"...IF YOU FOLLOW YOUR BLISS, DOORS WILL OPEN FOR YOU THAT WOULDN'T HAVE OPENED FOR ANYONE ELSE." - Joseph Campbell

"SOMETIMES ON THE WAY TO YOUR DREAM, YOU GET LOST AND FIND A BETTER ONE." - Unknown (as seen on River's blog, "Drifting Through Life")

"IT IS POSSIBLE AT ANY AGE TO DISCOVER A LIFELONG DESIRE YOU NEVER KNEW YOU HAD." - Robert Brault


"IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO BE WHO YOU MIGHT HAVE BEEN." - George Eliot

"WE DID NOT CHANGE AS WE GREW OLDER. WE JUST BECAME MORE CLEARLY OURSELVES." - Lynn Hall

"GO CONFIDENTLY IN THE DIRECTION OF YOUR DREAMS! LIVE THE LIFE YOU HAVE IMAGED." - Henry David Thoreau



Wednesday, April 4, 2012

* Lois Roelofs - Guest Blog Post *

Hello everyone & Welcome! I'm excited to take part in a WOW-Women on Writing Blog Tour.

Since I'm writing my memoir, it made perfect sense to host Lois Roelofs, whose own memoir, Caring Lessons: A Nursing Professor's Journey of Faith and Self, was recently published by Deep River Books.



Lois was kind enough to not only provide me with an e-book, but with a snail-mailed copy, too. I'll be posting my review of it next Wednesday, April 11th, and will remind everyone a few days before then. I'm a little over half-way through it and I will say this much. I Love It! Lois writes so well and has an easy going style. I immediately became part of her story, as if I was one of her best friends. It's one of those books I read and read until the page becomes a blurry mess and I have to stop for awhile. I can't wait to finish it, yet I think I'll be sad then, too, because it will be over...you know?

Below is Lois' guest post, which she wrote specifically for today.


Hot Fudge Friends
by Lois Roelofs

In the seventies, my new friend Marianna and I abandoned our suburban sandbox lives to become urban graduate students at the University of Illinois. Every Friday, having survived the week, we celebrated at Marshall Field’s on State Street. Loving hot fudge, we’d order Frango Mint sundaes at the Crystal Palace, then glance at our tired but happy faces in the mirrored walls of the old-fashioned ice cream parlor.

 As we rehashed life in the era of Betty Friedan’s Feminine Mystique, our sundaes would melt into a mudslide of our newly feminist desires to plant our children in traffic, tie our husbands’ necks in ropes, and resume our nursing careers.

We became Hot Fudge Friends—ones who understood that neither of us really wanted to murder our families and return to nursing full time. Soon after graduation, Marianna moved away. Hot fudge sundaes stopped soothing my soul.   

Women who lose their Hot Fudge Friend can eat their sundaes alone. But without the sharing, the hot fudge and ice cream simply feel like calories racing to the hips.

A perfect day for separated Hot Fudge Friends has become annual visits. For over thirty years, we’ve had meet-ups at her home or mine. On my visits to her, we’ve visited Eleanor Roosevelt’s sculpture in Washington, D.C. and, after another move, Rodin’s The Thinker at the North Carolina Museum of Art.

When Marianna visits me, we traipse our old haunts in Chicago, no more Marshall Field’s, no more Crystal Palace, but we can still find hot fudge sundaes at Peterson’s Ice Cream, near her former home in Oak Park and close to Frank Lloyd Wright’s prairie-style home.

We’ve also had meet-ups in other cities. We’ve flown to St. Petersburg Beach and bombed on our first attempt at karaoke, she on Leroy Brown and I on Love Can Build a Bridge. We’ve flown to New York City and stood silently together at Ground Zero. And we’ve flown to Atlanta and listened on tape to Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech in Ebenezer Baptist Church.   

Each meet-up Marianna and I hunt for hot fudge sundaes. Smooth silken hot fudge, topped with a mountain of whipped cream, the cherry, and a sprinkling of nuts. We reminisce, sharing the food of soul mates: parents’ deaths, husbands’ long-time support of our friendship, children’s’ successes, grandchildren’s brilliance. Careers ending, her breast cancer, my husband’s prostate cancer. Our aging, our writing, our blogging. Our exciting futures.

Marianna, my Hot Fudge Friend, nourishes my soul.
~~~~~

Thank you for writing such a beautiful story for us! Lois is also generously providing a copy of her book for a give-away, too. To be eligible, all that is required is to leave a comment or question for Lois here. That's it. No other fancy schmancy rules. BUT, if you also come back on the 11th and do the same thing on that post, you'll be entered twice.

** And those of you who Tweet, please help let others know about it, too! Use the hastag #Caring Lessons.
~~~

“Perhaps it seems odd that a casual meeting on the street could have brought about such change. But sometimes life is like that, isn't it?” -- Arthur Golden

40 comments:

  1. A truly wonderful guest post on a wonderful blog. Thank you.
    I have had a friend for over thirty years. We rarely meet. When we do it is as if no time has passed and we laugh as loudly as we did in our twenties. Those friends are the best kind to have.
    Thanks for the reminder.

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  2. Lois--In St. Louis, Ted Drewes has the best hot fudge sundae (get it with macadamian nuts; if you're a regular, you ask for a "hot fudge mac sundae"). Their hot fudge is from Southern Products, and has a hint of coffee flavoring in it. And the frozen custard is well worth the calories.

    I love the way you and your "hot fudge friend" have keep the connection between you two strong. Women need to keep their close friends close--even if the miles separate them...

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  3. Miles can separate us but hot fudge brings besties together. Nice post and the book sounds interesting.

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  4. What wonderful memories of a life long friend you have shared with us. Beautiful story.

