For Jo

I'm not talking about any insecurities today because today is a day to honor a lady (I will pause for a chuckle and will explain later) who never dwelled on an insecurity. Of course, she had them. In private emails, she would relay her worries and concerns, but at the end of it all there would be the Meh. The "it is what it is" approach to life that kept her active until she passed.

I always told Jo she was who I wanted to be when I grew up. All but the asparagus. I have no love for asparagus, a flaw to my character she never let me live down (that will also be explained in a bit). Jo was considerate and thoughtful. She'd read and re-read a manuscript just because she loved us- her group of wayward, often bitchy, always insecure muddle of writers. She was content editor, line editor, and proof reader. As writers, we know how hard it is to get a family member to read your story once, but Jo would read our crap at every stage of development. For nothing. 

Like I said, she loved us. We were her grands, she was our Grandmother Dragon. 

And personally, she was my friend. She never missed a birthday or a holiday. Nor did she fail to check in. She had maternal radar, though she'd never given birth. She knew exactly when to check in and say...hey, haven't heard from you lately...are things okay? She listened during hard times, offering advice, love, and virtual hugs.  

I will miss her story notes. Raw, honest Jo-ness. Above, I called Jo a lady. She'd have kicked my ass for that. Any time I called a woman a lady, she'd get in a fluster...what is it with you Americans? A lady is a title. To which, I would reply that 'merica defines a lady by her actions, not her birth. She'd remind herself and me that I was STILL an incorrigible philistine. 

Jo always wrote about asparagus. A vegetable I hate. I commented once that when I moved into my house, there was an asparagus patch in my back yard and it took me three seasons of mowing to finally be rid of it. Mortified, Jo's response was to call me a philistine. 

An insult that absolutely made my day. 

I was so tickled by her indignation, I emailed her and that started our years-long friendship. 

Over the years, she tried her best to culture me up, but I'd remind her I prefer Ramen noodles to steak. Then she'd write back-- oh yes, that's right, you're still a philistine. 

It only took me a few years to wear her down and accept that I was never going to be at home in the kitchen. I knew I'd won when she sent me a recipe with a note, "Dear Liz, here's a recipe I don't think even you could mess up."

Oh, how I miss that. How I miss her. Thoughtful, caring, sassy, and smart. That was Jo. She was a lady through and through and this philistine misses her every day. 

*This blog hop is supposed to be about sharing recipes since Jo loved to cook, but there will be no recipe here. Jo would never expect one from me and I will not disappoint her. 

Many thanks to founder Alex J. Cavanaugh and all of our co-hosts this month: Louise - Fundy Blue , Jennifer Lane, Mary Aalgaard, Patsy Collins at Womagwriter, and Nancy Gideon!
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