The other day’s post from Tammie got me thinking in the wee hours of the morning (when I wake up around 4 or 5, I have trouble getting back to sleep but know it’s not worth getting up that early, so I have time to think – and yes, I DO think, once in a while!).
One of my unknown truths – to some people, others know this – is that I have trouble making and keeping friends. I think it all comes from the constant moving we did when I was a child. My dad was in the Air Force and we moved no less than every 3 years, and sometimes every year. I was shy to start with and weird to end with and not many children wanted to be friends.
Plus, as I mentioned, I wanted to be a boy, so I played boy games and played with boys. My best friends, until I was in Junior High, were boys. As I got older, I was forced to play with my brother’s friends … two years younger than I. By “play,” I mean it in the innocent way (so stop your sniggering!). Robin Hood, Tarzan, Cowboys and Indians … that kind of play! The boys my age were becoming interested in girls as “girls” and not in playing Robin Hood with them out in the woods.
Every time we moved, I lost what friends I had made and had to make new friends in the new place. This problem continued into high school and then into college. Although I stayed in the same college for 4 years, making friends were difficult, keeping them even more so. I was always considered weird because I didn’t wear makeup, wasn’t really interested in boys, although I dated, and was more interested in reading than learning to be friends.
After marriage, my friendships didn’t last long, either … we moved to Australia and our friends there went by the wayside when we moved home. Then when home, we had to re-make friends as the friends we had when we left had changed, as had we, so we had nothing in common.
I did not make "true" (at least what I consider "true") friends until I started working at Historic Murphy’s Landing and found people that are "my kind" of people and are as weird as I am! I have made and kept many of them and treasure them in my heart.
I have made two lasting friends, however, in the many years past.
The first is my sister-in-law-in-law …. Norm’s brother, Darrell’s, wife, Mavis. We became friends when Norm and I were just dating and she predicted our marriage. That was 41 years ago. We have raised children together, sympathized about husbands and how alike they are and how to survive their weirdness …I treasure this friendship. She knows and understands how I feel and why I do what I do.
Another friend is Nancy – I met her when I was teaching through a spinning guild that a gal and I formed – “Spinners, Etc.” … Nancy has taught me to make sugar eggs and I taught her how to spin. Well, we’ve taught each other many things. She was the one who helped me chose my first (and, unfortunately, last) milk cow. We’ve been friends now for nearly 30 years. She knows my feelings and my weird ways and accepts them.
So, what is a friend? To me, a friend is someone who not only accepts me as I am, but is willing to allow me to do the weird things I do and not criticize. She does not hold anger if I mistakenly make her angry, but is willing to forgive me. She is willing to stick with me through thick and thin.
Those who have been my friends are special. Those new ones who have become my friends through the wonders of the Internet are special, as well. We may not have met face-to-face, but we have connected through emails, chats and phone calls. I hope someday to meet each and every friend in person some day. But until that time, I will treasure the new along with the old.
There is a Girl Scout song I learned as a child and still love: “Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver but the other is gold.”
You have a beautiful day with "true" friends by your side.