I knew Drew was comin for a visit yesterday so I knew it would be a good day, but I had no idea it turn into a magical day.
We spent the day on the porch with our swate tay, catchin up. Magical.
“That squirrel is Blackbeard. He has a friend who’s got an all black face, and Moo calls him Joe.”
Yucca plants are terrible, we agree. We also agree the only way I’ll get rid of mine is one day when the men come to expand my porch, it will slowly wither away in the darkness.
Cottonwood blew by.
The weather was sublime. If you think it’s too hot when it’s 82 and breezy, just go live in Georgia for seven years, and come back. It sure worked for me.
Catching up is a constant battle for people who live far from one another, isn’t it? I mean, we call, and we text, stay connected on social media, but distance is a cold hard intrusion into many of our relationships.
So many of them were based once in location.
I used to see Drew every day at school. Every day, she would turn around and tell me her friend was going to kick my ass. One day, she turned around and asked me to go bowling. From that time on, we were pretty much a complimentary set. We spent weekends together. Church together. Vacations together. In high school, we hung with some of the same people, but also, not. When you are friends with someone who is basically the opposite of you, you’re bound to love people she can’t stand and vice versa.
She moved to Texas. She came back. She moved back to Texas. She came back again. I moved to the far north side, she moved to the far south side. We both moved back to the east side. She moved to the country. I moved to Georgia. I came back. We’ve maintained this friendship and a running dialogue for 27 years — on the phone, in closets, behind your back, in the dark of night, on teeter-totters, in cars, under the bleachers, til dawn, from dressing rooms, in letters, from cozy pub booths, at tables, in front of roaring fires, in texts, in bathrooms, but mostly, on porches.
HME and I dated guys who were friends with one another. We met because she needed a ride to a shop, and I had a car on campus. In addition to being liberals dating the Young Republicans, we shared dozens of other interests, but it was the importance of minute details that bound us. We both loved cold weather and snow. We both loved sweat pants and socks. We both read more than we slept. We were both in the teacher’s college. On and on I could go. Late night coffee was our thing. For a short spell, we were roommates after college. She married a soldier and moved to Ft. Stewart, Georgia. Seven years later, my Marine became a soldier, and I moved to Ft. Stewart, Georgia. I’m from Indiana, she’s from Illinois, and here we are — More than twenty years later, still hours between us.
Looking back on the evolution of my friends from girls to women is a pretty amazing thing. We’ve gone from “What are the vocab words?” and “I was so drunk last night,” to “We’re getting married!” “I’m pregnant!” “Oh my God, I’m buying a house!” “He never listens to me!” to “So, this reverse puberty bullshit sucks. huh?” and “What do you know about estate planning?”
Beauty Queen used to be my next door neighbor. No one has ever been happier than me, trapped in suburban hell with Beauty Queen. Can you imagine our families are from the same tiny little coal mine county in Virginia? Yes, let’s take our vacations there! and haul our pregnant bodies up and down Natural Tunnel and through brambles in cemeteries!
Since Beauty Queen was the first real adult friendship I made, it was a “mommy friendship” which I’ve found are absolutely essential to this mommy. The wisdom of other mothers is crucial. Conversations over morning coffee:
“Beauty Queen, why does it lie? Does it think I’m stupid?”
“Beauty Queen, why does it prefer the left breast? Can you tell I’m lopsided now?”
“Beauty Queen, what is this rash on its arm?”
We are walking encyclopedias of mommyhood.
At the time, our friendship entailed a lot of bartering and sharing. If you’ve never traded a waffle iron for four haircuts, then you can’t relate. If you never passed clothes back and forth between five growing girls, then I’m sorry for all the money you wasted. Oh, your husband never fetched two massive cups of the good chewing ice from the farthest gas station while you were both pregnant? Sorry.
Once we moved, within months of one another, we realized it was a golden age, and how precious that time really was.
Also, we have excellent taste, and a sense of propriety, so we’ve spent a lot of time (about fifteen years) hypocritically discussing how the rest of you don’t.
I’ve grown few friendships that last years and years, that surpass time and distance, that keep the running dialogue of life. But always, always, meeting up and catching up.
It’s been a year since I left True in Georgia, and still, running dialogue. I wonder what the next ten years will bring for us?
You never know when you meet someone, if they’ll be a constant.
>end friend montage <
In the middle of catching up, Drew left to collect Simon. I called my dad (who was HAPPY and CHEERFUL — omg magical wtfness!) and I ended up chatting to my mother about the garden.
This is when I truly realized how magical the day was.
I said to my mother, “I can’t wait til you get here, so you can tell me what all these plants are! You know waking up here every day is nothing short of a miracle. It’s so greeeeen! It’s June. I’m walkin on asphalt, and my feet are not on fire! I’m not sunburnt! I’m not sweating! There’s cool green grass, well, a lot of it’s weeds, but it’s still cool and green and soft.”
Drew returned with Simon, The Mister came home with pizzas, pizzas were eaten, stories were told, laughter was shared.
Simon and I discussed how he needs to come stay a while. He can do some big strong man things in my yard, and I will feed him the good foods like the olden days, and we will “Puter and music all day! ALL DAY!”
(Ace can come once baseball season is over, but he will do lil boy things like wear Moo out and reject my good foods and say, “An Joey! An Joey! You know what?!?”)
THE MISTER DID DISHES. — I told you, magical!
Goodbye hugs and kisses. Hope we’re all together again soon.
Then, Game of Thrones and ice cream.