Tag Archives: heather tyler

f2fb rough times

two weeks ago, i came to the kankakee-bourbonnaise-bradley area to visit with eric and heather who are facebook friends of mine.  eric is friends with some of the people i went to college with (although he never went to north central with me) and he has played online scrabble with me a lot.  i won’t do mafia wars, sorority sisters, or farmville with him–he’s way too good.  heather is his wife.  she and i had lunch at the target two weeks ago and for some reason eric and i couldn’t get our schedules coordinated.

yesterday, i came back to kankakee to see eric (f2fb #27) but in the intervening two weeks, tragedy had struck the couple once again–heather had been fired from target.  being fired is no fun because you feel like a failure.  but it’s also no fun because there’s a lot of work to be done to guarantee food on the table and your health insurance covered.  their car had been repo-ed so me coming down was actually an unintentional blessing.

the first place the three of us visited was the food pantry.  people who needed food congregated in the lobby of the church of the nazarene.  eric got a slip of paper with the number 65 on it.  the food, mostly canned goods and dried pasta, was laid out on conference tables.  a woman started calling out the numbers, beginning with the number one.  we looked at the food available, at the people surrounding us.  eric suggested that i take heather to the grocery store to get the fresh food that they’d need for the week and i was really happy to do that.  when heather and i returned, the pantry was helping the fifty fifth person.  eric said he was going to turn in his number.  i was puzzled, but he explained that since you can’t use this particular food pantry more than once every two months, the paltry selection wasn’t worth it.  he’d rather reserve his option to come to the pantry next month.  as we left, an older gentleman was loading up his car with items he had gotten from the nazarene food pantry.  eric helped him by sharing information about other food pantries in the area and their schedules.

i have had rough times in my life, but nothing such as this since i left college.  i will be checking in with eric and heather a lot this year, and not just in a facebook way.  although, of course, facebook has helped make it possible for me and the couple to contact each other.

in other news, be careful driving in the kankakee-bourbonnaise-bradley area.  the residents seem to take it as a point of pride to never look in the direction they are driving.  i believe they think to do so would suggest weakness.  they all own pick up trucks and are truly astonished when other vehicles present themselves in their path.  i am a wary driver.


it had to happen–i am defriended!

poor, poor, pitiful me!  i have been defriended and facebook don’t make it easy to figure out who defriends you.  it’s like they’re a teenaged girl from the cool clique who is trying to spare your feelings but isn’t really doing such a good job.  i checked the facebook friend who had been with my husband when we first separated–no, she’s still my facebook friend.  ditto the guy i wouldn’t date whose posts are so fun and vulgar that i would despair if they didn’t pop up every once in a while–he’s still my friend.  so is that guy i went out with in college and the rapper inda loop.  and alex beh who used to babysit my kid and now dates jennifer love hewitt.   i don’t blame anybody for defriending me–i might defriend myself given a chance.

but before i defriend myself–victory!  i made it back to my cozy home and if i can do a small trip i can do every trip required by the face to facebook new years’ resolution!  i can meet every one of my remaining 331 facebook friends before december 31, 2011.  this is all said in hubris.

the trip began with kankakee where i saw heather for lunch at her job at target.  she’s not always going to work there–in fact, i think she’s “work at a museum” material.  i can’t wait to watch that develop!  then onto champaign-urbana to see john and alice lafond!  they were such fine hosts and the next morning i woke quite refreshed and ready for adventure.

and i got it!  i was lost several times while trying to find the home of andrew pearce.  andrew is a transplanted brit who worked in the railway industry for twenty years.  his passions are photography and trains so this is the result of our visit:

and p.s. the train engine was running.  my butt got really cold.  andrew makes pickled eggs and declined to give me the recipe but i smelled it and decided it could be used as a diet aid as well.  in exchange for those eggs, he gets free beer for life from the local brewery.  i’d like that deal.

then a sweeping tour of bloomington and i am having dinner with my stepdaughter elisabeth and her husband steve.  elisabeth was seven when i married her father.  her brother was eleven.  i was pregnant with joseph.  i was a wretched stepmom.  i never beat her or locked her up in the basement, but i wasn’t too keen on making school lunches five days in a row and i never celebrated her successes as much as i should have.  nonetheless, she has forgiven me.  partly that’s because of grace–being a new mom really makes one appreciate the stresses of your own mom (or stepmom) much better.  here’s some important information on how to make fishnet stocking if you’re a princess and you have to dress in rugged conditions.

i spent the night at the indiana union and got a call from chris redmond, joseph’s childhood friend.  i remember him as a loud, hyperactive, mischievous boy.  the guy who showed up the next morning to work out was a tall, gentlemanly man.  his parents have done all right by him.  he has agreed to be my necessary bodyguard for the asian leg of the face to facebook new years resolution tour and if anybody wants to apply for any other legs of the trip, sign up now!  here, he demonstrates how to train to be a bodyguard:

one thing i’ve learned is that i know some friends who have purpose and meaning in their lives, whether their purpose is trains, raising grace, Jesus Christ, or even just knowing they will have a purpose one day. i hope to find my purpose.  i hope to find my way.  with my face to facebook friends, i am learning. 331 friends, 319 to go!


face to facebook modest victory!

there was enough drama that i thought i wouldn’t get out the door, but i own the first leg of the f2fb short trip!  i drove down to the target superstore in bourbounnais, illinois.  heather tyler is my facebook friend–she’s the wife of eric who is friends with john lafond.  heather is 38, adorable, and when she smiles you just can’t have a bad day!  we had lunch and shopped for a present for the princessa of champaign-urbana.

heather doesn’t always want to work at a target store although she’s great at what she does-and she spends a lot of time when she’s not at working playing on facebook:  mafia wars, farmville, etc.  she wants to do something in art history.  i thought maybe she could contact the head of nearby kankakee’s historical society and see if she could work in their museum as a volunteer just to get her feet wet.  heather and i both struggle with internal monologues that are sometimes rather dire.

i nearly cried, right there in the middle of the target food court, because the heather internal voice is strikingly like my own:  you’re a failure, you’re incompetent, you drink too much, you haven’t done anything with your life, you’re fat, you’re not all that.  in fact, i believe that heather and i might actually be hearing from the same entity.  we agreed we have to say “SHUT UP!”

here’s a picture of her just after we ate lunch.

i’m very lucky to have heather for a facebook friend and i’m glad we got to see each other.  unfortunately, her husband eric was at the food pantry and missed me as i sailed off for champaign urbana.  i’ll get to see heather later because i’ll be coming back to kankakee to see eric!

next, it was on to champaign urbana to see the princessa colleen who curtsied when she saw me because she recognizes a fellow princessa!  colleen is a great favorite with the paparazzi and so she knows how to take a good picture.  here’s one that was taken by the star magazine:

the princessa’s parents are john and alice lafond.  john and i went to school together and when i left the patricks when i was a young teen, he hid me in the lafond family garage.  the lafonds are approaching their ten year anniversary.  congratulations to a wonderful royal couple!!!

john and i play scrabble on facebook.  he beats me nearly every time.  and jonathan boyd, his friend, DOES beat me every time.  John also plays Mafia Wars, Farmville, and Sorority Sisters.  I asked “why Sororority Sisters”?   and he said it’s basically the same thing as Mafia Wars just with prettier dresses.  facebook is a hobby.

tomorrow it’s onward to indiana!  i’m doing this!  i’m really doing this!!!  i have 332 friends, including one cat and a guy who’s been dead for over a century–sorry mike i added a few friends, but i have visited with nine of them this year.  this is right around the time that most people give up on a new years resolution–but i had that moment last night.