Friday, December 20, 2013

I have always been sort of a lone wolf. It’s not my way to talk about my problems or stuff I’m dealing with. I tend to keep it to myself and talk myself though it.

Maybe that’s reason that I have always been more likely to do things on my own. But lately I’ve learned to appreciate being in a group. It probably started with my gym. At first, I used all the machines and took an occasional yoga class. Gradually, it morphed into more classes and less machines. And now it is all about classes, no machines. A big part of the classes are the social contact. I have friends in my cardio class, more friends in my indoor cycling class (it’s called spinning, but when I say spinning, people think it has something to do with yarn.). We have shared concerns about job losses, weight loss, problems with kids, and family illnesses. There’s been sharing about happy things too like the accomplishments of kids, wonderful trips, jobs gotten and assorted achievements.

I take yoga classes somewhere else, though I haven’t been for the last couple of sessions and there is a lot of the same kind of sharing.

But the best has been my knit and crochet group. We meet once a week, and there is probably as much talking as there is yarn craft. People come and go, but there is a constant core of people. They are so nourishing to be around. They have generous hearts, usually making things to give away. And they’re always happy to help someone with their project.

We had a holiday get together today and some members who hadn’t come for awhile showed up. I was so happy to see them and hear about what is going on with them. Like I said, it has never been my way to talk about my problems, but I did open up to one of my friends in the group. It is amazing how freeing it was.

I was actually already in a group mood. Last night I was the guest at the Book Forum at the Tarzana Cultural and Community Center. It was a little like walking inside For Better or Worsted as I went into the grounds and passed the white gazebo. One of the subplots of the book has to do with yarn bombings happening around the area. Yarn bombings aren’t as violent as they sound. In the book, someone makes big red crocheted hearts and hangs them from that white gazebo. They also cover the handlebars of a cop’s motorcycle with crochet socks, along with hanging crochet pieces on street signs and other places. In real life, whole cars have been covered in knitted or crochet fabric.

I wasn’t sure what to expect of the book group, but was really wowed by them. They were interesting, accomplished, had stories to tell, along with being truly warm and friendly. One of the women had made the recipe from For Better or Worsted for chocolate cake bars. They were so delicious I had to savor each bite, even if I did come up with the recipe.

It was also fun to discuss my books with them because we were right in the middle of the setting.
They knew what I was talking about when I told them that the Chase bank is really Caitlyn’s Cupcakes in my book. When I mentioned the area in the Santa Monica mountains where there’s a body found in You Better Knot Die, one of the women knew exactly where I was talking about and said she lived nearby. I have lived in Tarzana for over thirty years and it was the first time I felt like I was part of the community.

What’s the line from the Barbra Streisand song – People who need people are the luckiest people in the world. I agree.


Planner said...

Friends are better than therapy. Actually, friendship IS therapy!

Betty Hechtman said...

Planner, I couldn't agree more!

Linda O. Johnston said...

Your many kinds of contacts sound versatile and fun, Betty!

Betty Hechtman said...

Yes, Linda, they are.

Chrystle Fiedler said...

How great! I'm happy for you!