This week’s blog is dedicated with deep gratitude to my dear friend, Pat Petroline; aka Doc, Momma Patti, Miss Lu, LuLu Yang-Master Chef.


Making a critical mistake is like getting bit in the butt by a dog . . . you don’t see it coming, you feel the shock of realization, the horrible pain upon infliction, and unless you’re simply unlucky enough to be a random target, you should probably limp away having learned a lesson.

We seldom get a do-over.

Saturday I took a three hour journey across the State of Michigan on a less-than-desirable emotional task of sorts. Without prompting, my friend, Patti, offered to accompany me. I cried during most of the drive.

We arrived, tended to my dreaded personal business, and began the three-hour drive home. I cried during most of the drive back too.

After a restless night, I awoke on Sunday morning in a terrible panic. I telephoned Patti and hysterically screamed that I had to return. I had made an awful mistake and had lost something very precious.

Fifteen minutes later we were on yet another three-hour trek.

We arrived on the western coast of Michigan, managed to un-do my previous day’s doings, and retrieved what I thought was priceless and forever lost.

Yet again, we took one final trip back to Southeastern Michigan. This time we laughed the whole way home.

Two days, twelve hours of driving, and 800 miles later, I walked away having learned two really amazing things:

ONE: Recognizing a mistake is the first step to learning from it. And sometimes, if you are quick enough and lucky enough, you get a do-over. But you have to try or you will never know.

TWO: My friend Patti is a one of a kind blessing.

When I called on her for help for the second time, she did NOT say that she was busy with weekend holiday plans, or that she was tired from her busy week at work. She did NOT say that she was needed at home with her family, or that she just couldn’t handle another six-hour trip. She did NOT complain once during the entire two-day fiasco, and she NEVER called me crazy or irrational or stupid for making the mistake that started it all.

No, when I called her, sobbing and screaming, “I have to go back now!  Can you come? Can you come, please? How soon can you get here?”

Her calm and simple reply was, “I’m on my way. All I have to do is put on my shoes.”

And that was that. No questions and no judgment.

I love her so much for that. I wish I could adequately show my gratitude by buying her something special . . . like a house! LoL.

Patti, thank you will never seem sufficient. And nothing you ask of me will ever be too big.

A do-over.

A rare and special friend.

And a labor of love . . .

Categories: Adventures, Friends, Kindness & Compassion, Love | Tags: , , , , , | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on “LABOR DAY GIFTS

  1. Jeff

    Rare indeed

  2. Lynn Gardner

    To have a friend like that is precious, so glad she was there for you Julia.

  3. Patti sounds like a great friend Julia and whatever the dreaded business it’s so good you had someone like her to go through it with.

    • Thank you for reading, Saymber, and leaving your sweet words. Even though this piece makes me sound pretty reckless and emotionally unstable, I wanted to tell the story anyway…..because I wanted people to know what a wonderful person Patti is. Take good care, my friend. xoxo Julia

  4. It was my pleasure to help you my friend.

    But next time…I get to plan the road trip


  5. A friend like that — you’re richer than a zillionaire.

    • Darla, you are absolutely correct! I almost texted her a note the next day saying, “Wanna go for a drive? Ha ha ha!” But I didn’t. I figured the girl had had enough. She’s the bestest ever and I am truly blessed to know her. Thanks so much for reading and dropping me a note. Take good care. xo Julia

  6. Joanie Woody Foote

    We are both blessed….xoxo, Jules, rock on!
    Actually, write on!

  7. Julia she is definitely the definition of a great friend and you are blessed. I am blessed to a have a few like that in my life and I hope they feel the same. This was a wonderful tribute to you both… for being human and showing all of us in this letter it is ok to make mistakes and that they can be rectified with perseverence, and her for being there the whole way with you and celebrating together when everything is right!

    • Thanks so much for the wonderful note, Deb! You are so right about my friend! I told her that I was willing to reveal myself as the lughead I was that day…in order to reveal her as the wonderful friend she is! lol I also told her that payback will certainly be a b*&%h! ha ha ha! Thanks again and take good care of your precious self! xoxo Julia

  8. Friends like that are hard to come by- but such a blessing! So glad for you and what a great post.

    On the lighter side – I feel compelled to tag you as it – just a fun little romp about what you’re currently working on if you care to check out my blog

    All the best-
    Pat M

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