I was thinking today about the mugs, tee shirts, etc. that I've seen that say, "The best antique is an old friend". Two things (well, people actually) made me think of this. First, yesterday was my BFF Shirley's birthday. It was a biggie...now she's 60 like so many of the rest of us. Happy Birthday, Shirley. But since she lives in Illinois...and I live in Georgia...we couldn't celebrate together. So I celebrated without her -- but with another "old" friend.
My childhood (and life-long) friend, Jackie, was in town on business. She lives near Seattle, but when she comes to Atlanta on business every couple of years or so, we get together and catch up. When I was born, she was already nearly two weeks old -- just laying in her crib waiting for me. Her grandparents lived right next door to my parents...and she and her parents lived in a small house behind them. So we literally grew up together. Here is (to the best of my knowledge) the first recorded picture of our history together. I know...it looks like the first ever recorded picture, but I'm pretty sure it's not. That's me on the left with my hair in curlers -- must have had a date that night. That's her on the right -- wishing she had enough hair for curlers!
When we were only 5 years old, we were ripped apart and her family moved far, far away. They built a new house 1/2 block down the street. But at 5 your world is pretty small, and it seemed a long way away. Being resilient tykes, we adjusted to that and we would walk to kindergarten together. I needed her for a body guard because I was scared of the dogs and she wasn't. She was the bravest person I knew. And so we continued to grow up. When we got older, we would sit on her front porch and play Canasta to see if any boys went by (her street was busier than mine). And she's the one who told me about sex (I think my reaction was, "You're kidding, right??") Here is a picture of us going to our Junior Prom. She's on the left this time, with the dotted dress. It was cute -- a sheer sort of fabric with textured dots. Years later, she said of that dress, "I loved it at the time. Now I look at it and I think it would make a nice shower curtain."
She has always been able to make me laugh, and last night was no exception. We now each have two grandchildren and so that's fodder for lots of funny stories. When we were deciding where to have dinner, I said the Hard Rock Cafe was out because it was too loud and we couldn't converse to catch up (also...we're old and it's just too damn loud!). When we went past Hooter's, I told her that was out because they would want to give us jobs and I like my retirement. She corrected me and said that at our age, we would have to work at HUUter's.
Dear Lord, I thank you for both of these special women in my life...and for all the others that I am so blessed to call "friend". I do not take any of them for granted and I appreciate each and every one of them.