I have had what seems like “lifelong friends,” that have
known me at my ‘worst,’ and cheered me on at my ‘best!’
I would love to hear about your friendships that have
endured time, travel, moving away from each other and
other trials and tribulations.
Thirty years ago, plus some ‘change,’ (1980), I went to
my first Welcome Wagon meeting. I had moved to Lancaster,
Ohio and had to turn down a continuing teaching position.
My ex-husband ‘couldn’t find a good job in Toledo area’
and had been working as a bartender through my subbing
and then, getting a wonderful and ‘perfect’ position.
His lateness, although irritating, never had bothered
me too much, until the birth of our daughter in March,
1980. I had ‘complained’ to my grandfather, who set
my ex up with a trip to Texas to interview for Armco
Steel Co. My grandfather had been an engineer and
written a worker’s manual for the company many years
prior to this time. He was concerned, as was I, of
the impact of drinking in my first husband’s life
upon a family. Anyway, Dave got the job for National
Supply, located in Logan, Ohio and it was apparent
to him, as he drove through Lancaster on his way
there and back, that we would be most happy in a
larger town than Logan. I ended up subbing there
and Rockmill, too. Little towns were fun to visit
and substitute in, but no, we were ‘city people.’
(He was from Cincinnati, I was from Cleveland, as
you know, met at college on the first day of school.)
Once we relocated to Lancaster, I read the Lancaster
Eagle Gazette’s headlines, “60 Teachers Laid Off.”
Oh no! I ended up choosing to advertise to babysit
other people’s children, also finding someone in
our townhouse area who would sporadically have me
watch her daughter, too.
I desperately needed an ‘excuse’ to make friends
and get out of the house! When I entered Welcome
Wagon, this will come across strangely, but I saw
Nancy from a distance. She was blonde, big blue
eyes and had this open looking face. When I approached
her, she beamed with the prettiest smile. I know, this
sounds like two future ‘lovers’ rather than the best
friends we became. We exchanged phone numbers and
within a week or two, we had our first coffee girls’
night out ‘date.’ We met at Frisch’s, two quite
different people, actually, at the time. I was a new
mother of a six month old, she was a working girl
and a computer ‘whiz.’ We chatted about Akron where
she was from, family and why we both needed to have
I had chosen to start going to the Presbyterian Church,
was inquiring if she would like to go. Interestingly
enough, she is the frequent church goer in that same
town, while I was great as a wife and mother, then
later, even better as a single mother of three, she
and her husband (now ex) were not interested in
attending. Her present husband is wonderful and they
have a lovely home, his daughter, fully grown and
her husband and their granddaughter, Giada.
What kept us going through all those years? We had
become leaders in the organization, I was President
and Nancy was Treasurer. (Or were you Vice Pres.?)
Anyway, we had card club gatherings and progressive
dinners, but always we had our Wednesday nights out
at Frisch’s. It was so nice to hear about her busy
life, and she welcomed comments about my daughter.
We shared the humdrum of our lives, each fascinated
by the other’s plight in life.
When she and her husband got divorced, I begged her
to stay in the business where she was in the computer
data field.She stayed and not too many months after
her divorce, her second husband, also working in that
field, asked her out and they became a couple, then
husband and wife. She and her second husband came to
my second child’s birth, hours later, at the hospital.
They also, attended my second marriage and saw my third
child, shortly after she was born.
There was a card I once saw, that had a mobster on the
front, it had a caption inside that said something like
“You and me… we have to stay friends forever!
You know too much!”
That is how our Nancy and Robin days have been, there are
too many special occasions, memories shared, with
Nancy and Mike coming to Delaware to see graduations
and my son’s wedding…
What is most unbelievable, to both of us, plus others
who hear of our friendship, is that we have not lived
in the same town since 1986! We travel over an hour,
each way, to meet at the halfway point. You may have
read in a before Christmas post, that we used to meet
at a halfway Bob Evans, then one windy, snowing morning
early December, we drove into the Bob Evans’ driveway, up
to a chain that blocked entering, and I suggested going
back across the bridge over 270 and go to a Frisch’s.
Then, one June (we like to meet halfway through the
year), we drove up to the Frisch’s restaurant and
alas, it was closed! It has been about four years, 8
trips later, that we have been meeting at a Tee Jayes.
It is very nice and we have non-stop, ‘catch up’ talks
that make us seem very hyperactive, bringing bags of
books in the summer and gifts to exchange in our
“First Christmas” of the year time. We both exclaim,
“The Christmas Season cannot begin until we see each
My friend, Patrice, has been a longtime friend, she
and I were living in Batchelder Quadrangle, at BGSU
when we met. I have mentioned meeting her this past
summer, we had not seen each other more than three
times since she and I were at my first Wedding and
she was my Maid of Honor. We use our cell phones to
keep in touch and we have had two great visits, one
up in Charlevoix, MI and one in Lakewood, Ohio, where
Patrice grew up and I drove to meet her at her male
friend’s apartment. She stays, as a guest, in the
suite, not with her male friend from BGSU.
All of this trio of friends, has something unique
and permanent in their ‘true blue’ natures. I am
sure I must return something that is also rare and
special, for they have put up with me for all these
years! They are tied in First Place for Best Friends
My local “best” friend, I think, has to be considered
the one I get to see weekly. When we go more than a
week without seeing each other, we hug and exclaim,
“It seems like forever since I saw you!” We have that
kind of strong bond, that just happened over time.
When we first became friends, we met at an American
Association of University Women picnic at Mingo Park.
Believe it or not, I was supposed to be greeting
newcomers. (I am being facetious, since this is my
favorite role of all time! I was Miss Congeniality
in high school and never stopped that habit of
chatting and getting to know the ‘new face’ in
I did approach her, with a special smile on my face!
I know this is crazy, especially twice in my life, but
I just knew that Jenny would be a great friend! She
had short, attractive blonde hair and blue eyes. Isn’t
that weird that my Lancaster friend and my Delaware
friend look similar? Well, they also have fantastic
husbands, so I have seated them together at Jamie and
Trista’s wedding, at Felicia’s high school and college
graduation and Carrie’s high school graduation, too!
It is like a miracle that they have ‘stayed with me’
through my more than second time around marriages. They
have stopped and stayed forever and a day with their
second and best choices for husbands. While I just
sojourned on, with the third one and divorced again!
The card that makes me cry when I open it, is the one Jenny
gave me for my 58th birthday last Autumn. It has a notebook
lined-paper look, with a light mint green on the front. I
did not bring it to the library but the essence of this
awesome and unforgettable card says this:
“You were not with me in elementary school to play out on
recess. You were not my best friend when I was in high
school, so we couldn’t pass notes back and forth. You
are my best friend now, you will be my best friend
tomorrow and forever.”
That is a meaningful message for me. I can “count on
through thick and thin,
and all the Seasons…
Fall…” (James Taylor song)
for the rest of my life!