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  5. giveaways up every saturday. come and see

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  6. Lovely post and just right for my day. I have just finished reading The Girls from Ames, the story of a 40 year friendship. Friends make us healthier...even with ice cream!

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  7. No hot fudge friends, but a couple of coffee pals and one Sweet Tomatoes (a self-serve buffet place) friend. We only meet at Sweet T. once or twice a year--last time we met we were there for 6 hours!

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  8. We all need a hot fudge friend...

    =)

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  9. Hi Becky...Thanks for Lois' guest post.

    Hello Lois. Enjoyed reading your story about your hot fudge friend.

    Ohhhhh, such friends are the most "delicious" parts of life, don't you think?

    Without them, life is still good, but lonelier. Nice post! Thanks. Susan

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  10. Very "sweet" story, and I love the title!

    Pat
    Critter Alley

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  11. I had a hot tea friend/neighbor. While our children played together, we'd sit outside and talk about our challenges and frustrations, and share our worries and hopes about the future.

    Thirty-two years later, and we still talk on the phone occasionally...and I always make a cup of tea before I call.

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  12. What a wonderful (and tasty) way to maintain a friendship, even though it is now a long-distance relationship.

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  13. I was enchanted by this writing. You had me at "suburban sandbox lives".

    This really lovely writing. I have two 'hot fudge' friends left.

    So many have gone on to the great ice cream shoppe in the sky...and your poignant words made me miss them.

    Thank you.

    This was lovely.

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  14. What a wonderful story. Those kinds of friendships are so special. I have a friend like that. We don't get to meet up very often, but when we do, it is like the years melt away.

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  15. Wonderful guest post and wonderful story! I love friends like that! And I love a book that makes me sad to be finished.

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  16. My Hot-Fudge Friend is an old college roomie. We didn't do the hot fudge thing. Our third roomie sold her plasma every week for spending money. So our extravagance was a Frosty Malt from the nearby 7-Eleven. The poor woman's hot fudge sundae. The snack that plasma bought.

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  17. Great post and nothing beats a good friend.

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  18. My wish is that everyone has a Hot Fudge Sundae friend.

    Hi, Becky!

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  19. What an awesome story. I wish I had a sundae buddy! Sounds like a lovely book, Lois. I hope you have a lot of success with it.

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  20. Hot fudge sundae friends--sounds delish! ;-)

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  21. What a nice way to put it, describing those friendships that endure and prosper.

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  22. I LOVE the idea of having a Hot Fudge Friend. My best friend has been so (on & off, we all have our ups & downs, don't we?) for 25 years now, she only lives 5 mins away, and our most recent 'share' was loads of laughs at a fabulous movie. We should have had a hot fudge sundae afterwards :)

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  23. It might be over, but you can always read it again after a while, and gleam new points you might have missed going through it the first time 'round!

    Btw, you write in an easy going, relaxed manner too, that's why I like reading you.


    Ciao Bella
    Creative Carmelina

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  24. What a lovely post and idea! Nothing better than bringing together good friends and hot fudge!

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  25. Love her story there and her fun heart! :O)

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  26. What a lovely post, Lois! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Thanks to you too, Becky, for hosting her!

    Have a great weekend! :)

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  27. It's good to have a friend like that, someone with whom you are yourself.

    Plus there was hot fudge. Win-win.

    :-)

    Pearl

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  28. Good morning everyone! I woke up to a note from Becky telling me of all your responses. I see that we all value or would like at HFF. I talked with mine yesterday for nearly two hours. Thank goodness for one-fee, monthly, long distance rates. Sioux, I see that we'll have to put St. Louis on our list of visting places-that sundae with a hint of coffee flavor sounds wonderful. And, Lisa, my daughter and I used to meet at a ST. She's moved and I miss those long healthy lunches, topped with several trips back for the soft ice cream. And, Bookie, I shared "The Girls from Ames" with my sister. We both loved it. And at thanks to all of you for your compliments on my writing style. I'll be dropping in on your blogs soon. You're a warm group of women!We all could be at least each other's online HFF! Lois

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  29. What a great story! I love how she made me miss my special hot fudge friends! Thanks for this great peek at her writing! Hugs,Linda

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  30. Sounds like a great book - so nice for both of you to share. sandie

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  31. Wonderful post -- I have a hot-fudge friend, too -- and when we connect, no time has passed, even if it's years. Lovely.

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  32. Great, "food for thought". :-)
    We could all use a "hot-fudge" friend! Thanks for sharing.

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  33. What a lovely post. I have a friend like this, and we lost touch for over 10 years. Recently we started meeting annually, and it's been such a great experience for me, better than I ever expected. This post went right to my heart.

    The book sounds wonderful as well!

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  34. Lovely guest post with sterling writing! Love it! Thanks Becky!

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  35. The words Hot Fudge in the title had me from hello. Cute story. I am lucky enough to have several hot fudge friends. Think I'll call one of them and head out for a Sundae and a few laughs.

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  36. Love the term 'hot fudge friends'! Very sweet.

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  37. What a beautiful post! Makes me hungry for hot fudge sundaes... and a friend to share them with. Thanks so much for sharing this. :)

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  38. What a wonderful post! And what a wonderful way to describe a frienship. :)

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  39. Hi Becky!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and for your wonderful comment! Your blog is so super-cool and I have become a follower. Plus, Lois's guest post really rang true with me. I have a"hot fudge friend" too!

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  40. A huge thank-you to everyone who left comments! What a great group of friends I have! :D

    If I haven't replied to you by e-mail yet, I will....unless I don't have your e-mail address!

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I love comments, especially because I know the time it takes to stop and type one, even a short one! Thanks very much!