Category Archive: Friendship

TREASURES, REVEALED AND RENEWED

I had no trouble keeping awake. Between managing a business issue on my hands-free phone, having a long, lovely chat with Mom, and singing along with our choir’s Christmas CD, my “windshield time” (driving) flew by.

Arriving at the beach destination for our college buds reunion, four beautiful women who have meant a great deal to me in and since my college years at Fresno Pacific University greeted me.

The week before our girlfriends’ getaway, emails flew back and forth …morro rock

“Anyone bringing a swimsuit?”

“No way.”

“Hopefully we’ve become more accepting of ourselves than back when …”

“Can’t we be accepting and still clothed?”

We knew laughter would be on the agenda!

 

Jeannies wedding

Unpacking, storing the food we’d brought (enough for a small army, or at least for a week’s stay rather than three days!), we delighted in being together again. Four of us were bridesmaids in MarJean’s wedding to Conrad 46 years ago (left). While most of us have seen each other periodically over the intervening passage of time, we have not seen MarJean for about 43 years.  If you have reconnected with long-time friends, you will understand when I say we picked up where we left off, sharing laughter, tears, memories, and love. That night, over halibut and sweet potato fries, we remembered our college days:

 

  • The relationships that lasted, or didn’t;
  • Professors and dorm parents who challenged us, or didn’t;
  • Crazy things we did like falling asleep in the Fresno sun with baby oil as our tanning lotion, only to waken with second degree leg burns (that one was mine)
  • Opportunities to express our faith in a variety of ways; and
  • Our friendships, which held through the years despite our relocations across California and Alaska.

We include a missionary, two teachers, an office manager/bookkeeper, and a human resources manager. Between us we have nine children and 38 grand and step-grandchildren.

And we’ve all experienced challenges along the way. Part of life.Five on bench in cambria

But as He promised, God has been, and continues to be, with each of us throughout the E-ticket rides that embody our lives.

Friendships are a treasure; with long-term, infrequent contact, they may be hidden treasures, to be opened with joy at times of reunion. That’s how I felt this weekend. We ate, shared long conversations together, shopped, explored. No need for games or tv. There was too much life to catch up on.

I recently read that one who wants friendships must invest in them. We five took this time to invest in each other, to renew and deepen these precious friendships.  And what a treasure we uncovered.

“A friend loves at all times; and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17)

Who are your treasured friends? How do you invest in those relationships?

The Men in My (little girl’s) Life

My dear friend Karen O’Connor just wrote about the men who have stepped in to help her following the passing of her husband. (See http://www.karenoconnor.com/p-s-to-last-weeks-blog-on-pick-up-lines/).  That triggered thoughts about all the men who have helped me along my way, some throughout my life, some after my first husband passed away, some now (like my current wonderful hubby, Don). I’d like to give them a “shout out”.

Bob and Don cooking together

Bob and Don cooking together

Arnold and Melvyn enjoying a conversation

Arnold and Melvyn enjoying a conversation

Don – who loves and believes in me – always; and helps me in innumerable ways from loading the laundry to planning, and planting, a beautiful yard.

Arnold – my older brother who promised my first husband he (Arn) would take care of me if Jerry died. He did, and Arn kept his promise, along with the twinkle in his eye.

Bob – my younger brother who has given me wise feedback and practical help installing a sprinkler system when I was alone, and who sat with me in the urgent care center for several hours as we waited to learn if my wrist was broken after a fall.

Melvyn – my oldest brother who was always available for medical advice and information, and to talk with doctors as needed. For being a big brother I respect and count on to this day.

Dave – a dear friend who power washed our house in preparation for a big party.

Bob Noonan – who is willing to give and receive friendship following the death of his much-loved wife, and who always teaches us more about history and politics in our conversations.

Bob Moorhead, who leads our annual mission trips to Mexico, and has done so for over thirty years (long before we were involved).

SONY DSC

Josiah and Kyle helping Mom over some rough terrain

My local nephews Josiah, Drew and Kyle who have warned me of problems among renters, rebuilt a house wall that didn’t meet code, made me laugh, and treated my Mother with love and respect.

… and many more! I’m blessed, and thankful for each friend, male and female, in my life.

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”

I Thessalonians 5:16-18

For whom are you thankful? Why?

 

 

 

Friendship – a Priceless Gift

“Carol, wake up,” Susan stepped into my room. “There’s water all over the floor.”

It was about 1:30 am in Mexico. I dragged myself out of bed and stepped out of the bedroom into … about half an inch of water all over the living and dining room floors. A storm gusted outside. Lightning brightened the sky as thunder competed with the sound of the pounding waves of the ocean surf. I was scheduled to sign closing papers later that day, and we feared if there was suddenly water destruction the buyers might pull out.

Joyce, Susan and me together in Puerto Vallarta about thirteen years ago.

Joyce, Susan and me together in Puerto Vallarta about thirteen years ago.

As we saw that the water was coming through the door to the rooftop, I called reception downstairs. “Agua, aqui” (Water, here!). He came right up, found that debris had filled the rain gutter on the roof thereby channeling the pummeling rain through the doorway and down into the condo. He cleared the gutter and water stopped raining indoors. Susan and I spent the rest of the night sweeping out water, then wiping down the floors with towels and washing laundry. And the close went off without a hitch later that morning.

I spent a few days last week with Susan and another dear friend. I’ve known Susan for about thirty-two years; Joyce, about twenty-three. We’ve traveled together, gone through my romances together (both my first and second husbands–my friends were both married when we met), shared our mutual love for Jesus and service to others. And we’ve laughed together … a lot.

Together, we reminisced about some of our favorite times together–exploring the streets and restaurants of Puerto Vallarta, lazing in the sun, shopping (ah yes, girls’ shopping times – great!). We’ve spent time in each other’s homes over the years and enjoyed couple friendships together with our husbands.

Since our first vacation together with our husbands in Puerto Vallarta each of us, in addition to my current husband, Don, has lost a spouse. We’ve walked through both joys and sorrows together. Proverbs 17:17, NIV, says “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”

On our porch last week.

On our porch last week.

I have other long-time friends as well. What a gift to have people in my life whom I trust to encourage, uplift, challenge, and stick with me, even when I’m not very lovable. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” (Proverbs 27:6) Both Joyce and Susan have been instrumental at key times in my life, sharing their discerning, God-given wisdom with me. I hope I’ve done the same with them.

Who are the friends you trust and rely on? What character qualities make them valuable to you? What qualities do you want to exhibit as their friend?