In my retirement, I find that most days are like all others. I have my little routine and I go through it and find much enjoyment and satisfaction. However, on occasion, I find an adventure coming up and I get so excited. Tonight, for instance, we are meeting quite a few friends for dinner. The special occasion is the hubster’s birthday, my friend, Nancy’s, birthday, and our good friends Suzie and Greg Watson are in town from Arizona. There are sixteen of us meeting for dinner and drinks.
I am just so excited. Not only do I get to see my old friends whom I haven’t seen in a couple of years, but I get to visit with my close friends with them. I have an hour to blow before I start to get ready and so I thought I would start a blog.
Friends have been so important in my life. I wasn’t very close to my family. I consider myself a displaced zygote. Which means the stork dropped me in the wrong family? I loved my family, it is just that I didn’t have much in common with them.
And so, friends became important to my life. My very first close friend was Emma. She and I were in Kindergarten together and we were in the same class throughout elementary and junior high school. We drifted apart in junior high and I became close friends with a bunch of the kids from the class ahead of mine.
In high school, I became close to Jeanie who I had known since childhood. Her family lived across the street from me when I was four. She lived down the street from me and since we cheered together, we became best friends.
In college, I met Pat, and she was my best friend for two years. We just met up in Springfield a couple of weeks ago and it was like we had never been apart.
In my adulthood, the hubster was my best friend for years. We adopted a few friends (Dave, Dave and Fuzzer) and we hung out for many years. I didn’t really have any girlfriends during this period of my life. I had girlfriends who were the girlfriends of boyfriends but I never got close to them.
When we moved to Illinois, I met Ellie. Her husband and mine got along, and her son was about the same age as my girls. She was such a dear and often loaned me her son. We were both social butterflies and organized various groups of people to go out to dinner, to parties or to plays. We grew very close to each other. We walked together, talked together and shared many memories and feelings. I just about died when she moved to Arizona.
Across the street was Nancy. Her son introduced himself to me as Joshua Fairchild Heath. I asked about the Fairchild as I have two ancestors whose names were Fairchild. He told me his grandparents’ names were Fairchild. After that he told everyone that my girls were his cousins. Nancy and I became very close also and still are to this day. We often get together to bake or to can. We call ourselves, “Women who drink and can,” or “bake”.
Beyond Nancy lived Garnet. I lived here three or four years before I met Garnet. I don’t’ even remember meeting her for the first time. We ran into each other off and on and she and I started riding our bikes around the lake. She got me a job at the mental health facility where she worked and we worked together for half a year. Garnet and I drifted apart as she likes to be a loner quite often. In recent years, she has been going through chemo and radiation, and damn her, but she is going to put up with my presence, whether she likes it or not. (I think she does like it.)
Suzie moved into the house across the street when Nancy moved away. (Five doors down.) Suzie was determined that she was going to become a reflexologist and write a book. Darn if she didn’t do it. She and I became very close. We made several trips together and did quite a bit of walking and hiking. When she moved to Arizona, it broke my heart.
When Suzie moved away I became closer to her sister-in-law, Lorraine. Lorraine is like my spiritual sister. She is also a reflexologist and is going to instruct me in reiki.
Lauri was the wife of the man who sold us the lot on which we built our house. Her daughter babysat for us once when we were hard up not knowing anyone in the area because we were new. Lauri painted and wall papered for a living in those days and she asked me if I wanted to join in with her. I did the trim and she did the rolling. We worked well together. She married and moved quite a distance from me. She went on to become a CNC operator and we saw each other frequently but not enough.
Naomi was another friend who meant so much in my life. She played guitar and sang like an angel. Or a demon when she wanted to. I sang harmony, and soon, there was a whole group of people gathering on my deck with guitars and percussion entertaining the neighborhood. We never did have one complaint in all those years.
These women are my sisters. They know me, my good, bad and ugly self. I know theirs. Tonight, I get to see some of them and catch up. I am so excited. As we get older these times are far and fewer in between. I shall cherish tonight and hopefully, have a couple of photos to share with you. Photos to remind me of the memory of being with my close friends.
It was truly a night to remember. We shared lots of hugs and kisses, laughter, joy and so much more. And the food wasn’t bad either.
A few folks I expected didn’t show but the group that came had a wonderful time. Our waitress and staff took lots of picture of the group of us. I enclose a couple of my favorites.
This will be a memory for always. Peace be with you.