Sunday, June 07, 2009

When Folks Get Together

This weekend I've been to two places to meet new folks and renew friendships.

The first was a funeral of a sister of my best friend in high school. Although P and I hung together all through high school and into early marriage, raising kids parted us for those extra responsibilities that impeded our get-togethers. We last talked on the telephone ten years ago vowing to meet each other for lunch to keep the friendship ties. That didn't happen. When I entered the funeral home and signed the visitor's book I looked up and saw this beautiful woman. We didn't recognize each other. She glanced down at the book to see the last entry and saw my name. We enveloped each other and looked hard into the eyes to validate their owners. P made a comment that emphasized how important keeping close to old friends. "I've been so depressed these last years, I wondered what happened that I no longer saw my true friends anymore." And here we were, two of many high school friends we had shared. Where the others are no one knows. But we know the importance of picking up the chain of long ago and keeping it off the ground from now on.

By the evening R and I were enjoying the friendship of our neighborhood at an outdoor party. The weather was perfect. Warm, cool breeze, music, and the best friend chicken around. We have great cooks in our neighborhood. What is wonderful is the strong friendship the neighbors have. We are mostly retired folks. A smattering of younger families have moved into the area. Then there were the first-timers, many of whom have lived in the neighborhood but haven't attended earlier parties. As one neighbor said, "I think folks thought our parties were alcoholic ones and didn't want the hassle of meeting neighbors that way."(We refrain from alcohol to help those in AA) The strongest drink served was a New England bottle of Moxie (or was it another M word?). A transplant from NE had brought several bottles over for other transplants to have a bit of home. One woman from New Hampshire and an over 20 year neighbor, declared she'd never had such a drink. Stronger than Dr. Pepper the giver said. I didn't get a taste, most consumers kept it to themselves to transport themselves home for a few swallows.

I have found it easy to stay home and have little contact with others. But I know as my friend P says, depression can set in before you know it. I want nothing to do with that!


20th Century Woman said...

I can do fine without electricity, but I seem to need plumbing. Have you got running water? And if so, how do you heat it?

CabinWriter-- said...

Hey, 20th Century Woman, we are off the grid in summer only. We have camper stuff which you can find in Cabelas or similar catalogs. We have a shower contraption and a 3 burner stove each run by propane (see, we aren't wholly "off"). On a cold morn in Sept I have been known to boil a large pot of water and ever-so-carefully take it to the bath house, step into our claw-foot 4' tub and wash from the pot. Creativity is the key to enjoying the absence of material comforts.We also have a compost toilet. Some of my earliest entries if you can find them tells you how we sought and planned on doing without.

Beth Niquette said...

What an interesting perspective you have. I thoroughly felt every word you wrote in this blog.

My family and I have lost over 40 close family and friends over the past seven years...some friends from my youth.

It is an odd feeling. Anyhow, as I said before, you are an unusually talented writer.

CabinWriter-- said...

Thanks Beth, I enjoy recording these experiences and my memories. I've always been writing something, beginning with pen pals whose names I'd find on the back cover of comic books.