Erin's Journals

Monday, January 22, 2024

Just a thought…

Goodbyes are not forever,

Goodbyes are not the end.

They simply mean I’ll miss you

Until we meet again.

[author unknown]

Well hello! I’m taking an hour away from these last precious days with my friend Lisa Brandt visiting here in Palm Desert to catch you up with this week’s journal. We’ve done lots and done nothing: the best kind of time spent together. I lost track of how often I thanked her for being with me.

I think, other than hours and hours of plotting our podcast plans for the year ahead and talking about our lives and challenges in general, I most enjoyed watching her taking in the sights from the slowly rotating car of the Palm Springs Tramway.

I’d been up a few years ago, but I still had butterflies as we ascended to 10,000 feet, although that was mostly because Lisa was unsure about being in the cylindrical car (the largest tram car model in the world) that had about 50 people standing in it.

It was then that I realized I had only my tiny wallet-sized purse and no mask. (Luckily, so far, so good, but I must say I would happily nurse Lisa back to health if she couldn’t go home tomorrow!) Lisa if you’re reading this – I miss you already.

We spent last week just floating (literally and figuratively) from the success of our Facebook Live video event. We had hoped for a few hundred views and got over 3000 (it’s still up at if you want to spend an hour – just you, Lisa and me). The comments numbered over 800 and we’ve done our best to respond in some way; this Thursday’s Gracefully and Frankly Episode 57 will address a few of the questions we didn’t get to during the live show.

If you don’t know where or how to listen to a podcast, let me tell you that one of the winners of our $100 gift certificate from is 85 years old and could not have been more grateful: she’s visiting long-term care to see her husband who had a major health setback last year and always wanted one of our sponsor’s pillows but never felt she could afford it. Well, now she says she can and could not have been happier. Nor could we, Liz, nor could we. Lisa and I were both so touched by her email to us, we could have cried. Anyway, if Liz can do it, you most certainly can, too!

During Lisa’s 9 days here, we ate out a few times, and spent short spurts in the warm swimming pool (here’s Lisa living her best life despite chilly temps outside).

We caught up on cable movies we felt our spouses wouldn’t mind us watching without them, and shopped a bit. Having trod the aisles a lot when our son- and daughter-in-law were here the week before, I was done with it, but Lisa did find a few bargains she couldn’t get at home.

That’s where she heads tomorrow. My heart will be heavy as I pull away from the airport, trying desperately: a) not to cry, and b) to follow the GPS instructions back to the house.

I’ll make my final solo trip to Palm Springs International on Feb. 8 in hopes of getting home smoothly to Rob. Oh, and of course to Dottie, whose maternity leave will be ending at the same time as my getaway. I hope by then Rob’s water woes are over: unusually cold temperatures meant frozen pipes and we actually need scaffolding to get up to them to fix one that burst. That’s being handled tomorrow (we hope) although it may be a few days yet until Rob gets running water throughout the whole house. I wish I could say I’m sorry to be missing it all, but he’s handling it as he does all things: with grace, calm and ingenuity.

And now, one more picture for the road, and what Lisa’s view will be as her flight leaves tomorrow, hopefully on time and with her suitcase – two things we sure don’t take for granted anymore.

Talk to you again soon here and thank you for stopping by. It’s always nice to be surrounded by friends – even if they’re virtual for now.

Rob WhiteheadMonday, January 22, 2024