I have this feeling if I start writing I will bring out some great epic piece today. If I start writing, something will click.
Ah, Friendship. That's what I will deal out here today in an epic way, complete with pictures, although arranging pictures is new to me and the results, I'm afraid, show it.
First, I have to explain something. I had a weird childhood, in that I feel there were two parts to it, the before the age of eight part and after the age of eight part. I was a scorcher before the age of 8. I mean I just did it--whatever needed doing I did it with aplomb! I belonged to a group of young ruffians; we all got together every night and played on our street. We only came in from the street when our mothers called. I have a great memory of a seven-year-old and the games we played.
When I turned eight we moved; something settled down deep in my childish bones and I retreated, in a big way. Something in my family went haywire, school left a lot to be desired so I got suspicious, and didn't let anyone in. I've always wanted to go back to my seven-year-old self.
The problem with a dichotomy settling in like that is it hovers over you well into adulthood. I've been particularly suspicious of friendship because I had so little of it growing up. Thank God I've changed, finally. When I make friends now, I really value them.
The day before yesterday a friend took me out to lunch: her name is Barbara. We go back a long ways. For the first time I got more detail on her growing up years, although the hurts didn't come into it, as I've described mine, and there were almost certainly hurts. Just the fascinating stuff, like growing up in New York City before moving to Pennsylvania to a chicken farm, of all things. How could I have known Barb all these years and not known she lived on a chicken farm!
That weird dichotomy still hovers, you see.
Barbara, or Barb, as I call her, is among a group of friends I've had for a lot of years now. Anne, Laura, and Judy are the others in this group of friends. Anne and I are making faces at each other in the pictures, I'm the one on the right with the purple sweater.
Laura and Judy look on tolerantly. We've gone through a lot of things together and I've probably been the only one who hasn't reached out as much as I would have liked. These friends are the ones who reached out when I lost my brother. We go out together to celebrate birthdays every year. May there be many more birthday celebrations!
Max goes back just as many years. In the picture you see we were in one of our wonderful adventure spots: maybe Morocco? We have shared wonderful times together. Max is always there for me. This year was one of the first years we haven't had one of our adventures, like being thrown out of Slovakia or getting lost in the Egyptian Exhibit at the Louvre. Next year, Max!
Jen is my newest friend. You see her here with her husband Soeren and my husband Jerry. Jen's is a friendship I can't even begin to describe: like sending innumerable emails, How Are You Doing? What's Up? And meaning it. And wanting to know. Like thinking through how to help with a writing problem that was causing real knock down, drag out depression and coming forth with the one thing that helped.
Jen and I met in an online writing group, soon found it not to our liking and together left to form our own. From there she signed me up (without my knowledge! Thank you, Jen!) with another writing group that was forming so now I have all these other friends whose pictures I don't have on me and available but then, friends, you know who you are: the wonderful HW, HtH, Erin, Brit, Kerri--The Four Corners Online Writing Group!
Here's to all my friends: Barb, Anne, Laura, Judy, Max, Jen, HW, HtH, Erin, Brit, Kerri. I wish we were all together. I'd lift a glass of wine in your honor!
With special thanks to Jen. May Possum Summer find a publisher and soon!
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