(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.
- 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.