Buffalo Gal
Judi Griggs

I'm a communications professional, writer, cynic, mother, wife and royal pain. The order depends on the day. I returned to my hometown in November 2004 after a couple of decades of heat and hurricanes. I can polish pristine copy, but not here. This is my morning exercise -- 20-minute takes without a net or spellcheck. It's easier than sit ups for me. No guarantee what it will be for you. Clicking on the subscribe link will send you an email notice when each new entry is posted.
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Holiday Cliches

It would be a Hallmark cliche to write about those things which make me profoundly grateful today, but there's got to be a reason a company based in Kansas City. Missouri which doesn't serve barbeque could make that much money.
For me the Pilgrims are nothing but a bad decorating scheme. But, I see and celebrate the value of being forced to take a breath, make a ridiculous meal and... this is difficult for a cynic to say... count your blessings.
The turkey is almost done, the table is set, the girls are watching "The Grinch" and I can't think of any place at any time I'd rather be than here right now.
It's easy to list disapointments, disasters and bad choices. They make much better copy. It's comfortable to stay angry at those who hurt and kick yourself for the lost pounds that returned.
I like being forced to look at the good things.
I could say the events of the last year exposed dozen of false friends, but that would be so unfair to those who were there before and will be there tommorrow. Financially, the picture is not nearly as rosy as last year. But both girls are still moving forward in college and the four of us are together right now. Health has been a challenge, but there are answers around the corner and unshakable support from those who truly matter in my life.
When I play the slide show of amazing moments of the last year, there's no room left for fears and hurt.
Some of my favortie slides, in no particular order:
- On my feet with Charlie and Bobby in the darkened Florida Theater during John Hiatt's encore. Feeling like 17, loving being 44.
- Escaping the Parents Weekend program with Jessica to go down to the Allegheny River and share a bottle of wine with the adult who replaced my child.
- Walking quickly to through the stadium parking lot with Karen, Jim, Lauren, Kaitlyn and Charlie in anticipation of the Bills preseason game as 6-year-old Kaitlyn tells us how she wants to be a pro football player.
- Knocking on the door of Janie's cottage to a welcome that ignored 20 missing years.
- Rediscovering the people my deceased grandparents were in my young life and the treasures they left in the children they raised.
- Rinsing margarita off poker chips in a colander during last March's unique golf weekend.
-Getting to really listen to Jen during our Subway lunches.
-Laying under the trees, listening to jazz and watching the lighthouse from dusk through night with Bernie and Karen.
- Incredible Saratoga seats and the more incredible friend behind them.
- Sparkling wine night for WWW and the amazing new ladies who appear each month.
- The gift of a month in a tacky apartment.
- Finding Andy again.
- The little boy look on Charlie's face as he carried his custom bat around Cooperstown.
- Touring Jessica's office at Fisher-Price.
- Dealing with an honest car dealer who actually did make everything right.
- Mike's safe return from Iraq.
- Girls night with Karen, Jess and Cheryl at a hibachi restaurant.
- Jen taking the stage during "Brown Sugar."
- Jessica getting better grades in Latin and Greek etymology than I did and the day we ordered our college class rings, identical except for the year and the stone.
-Champagne nights on the front porch with Charlie.
- Watching Jen eat soup with chopsticks in Asheville, the home of the best mixed berry pie in the world.
- Listening to Aunt Judy tell me with shock that my oldest daughter can not grill a hamburger.
This list obviously could go on... many of the images are too simple to describe with any meaning to anyone but myself.
It's time to eat. There are four of us, four pies, two cranberry sauces, two gravies, two stuffings and a few dishes which represent the new traditions of our combined family.
I'm thankful. Grateful. And wish the same for all I love.

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