Sunday, May 5, 2013

A Friendship



 Shelia and I have been friends since the seventh grade -- back when she had a long blonde ponytail and often wore a flower in her hair. Our friendship continued throughout high school, summer school in Monterrey, Mexico, various beach weeks, and on to college -- at one point we shared an apartment over a beauty parlor in Gainesville, Florida with two other girls. It was Shelia who drove the getaway car in the sorority tea caper that I wrote about HERE.

In 1963, we both married our long-time sweethearts -- I was a bridesmaid in her wedding and  few months later, she was a bride's matron in mine. Time passed; she and her husband moved away and then came back; John and I did the same. But we always kept in touch by letters.

When John and I made the move to the mountains, Shelia would come to visit in the summer, helping me build little rock walls, climbing the mountain to watch the sunrise, and generally spurring me on to do more in a day that I would normally attempt.  Once, in spite of having a cold, she helped me top a sick neighbor's tobacco plants --- and I taught her how to blow her nose without a handkerchief.

Eventually she and her husband bought a vacation house in our county so over the years, we've been able to visit even more frequently.  And yesterday, Shelia came over in the morning to help me plant my garden -- some basil and parsley, and forty four tomato plants.

As we worked, I thought about what a fine thing friendship is. Shelia and I have rather different political and religious views but long ago we seem to have decided not to discuss them. Instead we enjoy the things we do agree on -- western North Carolina and books and flowers and food and digging in the dirt.   

Nearly sixty years of friendship . . . where does the time go?  
 
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14 comments:

Merisi said...

Deep friendships are such a blessing, even more when those friends live not too far away. So good to hear about Sheila and you planting a garden together, again.

Ms. A said...

Honestly, I think friendships like that are quite rare and the two of you are very fortunate to have maintained it for so long. Two very lucky ladies!

Martin said...

Affection and tolerance have served you both well. May your friendship continue for many years to come.

Thérèse said...

Proof that Everything is possible!
Pure Friendship.

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

How nice that you've been friends all of these years and agreed not to agree on all things. You and Sheila are fortunate to have each other. I just recently got together with a very good friend from childhood that I had not seen in fifty years. We had a great time visiting about our childhood birthday parties and shopping trips we took together. And our husbands enjoyed each other's company, which is always a bonus.
Sam

Kath Marsh said...

This your most beautiful blog!

Pat in east TN said...

A friendship like that is a blessing.

Brian Miller said...

lovely...having a friendship like that is a beautiful thing...very few seem to endure that long...the proff though is in the depth of feeling that comes through in this...

B. Rogers, Living in Black Mountain said...

You two are to be congratulated for building such a lovely friendship together. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful relationship. For me, I write a friend of over 50 years, but we weren't too successful in close proximity.

NCmountainwoman said...

I have a friend like that. We've been friends since fifth grade and seen each other through high times and low. She lived in Waynesville when we built here in Brevard and we visited often. Now she is in Charlotte but we still see each other fairly often. Such a friendship is wonderful...friends who know where you came from help you stay grounded.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Friendship is golden -- barbara

Star said...

I have a couple of friends like that too Vicki. Aren't we so lucky! It's great to go back through the years with someone you know 'almost' everything about. As the saying goes, 'A friend is someone who knows all about you, but loves you just the same!'

Darla said...

This brought such a smile to my heart, as did that first photo...memories and presence, clarity and the mistiness of time. Lovely.

Gwen said...

I, too, have such a friend like yours. Cindy and I have been friends for about 45 years. We were in each others' weddings, helped each other raise our children, buried her husband, and have sat next to each other in church nearly every Sunday through all these years. But, our mothers-in law beat our record. Her husband's mother, Mildred is 89 and my husband's mother, Virginia will be 90 in June. They are only about 6 months apart in age and have been friends since they were toddlers. In fact, when my mother-in-law started school, Mildred was so lonely and forlorn, the school let her begin first grade at the start of the next semester! They drive each other to doctor's appointments, finish each others' sentences, argue details of long ago events and keep everyone entertained with their shenanigans. Their friendship is going on 88 plus years. I only hope the Cindy's and my friendship lasts as long!