Morning Meanderings…


Good morning!  We finally had a gorgeous day in Brainerd on Friday after some severe storms in the area on Thursday night.  I met three of my good friends on the bike trail and we went for a morning ride.

Heidi, Cindy, Sara


These three friends of mine are girls I used to work with.  To stay in touch, each month we take a turn choosing an activity we do as a group.  Sometimes it is as simple as getting together for lunch or a movie.  Other times we have spent weekends doing murder mystery parties, Wisconsin Dells, camping, weekends on the North Shore…  We have done this for years.

We each have a charm bracelet that we add a charm to for each event.  Doing this for years, we now have three charm bracelets of memories.  (The picture below is not any where near as clear as I wanted it to be, but you can see some of the charms):


  • The banana:  when we pretended we were all too busy to do something for Sara’s birthday and then donned masks and kidnapped her from her home by banana point.

  • Two hearts:  Ole and Lena’s Wedding – a play in Duluth Minnesota, a surprise event for my birthday

  • The flag:  4th of July camp out at Cindy’s with food and a camp fire and lots of laughs

  • Wine and Cheese:  Is our formal overnight stay at the mansions in Little Falls

Each charm tells a story, and yesterday we added a bike charm to our bracelets.  I love spending time with these girls.  Next month (July) is my month to plan.  I am hoping we are going to be able to go to the Blueberry Festival up North and stay at our cabin for the weekend.

Upper left: Heidi, Sara Lower Left: Me and Cindy

Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Others stay awhile, make footprints on our hearts and we are never, ever the same.


Tornadoes swept through Minnesota Thursday night doing severe damage in Wadena , a town about 45 miles from where I live in.  There will be a lot of work needed to be done in that area and at this time they are not taking volunteers until they can assess the damage better.  Thank you to those who checked in on me… the blogging community never ceases to astound me – thank you to Sharon (Sharon’s Garden of book reviews) who checked on me through Facebook and Esme from (Chocolate’s and Croissants) who called me to make sure we were ok.

44 thoughts on “Morning Meanderings…

  1. Wow! I’m glad you are okay! Sorry to hear about the tornadoes. Bloggers are awesome, aren’t they! Love that they checked in to make sure you were okay! I’m glad you are okay too! 🙂

  2. I think it’s wonderful that you have a group of friends like this. Not many people are able to find three other people who will do such crazy and fun things. 🙂

    Storms and tornadoes are running through my community as well. We’ve had a few houses knocked about, one fully demolished, just ten minutes from my house. Stay safe!

    1. Trisha – I hear that a lot and I am so thankful for them. We have been in each others lives for 20 years now and have so much history. They are awesome people!

      You too Trisha! We were hit in 2001 so storms do make me a little nervous.

  3. What a great group of friends and a lovely tradition! My daughter and I do those Italian charms as well for trips we take, but we aren’t as good at collecting as you are. We often have trouble finding them.

    1. Helen- they are hard to find but we have found a couple spots where they have a lot and they are usually priced well so we load up there – planning for future events. 🙂 We need 4 of each charm so that makes it tricky too…

      If we would have been rained out we would have went shopping instead and our charm would have been an umbrella…. 🙂

  4. Love reading your stories about your group of friends and your special moments. Awesome charm bracelets!

    Also glad you’re okay after the storms…sometimes, I don’t think about these things happening to people I “know,” especially people “online,” because even though you fill in that context for us, of your real world, it doesn’t hit home as affecting you until someone writes about it.

    Here, in California, we have lots of earthquakes (mostly in LA) and there we have fires, mudslides, etc.

    My second son lives there and when we had the big earthquake in 1994, it was many hours before we could even know if he was okay.

    Tornadoes only happen here occasionally, and they’re usually relatively small.

    1. Laurel – I am like you, I don’t always think that way either. I did not mention the storms, in fact I had hardly been home so hadnt been on line much. Both connections from Sharon and Esme were out of the blue. They had heard about it on line or on the tv or somewhere and connected. Kind of blew me away! 🙂

    1. Dawn its a fun thing to do and fairly reasonable. I think the bracelets themselves are about $5. The charms you can usually find for a few dollars and sometimes we have found them at gas stations and other weird places for 1.00 or 2 for 1.00.

      You never need to but another bracelet because as you fill one up with charms you keep the empties that you take off so it doesn’t get to big for your wrist and they make the new bracelet!

