When I met Katie well over 10 years ago in Taiwan, she was sitting on a low stool in a Chinese greasy spoon joint, looking over her song list from a wedding she was going to sing at the next day. I’m pretty sure I was chain smoking and I suspect I had long hair extensions at the time. We were both thin. She was of a keenly practical midwestern mind that was aching to be drenched in glittery granola and run free with a unicorn down a nudist beach.

That sentence just made me smile. I hope Katie smiles if/and when she reads it too

But yeah, big changes were ahead of us – we both moved to the San Francisco Bay Area within months of each other. We went through the job search process together, finished grad school (- in different years and spells), went through dating, boyfriends, work woes, clear on through marriage and kids.

Katie is my friend that I spoke of in the Placenta Incident, and yes: that’s the kind of person she is: she’s the friend that will come and visit you immediately when you are in the hospital alone and will stay by your side when a doctor is telling you that she’s going to give you a hysterectomy.

I am lucky to have her.

Katie married a man named Mohammad (“Mo”) and has a son named Zia (- which means “light”). And all 3 of them were our first yurt guests!

katie and her little light
katie and her little light

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brothers in spirit
brothers in spirit

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by the creek nearby
by the creek nearby

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ROCKS: entertaining kids since the stone age
ROCKS: entertaining kids since …well, forever, right?

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I want to say something here about disability:

My deafness affects my relationship with people – of course it does, how could it not? I can hear Katie better than I can most people, I can’t hear her husband AT ALL – like, his voice is a tiny little murmur that is a questionable sound for me. Katie’s always but always been unflappable with my being deaf and I have taken that for a necessity because to be friends with me, this is not an option. You need to act and BE COOL in a deep way with my lack of hearing.

But the thing that is very special about Katie and an extra big reason why I love her is  that she is cool with Down syndrome and always has been.

Katie is the ONLY friend that I absolutely knew would be wonderful with Moxie.

You know why? Because one time when we were out drinking, there was a guy with Down syndrome at the bar. He was tipsy. He wanted to talk and show his photo album to someone. I didn’t want to listen to him or be nice. Katie did.

So out of everyone around, Katie was the one who wanted, who chose to sit down with that guy and talk about his photos with him and enjoy his company and laugh and be cool.

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So I always knew she’d be an awesome Auntie for Moxie.

meriah nichols_-4Sorry for the blurry iPhone pics – I wanted to get better ones but I kept on forgetting the camera.

One of the things that I love in Moxie’s/Katie’s relationship is that Katie is at heart very midwestern: very practical, *together*, no-nonsense, deeply kind. And she loves hippie/activist stuff. So… the two put together means she plays and sings and dances and still expects Moxie to pick up her shoes and put them on.

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The other thing? And this is big.

I’ve always been able to completely relax in Katie’s company, knowing for sure that I’d never, ever hear her say something derogatory about “retards” or people with Down syndrome. Never. She is very sensitive about words, all words, she cares deeply about how all people would wish to be referred to/by. She’s not a person who will be callous about feelings.

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This, I am grateful for.

Good friendships. Good people. Good company.

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Hey! Here’s a funny story that I only know because Katie told me what they were saying:

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Micah was being Zia’s scribe, drawing what Zia wanted him to draw:

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Lots of stick figures!

Micah drew Mommy and Daddy, just like Zia requested, then Zia wanted him to draw Auntie Mia as well.

“But Zia,” Micah said, “I don’t know what Auntie Mia looks like so how can I draw her?”

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 It was wonderful –

I hope your weekend is amazing and dipped in glittery granola and you are riding free with unicorns (on the beach of your choice)

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Some more flowers for you. I love these guys. They are EVERYWHERE now (do you know the name?)
meriah nichols_-16and this little one too

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a note from ModCloth

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. 

ModCloth is launching its second Make the Cut Contest of the year! Not familiar with Make the Cut? Well, it’s a fashion design contest, and in this edition, they’re giving contestants a template on which to create a print pattern for a scarf. The talented winner will have their design produced by and sold on ModCloth, plus they’ll receive a $500 prize! But first, the top 10 submissions will be hosted on the Be the Buyer page, where the community will vote for their faves. Design submissions will be accepted now until Friday, 5/30, and the voting begins on Monday, 6/9. Official contest rules can be found here. Good luck!


Nomadic photo-junkie, cat-lover, peasant-handed mom of 3. Life is never dull.


  1. The yellow one is a Dandelion. Which is a weed in Australia, but I’m not sure about where you guys are.

  2. Sally Matlin Reply

    This is beautiful. You and Katie are both such wonderful people. I’m so glad you enrich each other’s lives. I’m so glad she gets it. No surprise at all, but it still makes me happy.

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