About Me

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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Keepsake Friends

(It's late in the day and I'm just settling down to write a Fun Monday post because I'm having a difficult time with the topic--not the what, but the how and why of it. Confused? Me too, that's why I'm just now posting. Our hostess, Ms. M over at The Misanthrope asked us to share a piece of jewelry or other item that has great personal significance--in other words, a talisman or good luck charm. I don't have a single item that fits this description, but I do have many talismans. They are my longtime friends.)

Last week I received this friendship plaque in the mail for my birthday. It was from a friend of over 40 years. We have often talked about how much we rely on friends for love and support and have joked, at times, that good friends often stand by you when family members won't, or can't. This especially is true when you don't have many immediate or extended family members. Perhaps this plaque can become my talisman for that reason.

Recently I was also in this navel gazing mood and decided to have a go at an online handwriting analysis self test(interested? www.handwritingwizard.com). The trick is to use an example of your handwriting, like a page from a letter or journal, that you've done before you get all self conscious about your writing and what it reveals. I learned quite a bit about myself and, for the most part, agreed with the analysis. An "investigating and creating mind"? For sure! ". . .a very aggressive personality toward others, lacks respect for the space and property of others. . .may even come into someones home and help herself to a drink from the fridge without asking." Never! That assessment was because I covered every bit of space on one handwritten page, leaving no white spaces. Not so fast. I immediately found pages that left plenty of margins all around which indicated that I was ready to leave the past behind and look to the future. Ah, much better!

Here's what handwriting wizard had to say about me and friendship: ". . . is selective when picking friends. she does not trust everyone. . .she has a select group of people that are truly close to her. . .she is careful when choosing her inner circle of friends." All these observations are true. I don't have many friends, but each is special to me in a different way. And, I'm proud to say that most have been friends for 20-40 years. They are indeed keepsake friends.

This is Sally, a friend of over 20 years. From this photo it's pretty clear that we love each other and have so much fun together. This was actually a work photo. We were in D.C. on our organization's Congressional tour. We're out on the balcony at a reception at a KY Congressman's office. As you can see, opposites attract in friendship as well. I'm Jeff, Sally is Mutt. I have a little drinkee every now and then, Sally doesn't. I support L'Oreal, Sally just asks how come you're five years older and I'm the one with grey hair? Sally wears holiday decorated clothes, I wouldn't be caught dead in them. I love words, Sally is an accountant and won't even read my blog. Sally is devout, me not so much. Sally agrees with Rush Limbaugh about politics, me not so much. . .

"What is shared between friends is a keepsake for life" was the message in a card that I received from her last week. That sentiment describes us perfectly. Sally and I have shared some great adventures in our middle ages. We walked 80+ miles across northern England a few years ago. We went through a physical fitness boot camp at 5:30 every morning for three years. Sally learned to run a fast mile, me not so much. Neither of us ever learned to do a decent situp, but we're still trying after all these years. We take a duo pilates class every week just to keep from getting old and to keep our friendship alive and well. Last week we signed up to do another distance walk across about five southern states in March '09. Just one more thing I love about Sally--she's game for anything.

Sally is one of my keepsake friends, but there's several more. Each of them is important to me in different ways. I'll be sure to introduce you to the rest of my circle in upcoming posts. Now head over to M's and check out other Fun Monday talismans. So far I've seen some jewelry treasures.


Sayre said...

I think you have the perfect talisman in Sally. Just look at the smiles on your faces! Much better than one you'd stick in a drawer, don't you think???

Molly said...

As usual, you have written an interesting Fun Monday post. Sally sounds like a great friend.

Anonymous said...

Friends are our most valuable non-replacable, priceless gifts that we have thank you for the reminder.

m (the misanthrope) said...

Faye...what a wonderful talisman and story! Sally sounds like a terrific lady. True friends are few and far between...they are truly treasures. Thank you so much!

And I think you asked me what part of Ireland I'm connected with (if not, I'll tell you anyway)! My dad was born in the beautiful county of Kilkenny, so that is where my (Irish) heart lies. It's not one of the biggest or most famous counties, but it is terrific - more in a later post!

Tracy said...

What an adventurous lady you are. True friends are hard to come by and you're so lucky to have them in your life. I'd like to try the handwritting analysis to see what type of person I am. Very interesting.

P.S. Thanks for asking about Gabby's first night in her bed. She did great!

ChrisB said...

What a lovely plaque- you and your friend Sally have certainly shared some adventures!

Faye said...

sayre--we both hate being photographed but in most of them we're dissolving in laughter.

molly--Sally is just simply a good soul. Married to a Hoosier so that's a good recommendation on your part, right?

tea4two--exactly, old friends are always on my short list of things for which I'm grateful.

m (the misanthrope)--I'll watch for your "Irish roots" post. Hopefully you'll have some old photographs to illustrate? Some of my family came from Ulster several generations ago. Wish I knew more about that.

tracy--just remember, if you don't agree with the first version of your handwriting analysis, look for another sample of your handwritng and get a different result. You'll know whether it's accurate or not--flattering or unflattering. Re Gabby: so you have your bed back now that she likes her big girl bed? Wonder if that would work with a four-legged bed hog?

chrisb--yes, my new plaque is both humorous and true. . .

Janis said...

What a beautiful plaque and a wonderful friend. I did a post last month on my blog about my group of girlfriends, it's called the card club. They are my dearest and closest friends of all. Sally is truly a blessing in your life.

Lane said...

Firstly Faye, Happy Birthday for last week!

Secondly, handwriting does reveal a lot about a person though maybe not always what we expect to hear:-)

And mostly, What great friends you have.
Now it looks like you are holding a little drinkie in that photo and Sally is wearing a decorated jacket. One grey head, one maybe L'Orealed but the warmth and friendship between the two of you just shines through:-)

IamwhoIam said...

Great Post love the dish.

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