Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Treasured Friends

HALLE is so adorable.  I caught her eating--
it's the only pic I have of her!
She tried to hide from me when I had the camera!

This past weekend was great!!! My BFF  came down to visit with her daughter, Halle. We grew up in Eureka, Illinois but for the past 20+ years have both lived in California. We live only a few hours from each other but it's been years since we've gotten together.  We were busy with kids and life and her daughter is still young (junior high) so she's still busy!  You know how it is when you don't see a good friend for a long time and you get back together?  You don't miss a beat.  That's how it is with her.  We have a 55 year history together so we go waaaaaaaay back.  We know each others' families, warts and all (Well, my family had warts, not sure if Kate's family did, but we got them burned off.....ha ha)  The love that we share is rare because of all we've been through together.  From grade school tribulations to high school tragedies (I don't have a date for Prom!!!!!) we saw each other through.  Kate and I were a part of the BIG THREE.  Our third friend was Nancy who still lives in Illinois.  We were never seen apart and there was nothing the three of us couldn't conquer.  I really don't know how I would have made it without them.  I think I'd be a different person today if I had never met them.  I would probably even be a bit quieter...we could, and still can, make a lot of noise!  In fact my son commented during Kate's visit that this has been my loudest visit yet!  We admit it, we're loud.  Dave kept telling us to use our "inside voices" but we don't have inside voices.  No off button..don't even try!

So I've been thinking about friendship--the kind of friends that we are.  We grew up in the 50's and 60's when life was a lot different.  Our parents weren't afraid to send us to the grocery store on our bikes or even to let us ride all over town.  Everyone looked out for everyone.  That works the other way, too.  If we did something naughty our parents would hear about it before we got home.  It was really difficult to hide things from them.  My parents knew all my classmates and most of their parents.  That at least spared my dates having to come in to meet my dad.  Chances are they had already met or our dads were friends or co-workers. All the moms in the neighborhoods were friends and the kids just went from one house to the next feeling just at home next door or down the block as in their own house.  I stay in touch with several of these friends and love getting together with them when I go back to Eureka, but my BFF's are almost like sisters.  It's a different kind of closeness and I will always marvel at how fortunate I am to have them in my life.  Even if years go by without seeing each other, we know that the other is there and sometimes that's enough. We always worried that we'd forget each other when we went off to college...that we'd meet our best friends in college.  That didn't happen.  We stayed close through the years and I treasure that.  I love knowing that there are a few people who "knew me when" and still like me!  We've changed for sure but that little spark of who we once were is still there, just under the surface.  I love my friends, especially my two BFF's.  That term wasn't around when we were kids.  I guess we just said the words without the initials...Best Friends Forever.  They're one of the very best things I have taken from my childhood!

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