Friday, December 23, 2016

Beautiful Bunko Besties - 22 Years of Fun

When I first moved to the state in which I now live, I felt a bit lost. My church group had been my family for so many years as I lived in a state thousands of miles from my family for ten years. 
I moved to a small town. I never remember living in a small town before that and struggled with making friends as most of the people in the town had grown up in the town and knew everyone so I felt like somewhat of an outsider. 

When we bought our first house after renting for many months, I wanted to make new friends. I decided to invite different people in the town I had met through church, PTA, and community events to join a BUNKO group so I could get to know them better. 

One of the first women I met in the town was from another state also and her daughter and mine hit it off and we became friends. She went to nursing school after we met and has worked as a director of nursing for years now and I often think of how our lives have changed since we met 22 years ago. Looking at the group, only one or two is originally from the town. I think that is partially why the group works, we don't have family in town so we have become our own family. 

I wanted it to be a diverse group of women. I didn't want all one religion, personality or career. I wanted friends, it didn't matter to me what they did, how many kids they had or if our kids were friends etc. 

I prayed about who to invite as I had heard of other groups getting into smaller groups or bad mouthing each other to someone in the group or competing to make the best meals or prizes etc. 
Bunko is a game like Yahtzee but doesn't take much thought or effort. It is and has always been about visiting and friendship with this group. I believe that because I prayed about who to invite, it has worked. People have moved in and out but we still have 8 of the original 12 women in the group. We aren't best friends in that I know everything about all of them but we still love and care about each other but have our own lives and world but if someone in the group is in need, we all would be there and have been there at some point for each other.

I was looking at each of them tonight and thinking of the trials, joys and tragedies that each has had through the 22 years of bunko and we have had three children pass away, two divorces, one severely autistic child, a death of one of our members and her husband last year, Princess Five's accident and anther friend had her son roll an ATV with his girlfriend on it not long after that, wayward children, health problems for our children, ourselves, loss of parents, taking care of parents, birth of many children and now grandchildren, not being able to have children, and on and on.... 

Isn't that what life is about..... Loving others and getting through the trials of life with the ones we love.... These women saved me during my divorce. It was my one "out" in a crazy life where I could be myself for a night with people I trusted and who knew me and didn't judge. 

I found these cute dice earrings and wore them tonight for our group picture as it is the first time in many months, maybe even a year, that we have all attended as our lives have been busy and difficult. I actually have some family home tonight but when I found out that everyone was going to be there tonight, I made the choice to attend as one of our member will be moving soon and we will say "goodbye" to another beloved member. 

Of course the prizes are fun and we all commented that many of our holiday decorations came in the way of bunko prizes but more so now that we all have homes and our children are raised and we are now onto being grandparents, we don't need "stuff" like we did when we were having our babies so many years ago. 

Tonight, I won a prize and was so excited to see "reindeer" bells as one of the prizes. Just last night I had Grand-Princess One shaking a tambourine while we sang "Jingle Bells" so I picked that as my prize over a decoration (all of them were adorable) because I am hoping to get a video of her playing the bells while we all sing so I can send it out as our "video" Christmas card. I have sent out one for the last few years so I think that will be cute if I can get her to participate that way. 

I love my bunko friends and am SO grateful for them in my world as many times they have said or done exactly what I needed when I needed it. Truly, I don't know of any other groups that have passed the test of time like this group and I believe it was God's hand knowing that I would need them in my life and I hope that at some point, I have been a blessing in their lives as well! 

Here is a post where I talk about my group and share about BUNCO or BUNKO. I calculated the years wrong in it as Princess Three was one when I moved in to this house and it was within a year that I started the group. She is 21 and it was before she was one so we have been at this a VERY long time! 


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