Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday's Story: Friends for Life


Every week I look forward to reading Dee Ready's blog memoir, coming home to myself. Dee is a gifted writer so I was not surprised when after reading a few posts about her childhood in the 1940s, I began to think back to that time in my own life. Right before falling asleep at night, I saw myself dressed in a crisp cotton dress with little puff sleeves, bouncing two tennis balls against the outside walls of our house. I had on sandals with white socks, big feet for my age, tall and scrawny, not yet aware that this would be a problem at first, but a benefit later in life. After the scrawny wore off. 

I searched for pictures of the dress I half-way dreamed about and found this: 


My friend Barbro and I outside her house. I remember the first time I met her. She lived on a lovely street where most houses were old, made of wood, and surrounded by pretty gardens. A forested hill with huge granite boulders and ancient trees separated her street from mine. It wasn't far and you could walk around on a road at the foot of the hill. 

On Barbro's side, there grew a tree with a branch just the right height for me to grab. I could hang from this branch and play at gymnastics. I could swing my legs over the branch and hang upside down with my knees bent around it or I could pull myself up and sit on it. I was only six, but the tree was tempting and I would often wander over there and play. I was a solitary creature even then and enjoyed playing by myself. 

I met Barbro for the first time by this tree. We became really good friends right away and her mom was my best grownup friend for the rest of her life. Barbro and I started first grade together and spent the first four years of school in the same class. Then our lives took different turns, we went to different schools, she married early and had two daughters, and I left Sweden. 

Our friendship remains strong and I always see Barbro and her daughters when I go back to Stockholm. When we see each other, all the years, the distances and our very different life experiences are not important. We connect just like we did when we were six. 

Barbro just had her 72nd birthday and I emailed her the picture of the two of us in our little cotton dresses. Being friends for 66 years is remarkable; to sustain a friendship over a distance of thousands of miles all these years is a wonderful gift. 

I know Dee will enjoy knowing that her writing evoked memories of a crisp cotton dress, white socks and sandals ~~ leading to a picture found, and later mailed to an old friend. 








22 comments:

  1. that is awesome, inger. so jealous of your longlasting friendship!

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  2. That is wonderful you have had a friend this long. Some of mine slipped away from me. The longest friends I now have are from my age of 25. They have come here to Alaska twice and we keep in close contact which is very nice. Nan

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  3. Vilken fin bild på dig och din kompis....
    Ja det måste vara härligt att vara vänner så länge. Har du Skype nu med nya datorn??
    Då skulle vi kunna prata....vore ju himla kul

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  4. What a lovely post, Inger. It's great to have long-term friends.

    Love,
    Janie

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  5. Oh I love this 66 years is amazing my friend and I have been going for 50 yrs it is so special to have that kind of friendship isn't it?
    You look so darn cute. Hug B

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  6. What a truly BEAUTIFUL post! Seems like in dis day and time nuttin' lasts, especially cars and furiendships. You made me feel like I was walking down da street from a movie or sumptin...it was a nice, comfortable feelin'. I am so glad you and Barbro has remained furiends all these years. What stories ya'll could tell...hehehehe.

    Puddles

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  7. What a sweet post Inger! And look at you with that beautiful blonde hair!

    Such vivid memories you have of your good friend. Nice how when you meet you divert back to when you were close as children. This is another treasure of yours INger.

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  8. That's a great way to celebrate a friend. Sweet photo.

    A good friend can be a treasure.

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  9. Inger, all of your posts are beautiful but this one really tugged at my heart. My eyes misted over. What a beautiful friendship -- all those years and you're the same little girls in dresses with capped sleeves. This is beautiful, just beautiful. You made my day!

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  10. I am deeply touched by your comments as it is a bit scary for me to post stories for anyone out there in the blogger world to read. It's wonderful to touch someone's heart with a story. I think I'm beginning to understand what writing is all about now. Thank you.

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  11. I love hearing stories like this IngerDoodle...the innocence of youth and the strength of adulthood...66 years of strength...so very nice to read.
    Ron

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  12. Hi Inger .. those were the days - I loved climbing trees .. so can empathise here. I'm so pleased you've remained great friends - and we can just slot into feeling that we're there with them.

    It's funny my best friend of all my life (she was six months younger) died about 10 years ago .. and now I can hear her daughter accept me into her life .. even though we don't know each other that well. I've just been around for years. Their mother, grandmother is still alive ... and I hope to see her soon as they've recently returned from abroad.

    Love these connections and memories .. cheers Hilary

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  13. proves friends are forever. i have two forever friends, both live 400 miles away but we keep in touch through phone/computer. i had a dress just like yours, that is what we wore to school. i was always jealous of girls like you who could hang upside down on tree limbs or monkey bars. i was always to fearful of falling.

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  14. What a lovely story. I have a friend from when I was ten ,I don't see her for years but when we meet or talk on the phone it's as if we have never been apart,true friendship.

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  15. Dear Inger, this was truly a lovely posting. The photo is endearing--the two of you, fast friends, with your crisp cotton dresses and your sandals and anklets. I so remember having similar clothes back in the early forties.

    What a blessing you and Barbro share--a friendship for all these years. I, too, have a friend from grade school days. Her name is Barbara Ann and she was my chaperone in the postings I did on First Communion. We had lunch together during this past year and talk on the phone every few months. Both you and I, Inger, have so much to be thankful for.

    As to your writing--I think that when you share your life and memories with us you give us a great gift. Peace.

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  16. I have a photo of me with my friend Theresa and we're both wearing cotton dresses like that. The difference is that I haven't been in touch with her since I was about 13. I think you're wonderful to still be in touch with old friends like that.

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  17. I really enjoy Dee's blog posts! What a sweet photo this is, and so wonderful that you've maintained this friendship through the years.

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  18. Such great memories. The photo says it all!

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  19. Nothing is more beautiful then the lifetime friendship between kindred souls, whether it be pictures, words or memories - thank you for sharing, Inger!

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  20. Oh Inger, this was a beautiful post! What fond memories.. and how wonderful to stay connected after all these years.
    Now you have me thinking about a tree that I used to climb when I was eight. That was my 'quiet' place... where I could be alone with my thoughts.
    Your picture is precious and you were a real cutie!! You have not changed much at all!

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  21. I love that we are about the same age, as your memories often tickle my brain and I see myself in years gone by.... and yes, I had some of those cotton dresses with puffy sleeves. I remember my mother ironing them, and the way she ironed the sleeves!
    How wonderful for you to have a friend for life!

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Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger

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