Lo many years ago, when I was a Girl Scout, one of the first scout songs we learned was Make New Friends, But Keep the Old. We sang it with gusto (some of us with more gusto than tune) in a round. I think it was Mother’s favorite. As a kid, making new friends came easy and we took them for granted. Friends came, friends went, some came back, others left. I had Girl Scout camp friends that I only saw at summer, but during those camp days, we were best of buds. I had friends that I met at other types of events like cheerleading and Rainbow Girls. Growing up in a small town, school friends were also neighbor friends. We had packs of boys and girls that morphed and changed as we grew older and developed new interest.
Mother taught us more than the song, she taught us how to value friendships. She was an only child and while she a some cousins, it was her friends that were her siblings. Until she died, she lunched regularly with her high school friends, The Nifty Fifty. Her colleagues at Arkansas Tech were cherished as friends and family, not just work buddies and her RV women friends were held as just as dear. She instilled in Laura and me that we were not only sisters, but best friends. And Laura is my most beloved sister and friend (remember that when I piss you off).
I met my very best and longest friend in grade school and even though she moved off, our friendship never wavered. Jana and I would spend weeks at each other’s house in the summer and sometimes other times of the year. Her parents were parents to me and mine to her. She got pregnant and by golly, so did I. My Goddaughter Shannon was my daughter’s first friend. We had them together as soon as I could travel with Amanda. They didn’t have a choice to be anything other than friends. To this day they are still best friends and Lord willing, their kids will always be friends. I cannot imagine my life without Jana and her family.
Over time I have had so many friends. That is not bragging, it is actually uttered in some bit of amazement. How did I get to be so lucky? Some friends are as close as family for a season, some as close as family now. All my best stories and times involve friends as well as family. Friends in some ways form us as much and sometimes even more than family. I’ve often read that friends are the families we give ourselves. My friends have made me so much (for better or worse) who I am today. Now, Nort, Luke and I are in Mississippi far from our families still in Arkansas. But you know what, we have found dear friends here and created a Mississippi family. We share birthdays, holidays, victories and failures with them. What would we do without them.
Thanks to the internet and social media, High School friends remain close to me and I love that I get to follow their adventures even though we are miles apart. And there is such a trill when someone from the past, that your conscience mind has forgotten pops up with a friend request. Wow! I remember you! I know that there is the perception that Facebook friends are not “real” friends, but I disagree. While it may not have the physical touch of sitting in one another’s house neither does the telephone or a letter. These school, sorority, former co-workers and former neighbors are my friends and I cherish each and every one.
And now, I get to make new friends. The internet brings people from all over the world together. Need someone to explain a fine point on a wooden boat you’re building (like my husband), there is a guy in Norway to help out. Need support for some rare disease that is threatening your child, you have support any time of the day or night. And no matter what anyone tells you, these people are your friends. Now, I would be remiss if I did not point out that not everyone is who they appear to be on line. But we are adults here and have learned a thing or two by having been around the block at least once. Just as we do in “real life” with potential friends, we should do in “internet life”. Don’t get into a car with a just met “friend” for a road trip (especially if it means traveling a dark, lonely road) and don’t send money to a web friend (especially if they are a deposed member of royalty).
I have found some bloggers that although I don’t actually know them yet, I am planning on them becoming my friends. I am awarding them the Liebster Award because I think these are really great people. Or at least their blogs make me think that. These are people that made me want to come back and read more and even more important, thought that you, my very discerning followers, would want to read. Tanya of Tanyas101 thought this of me (see my response here).
Jennica. I dare you to read this post and not laugh out loud. How can I not love this woman and want to be her friend. She has such a great out look on life. And, she lives on a horse ranch! I want her to invite me for a visit. Jennicaspeaks.
Amanda. I have a very soft spot for anyone named Amanda. While this Amanda is way young, she has such a delightful out look and I see such potential for a wonderful mature adult (cough, age of grayer). Her take on ballet exercise programs is pretty darn funny. Whoaskedheranyway.
Lora. What a great outlook she has and I want to be friends with anyone who likes to travel. And share pictures. And cook. And have fun. Maybe if I ask real nice, she will hop in her RV and come to Mississippi. Shotsfromtheroad.
Mary Grace. I really didn’t want to like her because I am so jealous. She has a boat. She gets to go places on that boat. Her pictures make me want to run away. Oh, wait. If we are friends, maybe she will let me go somewhere on her boat. Okay. I like her. Helialetitbe.
Andrea Marlene. I really, really want to go to Canada so I need to make a friend there. And, I just loved her post on Facebook fights. She is so right on. It is good to see a sane voice on the World Wide Interweb. Also the name of her blog is just great. Bumblebirdblog.
As a winner of the award, there are certain responsibilities; answer eleven questions, give eleven facts about you and award your own Liebster Award to five fellow bloggers with fewer than 200 followers. (Google it for better explanations) So, here are my questions for them. I am so looking forward to reading what they have to say in response to the questions and their eleven things about themselves. And I bet you will too.
1. What do think is your greatest strength?
2. What are the things your spouse/partner/significant other says about you?
3. Where do you go to find comfort?
4. What is your favorite thing to wear?
5. What are the first three things you would do if you won a million dollars (or the equivalent )?
6. Who is/are your hero(s)?
7. Book then movie or movie then book?
8. Why do you blog?
9. If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be?
10. What was the best piece of advice you have been given.
11. What are the top three things you like to do?
Okay now. Let all give each other a great big group hug and be friends!