Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 2.35.00 PM

“I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.”

 -Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Who Would Have Thought It?”

Who are the Black Sheep? I feel like I need to have a huge diagram so you can actually see the intertwinings of the years and friendships of the “Black Sheep.” It isn’t just a timeline…….it’s meeting each otheronceand meeting each other again years later and putting all of the piecesand peopleof the puzzle together, and having that “Grace” moment. That moment when you realize that this was all meant to be. The realization that we are exactly where we are supposed to be at this moment.

To see the whole picture we have to travel back in time to 7th grade. And the saga begins. Separately I met Sherrie and Suzie after my 7th grade year. I met Suzie in a sewing class we took together and I met Sherrie at summer camp. Suzie and I didn’t become friends at that time but Sherrie and I did. Sherrie and I went to different junior high schools but would attend the same high school. What I didn’t know at the time was that Suzie was going to the same junior high with Sherrie, and they were friends. Suzie moved before we all went to high school. Sherrie and I have been friends ever since. Fast forward to high school graduation, never mind the year. Sherrie decided to travel out of state for work and I decided to go to college. Without my best friend, I was off to a small junior college.

The day I moved into my college apartment I met some girls who would become my friends for life. Michelle was the first one I met and we decided to be roommates. One apartment, 3 bedrooms, six girls. (Drama? Never!) The next two girls to move in that day were Cheryl and……you guessed it……Suzie. Cheryl and Suzie had gone to high school together. I recognized Suzie’s name and together we reminisced about “the sewing class.” The next time I talked (which back then was by phone, the kind with a cord attached to the wall, or letter) to Sherrie I told her about my new roommates and we figured out that Sherrie and Suzie had known each other in junior high.

Is everyone lost yet?

We were young, we came from similar backgrounds and family situations, or so we thought. We had many, many memorable experiences while at junior college, some of which I might (will) have to share at a later date. After junior college we started to go our separate ways. Cheryl, Suzie and Bonnie, another of their friends from high school, become roommates back home. Sherrie and I met Bonnie through Cheryl and Suzie. I continued on to the University, Michelle went back home and started a new job and Sherrie was still out of state. Eventually, over the years, we all got married. Some of us moved out of state. Some of us got divorced, some of us married again, some of us have stayed single and some of us have been married to the same person forever. And many kudos to them!!! Over the years, twenty plus, we kept in touch with Christmas cards, Birthday cards, and the occasional dinner when some of us happened to be in town at the same time. We kept in touch but didn’t really know everything that was going on in each other’s lives. We all have those friends and relatives in our lives, don’t we? We keep in touch just enough. By 2007 we had all moved back to the same valley. The winter of 2007 we all met for dinner. During that dinner, which lasted until the restaurant closed, we talked, we shared our life experiences, we laughed hysterically and at times we were even speechless. We learned a lot about each other and it was only the tip of the iceberg. All of our lives had taken such different paths and directions. Our experiences were very, very diverse and it seemed that none of our lives had gone in the direction we thought they would or dreamed they would back when we were 18 and clueless. We all left the restaurant that night with the same thought:

“Who Would Have Thought?” or as I like to say, “Who’da Thunk It?”

Who would have thought we would have the experiences we had had and evolve into the women we were and are today. We thought we were so similar, but we weren’t, and we aren’t. We are unique, each one of us,and we Celebrate that every chance we get. And that is the Beauty of the “Black Sheep.” Since 2007 we have been regulars at that same restaurant, and we have added a few more sheep to our flock. Tricia is the wife of a brother of one of our exes. Obviously, she’s family. Debis a new neighbor of Suzie’sand the first time Suzie met her she thought, “Oh, there you are, let’s catch up”as if they had known each other already somehow.What we know for sure is that we are the “Black Sheep” in all the best ways. We are not who we expected we would be. We are striving daily to be who we are meant to be. We seek to be true, loyal, creative, generous, unique, fierce…………and the list grows daily.

It took a few dinners and a lot of conversation, but we remember clearly that during one of those first Friday evenings, we collectively had a life changing “Grace” moment. A “Grace” moment is a time stopping moment when the random and divergent come together to make sense and bring understanding. This was atime stopping moment when we all knew that we had come back together for a purpose. We realized there was a purpose for the intertwinings and weaving together of our lives here and there over the years. We didn’t know exactly why yet, but we would soon learn why in a Big way. What we did know, was, we were exactly where we were supposed to be at that moment.

The evolution of the “Black Sheep” has been happening over the last eight years and we are still evolving ad becoming.

This is a very short history of how we came to be the “Black Sheep.” There is so much yet to tell and share and explore. We hope you will continue with us on our journey.

Talk Soon.

~ dottie grace~