The dictionary defines wacky as "being funny or amusing in a slightly odd or peculiar way."
A local ladies social Facebook group, Wacky Women in Waxahachie, may all be wacky, but they are definitely not odd or peculiar.
A casual discussion with Lin Putnam, founder of the group, her husband, Jim, and youngest member, Jennifer Hunt exposed a group of women from Waxahachie and surrounding areas, as far away as Arlington, who plan get-togethers to have fun and to support one another.
The Facebook group currently has over 150 members, but the groups that gather face-to-face are smaller. The Facebook page provides the same fun, caring and support that the ones that meet in person provide.
Lin founded the group about a year after moving to Waxahachie while she recovered from back surgery. She recalled being "very lonely and depressed" at the time, which was undoubtedly an unfamiliar mental state for the former trapeze artist in a traveling circus. She chuckled as she explained that, unlike most people who run away to join the circus, she at a very young age ran away from the lifestyle.
Lin was very animated and laughed often as she fondly spoke about the group, whom one member describes as being her tribe. She thought to herself that she had no friends, so the idea to create a ladies social group came to mind. Using the Nextdoor application on her cell phone, she put the idea out there.
“I asked ladies on the Nextdoor app what they thought," Lin remarked. "The positive reaction was overwhelming, so I formed the group on Facebook."
When asked how she came up with the name for the group, she grinned and commented, “The name just popped out of my mouth. It was just like it was meant to be.”
Since the formation of the group in November 2017, there are 25 to 30 members that participate on a regular basis.
Lin said there is lots of laughter in the group and if someone is having a hard time with something, they lift each other up and take care of each other.
“If someone is sick, we help them any way we can,” she remarked. She explained that her loneliness was the reason for the evolution of the group and that members join because of hard times with family or health issues. Everyone lifts those up who are struggling with issues.
Activities include bingo, Tuesday morning coffee, evening meals together and movie nights.
Lin stated that the group has so much fun together. The youngest member, Hunt, nodded in agreement. As a relatively new member for only six months, and who is also the youngest member, Hunt recalled getting special permission to join the group, even though she is under the required age of 40.
“At the time I joined the group, I was separated and working on a divorce," Hunt elaborated. "I had no friends here, and I felt lonely — isolated. I looked up some groups on Facebook, and I found this group."
She continued, "I contacted Lin and explained my situation to her, and she allowed me to join. It’s been a big help to have others encourage me through this tough time."
Hunt shared that the group has been very supportive of her and allows her to call and talk to someone on down days.
“I was at the brink of suicide," Hunt disclosed. "One of the ladies helped me. She cared about me and invested in me. It makes me feel encouraged and that I belong. I needed that community; everyone was so good to me."
Even though she is unable to attend every event, no one ever makes her feel guilty. She added, “It is a comfort to be around people, and it is very comforting to know there are people who cared and understood what I was going through."
Hunt said she is currently in therapy and is grateful to those who helped her keep her head above water.
Lin commented that she could not imagine Hunt not being in the group. She stated that the members are deadly honest with one another and are very accepting of everyone.
The group is currently examining charitable events that the group can support. “We want people to know who we are. We want to make a difference in our community," Lin emphasized. "We don’t allow politics or religion to interfere with what we are doing. The group supports local business on their outings. If held at a private residence, it’s a BYOB kind of thing."
Lin is very proud of the graphic they use for the group, which was created by Suzy Toronto who has done artwork about wacky women.
While Lin and Hunt shared their experiences with the group, Jim, who the ladies both agree makes great margaritas, was taking it all in.
“I knew Lin was wacky a long time ago,” Jim noted with a big smile. He added that the group gives women things to do with other women.
Jim recalled him and Lin as high school sweethearts. She ran away from the circus right into his arms at the age of 16. Lin commented that she had not been to school for four years. “I sat next to him for three months before he asked me to go out with him,” Lin said.
Lin recalled when Jim broke her heart between their junior and senior years. He felt they needed to date other people. “When I was 18, he was only 16, I felt grown up, and at first thought, he was very immature. Except for my dad, Jim was the first person to ever show me love,” she remarked. She added that he was her rock and when they broke up she lost her mind and her life was derailed.
“I felt like he threw me away,” she stated.
The breakup between Lin and Jim lasted 40 years. During an internet search 15 years ago, Lin found Jim once again. “In 2010, she found me on an internet search. She asked me if I remembered someone named Lin and I told her I only knew one person with that name and she was special,” Jim commented.
In 2011, the 1971 high school graduates met again after 40 years at their 40th class reunion. They married eight years ago.
Lin said her life has often been in chaos, but the wacky group she created on Facebook has been a way to feel included and settled.
Lin said she is not the only one that comes up with activities for the group. Others come up with spontaneous ideas, and she creates the event. She gets lots of positive feedback from the members and believes being a part of this group has improved her health.
This wacky group is just a bunch of caring ladies who lift up and support one another. They need each other, and they help each other. They believe friendship does not have an age limit. They believe friendship is about people coming into your life who you can be comfortable with and who you can talk to about anything.
The group is looking for women who want friends that want to get out and live and thrive, not just survive.
The Wacky Women in Waxahachie is definitely funny and amusing, but they absolutely are not odd or peculiar. They are just a caring bunch of ladies striving to help one another and make the world a better place.
Those wishing to join this wacky bunch can go to the Wacky Women in Waxahachie on Facebook, the only way you can be a member. Anyone can make their page private if they do not want anyone to know they are in the group. You can also reach Lin Putnam by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.