Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Delightful Scrapbook from my Precious Friend

I actually received this scrapbook

from my friend Barb for my birthday in August.
I've been meaning to photograph it for quite some time. Barb and I have been friends
since 1974. We met in the third grade when our family moved from Missouri to Kansas.
We did everything together, noble and ignoble.

We lost touch during our teens, but reconnected when my secondborn was a baby. Through every life season since then, we've been friends. She knows me better than anyone except for my husband, and loves me anyway.

So you can imagine how much it meant to me that she would catalog our friendship in pictures and words by making a scrapbook for me. It was a complete surprise, and I cherish it. I could have taken all the page protectors off to avoid the glare on some of these shots, but I didn't. Sometimes you just gotta "get 'er done," and forget trying to be all perfect about it.

The intro page. So clever.
We make each other smile.
I visited her in 1989, the first time we'd seen each other since middle school.
Ben was 18 months old here, Sarah 5 months. And I was... a lot younger. Okay,
23 to be exact! And a lot more energetic. Did my hubby and I really travel halfway
across America with these two little diapered squirmies, and live to tell about it?

We met up again a couple years later, in Independence, MO, at a little zoo. By this time, Paul and I
had had our third child, Stephen, an adorable curly towhead with big blue eyes. Sarah is sour-faced in these pictures because she was kind of scared of those enormous baboons. Wouldn't you be if you were her size? Barb's two little boys were so stinkin' cute. (Still are.)
Many year later, for my birthday, she flew to my house to surprise me. She
had said my present would be a few weeks late, but it would arrive. She didn't
say that SHE was the gift and would arrive on October 1st. My daughter did a GREAT
job keeping it all hush-hush.

Barb adored my baby, and how could she not? Look at him. What a ham, tromping
around in his daddy's shoes.
It's uncanny how much alike Barb and I. When I flew out to Kansas last summer, I was wearing a lime green T-shirt and jeans on the flight. There was no way she knew that, but guess what she was wearing when she picked me up from the Wichita airport? We laughed about our "ESP" and then headed from the airport to visit our favorite third grade teacher and her husband.

They've been married over 65 years, sweethearts forever. Their anniversary happens to fall on my birthday.

It was the summer I turned 45 and Barb turned 46. I love to tease her that I'm
soooooooo much younger! Here we are trying to get a decent shot of ourselves
while stopping on the side of a dirt road to pluck sunflowers. The Kansas wind
never quits except right before a tornado. Ever had one of those self-photo shoots that takes you about 283 tries, wishing your arm was longer and your nose shorter, but just as you think you've got an okay pose--WHOOSH!~ wind in the face again! We were so flustered we got giddy!

She taught me to make sandhill plum jelly. It's the best! What I thought was
funny was that, once again, we both got dressed in the same color AGAIN before
seeing what the other was wearing. We have such similar tastes that we even
bought the same cream-colored eyelet bedspread 1200 miles apart.
A much-needed girls' getaway refreshed us both.

Isn't she cute?
I had to have rhubarb pie. Hadn't eaten any since I was a girl in KS.
We spend a way-too-short but gloriously warm afternoon at Wilson Lake.
I sat and journaled while she read a book. I couldn't get over the beautiful blue topaz
colored water.
And she patiently waited while I took pictures of fence posts, old barns, and
windmills, and those beloved sunflowers.

A friendship like ours is rare and wonderful. I am richly blessed. Even though we both have had many friends in our lives, of course, there is something inexpressibly comfortable
about having someone with whom you can be completely honest, ugly, foolish, ornery, mischievous, hormonally whacko, and still be loved for who you are.

Thanks, Barb, for being that kind of friend, and for making this scrapbook for me. It
is one of the many ways you've demonstrated your love to me in the past 38 years.


Joyce said...

What a special, special gift...something to treasure always!

Laurie said...

Sweet Barb! The scrapbook is a precious gift as is an enduring honest friendship! Blessings indeed! Thank you again to you both for taking time to visit me in Lindsborg! Valkommen! Kom Igen!

One More Equals Four said...

What a sweet gift. That took some time and is so amazing! I know that you will treasure it!

Anonymous said...

You're right, this kind of friendship is rare. Cherish it. That is just the sweetest gift!!