Thoughts on Friendship, Part I

Proverbs 18:24 (New Living Translation)

“There are ‘friends’ who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.

Holy Bible. New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, found on www.Biblegateway.com

I am blessed with the best friends. Yesterday, October 7th, 2006, I spent the whole day with my friend “Tea”, catching up, since we have not actually seen each other in over a year. This is the reality of modern life, that it is with email, i.m. and the phone that most of our friendships are conducted. This is o.k. with me, o.k. that is, until we get together, then I miss her so much more after I see her. Suddenly I get greedy. 

Yesterday, we exchanged Christmas 2005 and birthday ‘05 (hers) and ‘06 (mine) gifts. Pathetic, huh? Well, pathetics aside, it was fun. It always is.  

She gave me a vintage photo bookmark (supposedly “us” in a [not so] few years!) which I scanned to show the entire world and then I promptly put in my Bible in Proverbs 18. Apparently, I was with her when she bought this bookmark but I was talking so much I did not notice this charmer in among her purchases. (BTW- It has pansy gift-wrap on the back – too, too cute!)

We are planning to celebrate her ‘06 birthday, which is in December & this coming Christmas, THIS Christmas – novel thought. And I am so excited because that is only about 80 days away!  Life is so good.

Another one of my friends has been spending so much time helping me lately that if I ever get to the place that I don’t need the help, I will not tell a soul because I love having my friend come over to my house and I love going over to my friend’s home. I love the interaction, the breakfasts, brunches, lunches, dinners, the research, the road trips, the goofy adventures and all the silly chatter and subsequent laughter. I feel so much better, just knowing I am not going to be doing something alone. That kind of friendship is priceless.

These are just two of my dozens of beloved friends. All of whom are so much better at friendship than I am. I am awed & humbled to have them for friends & I have learned “how” to be a better friend from each one of them. I try to remember all their birthdays, emphasis on try, and am amazed that they remember mine when I cannot even remember mine.

One of my friends actually gave me the shirt off her back once! No kidding. Thank goodness, she had another shirt on underneath, because her outfit was layered! We were on our way to an herb gardening class…so she definitely needed clothing! The shirt was plaid. For those that know me, that explains everything. My friend is so generous I am sure I am not the only person to get the shirt off her back, really or figuratively.

Since I am an only child, I thank God that “real friends stick closer than brothers”.   

WJP098

        I can’t remember my phone number, my SSI number, heck, I can’t even remember my age, but, by golly, I can remember the license plate of my Grandmother’s 1960’s Volkswagen Beetle. I had no idea at the time, how cool it was that my Grandmother drove such a car. One December day, when I was in the fifth grade, she picked me up from school in that car, and promptly pulled over before we arrived home to have a talk with me. I thought I was in trouble because she started with the words "Karen, I’m worried". I won’t say what she said to me because some of you may still believe in Santa Claus and I do too! But that was what was worrying her. At least, I wasn’t in trouble. We then drove through Kentucky Fried Chicken, one of our favorite Grandma/granddaughter things to do. I loved that car. It was tan in color and she let me drive it once or twice before she turned it in during the 70’s for a more Grandmotherish & forgettable Ford sedan with an equally forgettable license plate. 

     Before that V-dub bug she had an early 60’s, powder blue, Ford Falcon that I also loved. We drove around town (which was Sierra Madre, California – a California version of Mitford for all you Jan Karon Fans) I rode not on the seat, but laying on the back windowsill, not exactly safe but, oh so, wonderful and fun for five year old me. In the 90’s, when my hubby was searching for a used car for me & I let it be known that I wanted a 1963 Ford Falcon, remembering that charmed time with Grandmother, that’s exactly what he found for me. My Falcon was cherry red instead of powder blue and, alas, I could no longer fit into the back windowsill (besides it is hard to drive from back there) but I LOVED THAT CAR and wept when we sold it. I sulked for days. People were complimenting me on my new, NEW, car (the only NEW car I’ve ever had) &, a new BMW at that! How stupid did I appear, as I pined away for a 1963 Falcon with an ultimate driving machine in my garage? Very stupid, I know. I kept it to myself as much as possible. 

     These days I’m driving a 1998 used Ford Expedition, with over 200,000 miles on it and it has jumped to the top of my all-time favorite car list. I absolutely, positively adore that big rig. It has a sun and moon roof, a six c.d. changer in the center console and everything I could ever need or want in a vehicle. It is a cup holder on wheels, among other things. The only thing is I have no idea what my license plate is…I’m considering a vanity plate and, you guessed it, WJP098 seems to be the plate I can remember… 

       

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