  5. What a testament to friendship! Love the long-running, widely varied gatherings you’ve had, and the charms to commemorate it all: Precious. Love it. 🙂

      1. So great! I really don’t like wearing bracelets, though. I love wearing my sleeves long, but for some reason bracelets always feel like they’re in my way.

      2. Hannah, I cant wear them when I am on the computer – they bother me as they clink against the surface I am working on… I am more of a short sleeve person (when possible – after all I do live in Minnesota – ha ha)

      3. LOL! Oh, I don’t wear long sleeves year round, or anything close to it! But when I’m wearing long sleeves, I love for them to reach below my wrists, onto my hands. 🙂 I guess I sit at a computer too much for bracelets; that’s when they’re most annoying to me. :p

  6. I’ve moved around so much in my life that I have friends all over the country. That’s great of course, but I miss having old friends nearby that I could see frequently. You’re very lucky.

  7. I love the picture on the bike trail – it looks so inviting! And it’s great to have friends who like to do the same things! (But I was disappointed when reading “The Banana” that you all didn’t actually dress up in banana outfits!) :–)

    1. Jill – banana outfits would have been awesome…. I will have to find the pictures we took that night. We all had yellow bananas across our face like old west bank robbers. We really surprised her.

  8. What a nice tradition with your girlfriends! Nothing takes the place of a close girlfriend….

    And I’m so glad you are okay. Knowing how goodhearted you are, Sheila, I am sure you will figure out some way to assist with the charity work for the victims of the tornadoes…..

    1. Julie – it was a wonderful time with the girls….

      Thanks for your kind words – our house was hit in 2001 by a tornado – we didn’t lose it, it was severely damaged and we lost our business behind the house, our garage, and about 30 trees… it was actually a tree that saved our home and that is another story….

      anyway – I remember how kind people were to us during the days that followed and the horrible mess of our neighborhood. I am all about paying it forward if I can 🙂

  9. That is truly such a lovely tradition. We have moved so many times that it just feels so overwhelming to stay in touch over a long period of time…but it is wondrous when you do.

    1. Its not always easy Patty. At one time we all worked together. I left Wal-Mart in fall of 2004 to help with our business. Cindy transferred to a store closer to her home about three years ago… it takes work to get us together but it is so worth it and I love that we are all willing to make the effort. 🙂

  10. How fortunate you are to have such a wonderful group of friends! Before blogging, I could just be happy when severe weather wasn’t in my area. Now I feel like I have to watch it all over the country and worry about my new friends. The Weather Channel and I are becoming very close!

    1. Lisa – I never watch the news… in fact I didn’t even know about the tornado damage until Friday, as Thursday evening on I was no where near a radio or tv.

      I am going to have to pay ore attention. 🙂

  11. What a great tradition. Sounds like loads of fun.

    I don’t watch the news so I didn’t even know about the tornado’s. Glad you’re ok.

    1. Thanks – I love that we do these events together, this was our first time biking as a group.

      Vicki – I dont watch the news either. I am usually reading at that time. 🙂

  12. SparkleBella

    Loved hearing about your friends! Its amazing how many people these days don’t have a cadre like that. I don’t know what I would do without mine – 3 of us who live fairly close together meet for dinner monthly and then once or twice a year we gather with two others who live out of state for long weekend trips together – NYC, Vegas, San Fran, etc. And of course keep in touch in between! We’ve done this for about 15 years now!

    1. SparkleBella, I really do value my friendships and make a point to spend time with someone each week, usually on the bike trail biking, rollerblading, or walking – or at the YMCA.

      Love your ideas of long weekend travel trips. We have only done the Wisconsin Dells one – which is a 6 hour drive, but hope to someday do something farther 🙂

  13. Jill

    Glad to hear you are safe from those violent storms. Great pictures Sheila! Thanks for sharing. Friends are a gift from God.

  14. The charm bracelet is such a wonderful idea. What a great way to commemorate all the good times you share with your special friends. Glad you weren’t affected by the tornadoes.

    1. Kathleen – the charm bracelets were just a gift I gave them years ago and an idea that emerged out of it. Now we find charms for events that we have yet to do and then find a way to use the charm…. so fun! 😀

  15. How sweet that you have stayed that close to this group of girlfriends! I loved those photos and what fun activities you all have shared over the years!

  16. librarypat

    I am glad the storms missed you.

    You are lucky to have such good friends. Really good friends are hard to come by and should be cherished. You all are doing a great job of keeping the friendships alive.

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