I headed

I knew we were destined to become good friends because she uses those “easy words like “What about lunch?” We met later for a leisurely lunch at Jason’s Deli, then drove over to Home Depot and Lowes in search of some Crepe Myrtles and flowers. She found a white tree and I picked up a red Knock Out rose bush. I was excited, as this will be my first flower planting in my new house. A new flower for a new home and a new beginning, the cycle of life. I didn’t plant it in the ground when I got home because we are supposed to get some really big storms tonight or tomorrow. I don’t want it to drown it’s first day home.

Starting over isn’t always easy, but there are small stepping stones that make the path a little easier to travel.

Plus, it doesn’t hurt that it’s Black Russian Friday.