Sunday, November 15, 2009

A brief moment away...

Every now and again, I get a chance to visit with a very good, and long-term (I won't use the word OLD to describe her...she is far from old ;-) ) friend of mine. Her husband is an equally good friend of my husbands--they use to work together, many many years ago, back before El Husbando and I had children...

She is a wonderful woman...a real delight to be around. A number of years my senior (not using that dreaded "old" word, again! :-D ), she has enough world and life experience to really make one think. She's that most wonderful of friends, someone who shares enough interests to make things companionable, and yet has enough other experiences and hobbies and such, to really open up some doors I might otherwise not have opened...or at least, not when and how I did!

Even better, because there is this "oh so slight" difference in age, her children are older than mine. So she's been there, done that, got the tee shirt, as far as parenting is good for her to be able to share her "DO NOT DO THIS!" advice, with someone, before her own children get old enough to need it, for her grandchildren. LOL...I've had the pleasure of seeing her children, grow from being in their elementary school years, to graduating high school...

This weekend, I had the great opportunity to go and spend a few days in her company (of course, El Husbando and the children went along, too). It was...wonderful. Oh, it had its stresses (we had a host of other folks we knew arriving on Saturday for a potluck), so we had some cooking and cleaning to do, on top of the usual challenges of having five small children in a relatively new and unusual enviroment). But it was a wonderful weekend. One I very much needed. We went to a couple of the local thrift shops, had a wonderful (although far too brief!) lunch in a local coffeeshop (I LOVED MY SANDWICH!), and generally had a good time together. I've got a few pictures of things I spotted that really made me smile in one of the gift shops...some things I'd not seen before, other's I'd seen and thought of an online friend almost will hopefully get those posted tomorrow, but the camera is still packed up, I'm afraid, so you will just have to wait a little bit longer...

Having been separated by some pretty good distances, for most of the last ten years (we were in North Carolina, and they were in Alabama and then out here to Oklahoma, where they've been for several years), it has been sometimes fairly challenging, to be able to do things together. Which is why weekends like this one past, even where it seems we did little more than work (and there was plenty of that, lol!), there is so much to be treasured, just in being in her company. It isn't always easy, to keep a friendship going over long-distances, especially as busy as life has been for both she and I, over the last ten plus years. But somehow...well, we've managed to tolerate each other's foibles this long, and I hope for many many more years to come.

Being her friend, has been a wonderful part of my life. I can definitely say I'd not be the person I am, without the knowing of her. I am grateful that God has let her be "on loan" to me, in this way, as 'small' as it seems little as we have been able to see each other in years is such a great gift from Him, to have friends such as these.

Dear friend, if you are reading this--you have no idea, how very special this weekend was. You thought I worked too much and didn't relax enough--but don't you realize, being around you, is the BEST vacation--even if I was scrubbing tables, doing dishes, and sweeping floors at midnight? It isn't a chore, when it is done with someone you love, and whose company you miss, so much of the thank you, sweet S. Know you are prayed for, loved, and very very much treasured (I'd write this weekend down on *my* fan, if I had one! ;-) ).


For those of you reading this, if you have a friend you treasure, tell them. Even if you weren't blessed to spend the last few days with them, go right ahead. It might (will likely) make their day. It might make them realize how very highly you think of them, and the relationship between the two of you. Friendship is something, especially in these days of a highly mobile society, that should be treasured, sheltered, and protected. Good friends ARE somewhat hard to find, and harder to keep, it seems...our fast paced world puts a high price tag on speed, expediting "everything". There is little place for a quiet afternoon, sipping tea and a frozen coffee, with a friend, while you linger over your lunch as long as you can...we're always pressing on...never a dull moment...never a "still" moment. Going going going, from the time we hop out of bed in the morning.

But this social/cultural obsession with speed, does away with these long term, slow-growth friendships (almost sounds like a mutual fund, doesn't it? LOL). We're all for fast food, taking more classes to graduate early and "get out in the real world", hybridizing plants and animals that grow bigger, faster, and apparently, we think, better. Faster cars, faster planes, and letters that fly with the touch of a button (as opposed to snail mail's pace, taking a week or more, in some cases, to get from sender to recipient). We lost sight of just how precious such intimate relationships are, when we put everything into a pressure cooker...

This makes me think of a Mythbusters episode I saw, where they were trying to make diamonds, using a high-grade pressure cooker. It didn't work. It didn't change anything from the way it had started. They also tried a microwave (ditto), and a forge (again, the same result). Basically, the only way to get a real diamond is, well, the hard way. The long, slow, pondering way. It takes time. Lots of it. It takes care. Plenty of it. Sometimes, you put all that work and care, and time, and end up with sedimentary rock. Or petrified wood. Not a diamond. But sometimes...just put in the effort, and what you get, astounds the eye...the most brilliant of all gems, a big, beautiful, blindingly lovely...diamond...They have their flaws, just as our human relationships do. But beautiful they are indeed...

You can't shove people, and their relationships, into a pressure canner, and expect diamonds over night. You can't smelt down the basic ingredients, or blast with them with funky radio waves, either. Time, and pressure/challenges, a bit of heat to spice things up a bit every now and again...and you just might have a real diamond.

I've got a few gems in the jewelbox of friendships I am blessed to call "mine" ...And they are all as lovely, and yet as different, as can be. And I consider myself to be a very fortunate woman indeed, to have friends such as these...

For all of my friends, you know my prayers are with you and for you...I hope we get to see each other soon. I pray that until then, you are safe and well, and I either get a phone call, a letter, or an email, very very soon (hint hint, R in GA--if you are reading this, pen, paper, envelope! ;-) And don't forget the stamp! ).

For the rest of you, well, tell your friends you love them. Drop them a note. Call them (even better). Or best yet, show up on the doorstep with some chocolate. Or coffee. Or whatever their "pamper me item of choice" is. You know what I mean! Just don't let another day go by, without letting them know how much they mean to you.

I'll leave you now, with one thought. Don't leave those things unsaid. You never know what tomorrow brings. Take the time now, to let them know how very precious they are to you. (S, you'd better have read this! :-) ).

1 comment:

  1. Rachel,

    I love this post. So important that people put down their electronic gadgets and embrace life; engage face to face ... NOW. If that's not possible, write the letter. Let people know they matter.

    Your Friend,