I was just sitting this morning drinking my coffee and thinking about friends. Friends I've had at different points in my life and where they are now and if I even know anymore.
I don't remember any real friends until 6th grade. Before that my cousins were my best friends. My favorite cousin was "Jimbo". We did everything together. We slept over at each others houses on weekends, we were in the 4-H club together. I felt like she was so lucky because she had sisters. They were all lots older, but she had them. She could ask them all kinds of questions...about makeup, boys, life in general. You know, all the things you want to know, but won't ask your mom.
Uncle Bud and Aunt Corabell owned a dairy. It was really neat (when it wasn't your responsiblity) to get up and go get the cows in, put the feed in the troughs and watch Uncle Bud clean and hook up the milkers. I was endlessly fasinated and did not at that time, appreciate how hard the work really was. That dairy was cleaner than most houses. Grandma and Grandpa had a milk cow...a herford white face...not exactly a quality..quanity producer, but she had lost her calf, so grandpa started feeding her up and milking her. We learned how to make home made butter and buttermilk. I learned how to hand milk, but my hands weren't very strong, so I didn't do it much, but I did know how. That was probably the meanest cow I ever knew, she would hide in the back pasture when it was time to milk her and we had to go hunt her over the whole 30 acres. We never knew if she was hiding in the gully or the woods, and once she even jumped the fence and hid on the ajoining property, but then I digress. I was talking about friends here.
Back to Jimbo. When I was 10 years old we moved to Texas. Not a long move, but it put Jimbo 40 miles away, which pretty much ended the sleepovers. We grew apart, met new friends and moved on with our lives. She grew up, had kids, and so on and so forth. When I was at my Aunts Funeral in December, I got her address and phone number from one of her sisters. I was so excited, it made me feel connected to family again. She lives not far from my brother Greenville, but very far from here. I called her and we talked nearly two hours. I have written her two letters....I invited her to come to visit, and stay overnight...even her daughter who was considering going to college down here. She never wrote back. She visited Padre Island this summer with her family, passing within miles of my home, but didn't bother to call. I guess too much time has passed for her to put anymore effort into this friendship. I didn't go to the family reunion, but my brother did, he talked to her, she mentioned her vacation...that's how I know she was down here. You'd think she would want to spend even a few hours talking about family, but guess not.
Then in high school my best friend was Mary. Mary dropped out of school when she was 17, but she was so smart. We stayed in touch, and our kids played together as children. She moved away from C'ville, then I moved away, then she moved back to that area, but I didn't. I've lost her address, but I still know where she lives, the last time I was through there I went by her house to visit...yes it's been 11 years, but next time I'm in that part of Texas I'll try again. I've tried to find her on the internet, but she has a very common last name, so that's impossible, I've tried listings for her small town, but her phone is not on any of them. I wonder if she remembers me...ever.
Then there was my best friend Janet. I hear from her occasionally....an email now and then.
I've had a lot of friends over the years, but we all get busy with our lives and don't take care of our friendships. I actually have friends on MySpace and Blogger that I have never met, and they are special friends to me....they listen to me, and answer me, and make me feel connected to the world. I think I really like this blogging thing. It gives me a chance to just think out my feelings and vent, and just be myself.
Last, but certainly not least....and not a "girlfriend", my best friend is Dave. He is my lover, my confidant, my everything. We talk for hours about nothing. We laugh, we eat, we tease, we watch tv, or not, we listen to music or to the silence ... just being around each other is enough. I've had a lot of friends of the years, but I've never had one who just knew what I needed by looking at me. He calls me on the phone, just to leave a message. He sends me little emails to work, knowing that when I get a chance to check it...be it 4 am or later, that it gives me a little boost just knowing that he is thinking about me. I don't think I could survive without him.
Friends....they just make like....fuller.........