so today . . . i heard back from another old friend.
she lived next door to me when i was a teenager. our families were friends. she had three younger brothers, and i had one (although there were times when he seemed like three!) our brothers played together and plotted ways to annoy us. sometimes they were the bane of our existence, but together we were stronger than any one of them (and sometimes even two of them!) our moms were friends. we spent most of our free time together. in the summer, every day at noon we would meet at one house or the other with our bologna and miracle whip sandwiches, and watch perry mason. even now, bologna sandwiches make me think of perry mason, and if i happen to hear the theme music for perry mason, i get hungry for bologna and miracle whip.
we loved to make things. we always had a project going. the most memorable one to me was when we decided to make quilts. we cut hundreds of small hexagons, which then had to be stitched together by hand because of their shape. i had my unfinished quilt and bag of hexagons until just a few years ago. i just couldn't get rid of it, even though i knew i would never finish it, because it reminded me of her.
one summer she made the trek by car with us to iowa. she visited her relatives while we visited ours, but we shared the three day trip each way. when we went to pick her up for the trip back, she had tiny tree frogs in a shoe box, AND MY MOM LET HER BRING THEM ALONG! in a shoe box. in the car. for three days. i couldn't believe it!
then the day came when her dad was transferred to the seattle area, and they had to move. we vowed that we would still be friends, but phone calls were expensive and letters became infrequent. we were able to visit each other a few times and managed to stay close for a while. she came to visit me at college (where we got tear-gassed, but that is a story for another day!) and was in my wedding. then we moved to kansas city and the distance just became too great.
our paths have crossed occasionally since then, but we haven't really been able to sustain the connection. she is the only friend i have from my childhood and teenage years, and so she knows me in a different way than anyone else. that is a rare and valuable thing, so this time i am determined that i won't lose her again.