“A good friend is a connection to life – a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.”

The two cats and the dog spend so much time sleeping it boggles my mind. Gracie goes out a couple of times a day, does her crazy run around the yard then runs back inside panting and has gross spit on her face from her tongue hanging out as she ran. Her run is the whole perimeter of the yard including up one set of deck stairs then down the other. She has worn a path all along the fence. The cats alternate sleeping between the living room and the den. Right now they’re here with me.

The day is another ugly one with grey-white skies. Snow is predicted for the weekend, and the weatherman has hedged all his bets. Last night on the 11 o’clock news, he gave three possibilities for amounts of snow. Ours ranged from a dusting to three inches. North of us will be getting more in any scenario. That makes me happy.

I’ve lost track of most of my childhood friends. We send Christmas cards which I always think of as the last refuge for any friendship. They usually mean we don’t want to lose each other entirely, but we don’t have much in common any more. When I used to visit my mother, I’d go see my friend Maria who lives a street over from my mother’s house. We date back to my fifth grade, her sixth. My mother was her girl scout leader for a time. We were both in the drill team for years. We started together in the junior drill team which had practice on Saturday mornings. While the instructor worked with one group, we’d get bored and start talking. I’d start the conversation, and she’d reply then she was always the one caught talking. I called it the second man rule: the first one draws attention and the second one gets caught. Maria still remembers.

When I went to Ghana is really when I lost track of most of my childhood and college friends. We wrote each other for a while, but then the letters were fewer and fewer and finally they stopped. My friends went on with lives very different from mine. Most of them were working and a few go married. I was living in Africa, and that very was far removed from any of their experiences. One came and visited me in Ghana for a week, and he’s the one with whom I kept in touch the longest but eventually we too drifted apart. Every now and then I see one of my old friends, but after the pleasantries we don’t have a whole lot to talk about.

It’s different with my Peace Corps friends. We always have something to talk and laugh about and it’s not just Ghana. We have a connection that never weakens despite how long it’s been since we’ve last seen each other. My friends Bill and Peg were still my friends after so many years. It was as if we’d last seen each other the week before, not decades before. I treasure these friendships and our shared experiences. Michelle drops a line often, especially when something in Coffee jogs a memory or relates to whatever she’s doing now. These are the friends I met in Philadelphia, a week before we left for Ghana, or during training that whole summer of 1969, and these are friends I always visited going up or down country. We traveled together on school holidays. Ralph still remembers our dinner of barbecued lobsters on the terrace at a hotel in Lome’, Togo.

I have friends here who have been my friends for over forty years. Others have been friends less time, but our friendship is as strong as if we’ve known each other forever.

I have always considered myself lucky in the friends I have.

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13 Comments on ““A good friend is a connection to life – a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.””

  1. Hedley Says:

    I carry a boyhood friend that I have known since we went to Dorking Grammar together – we were 11. To this day we skype every Sunday at 1.00 pm, we both support Tottenham and are planning our trip to White Hart Lane and a boozy afternoon at the Fullers Brewery when we hit London towards the end of May.

    Other good friends scatter through time and circumstance including college. Reunions are infrewquent but quickly cross the boundaries of time and circumstance.

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      Living on the cape keeps me a bit isolated. If I hear of a reunion of sorts, I always go. Part of the problem is I moved from one high school to another just before my senior year so I lost track of the first group but do see some from the second as I graduated from a school on Cape.

      That is so wonderful that you and your friend have stayed so close, and you have so much in common, including our team. I miss mine. I heard one died a long way back, and he was a favorite full of fun and willing to skirt the edge!

      • Hedley Says:

        Any reunion is informal and is a self driven activity by a small group. We didnt do School reunions, so once school finished, the door opened and we were gone for ever.

        For a while, a website called friendsreunited ruled the world as it identified members by school and class and suddenly you could find people that had been gone for years. Once everyone had found and contacted all their old chums the website went the way of the eight track.

        Seems our freinds down the Birds Eye might have a horsey issue so more product has been withdrawn.

        Yes, Dan and I love the KTCC Team. We will be watching and texting on Monday as they make their visit to West Ham. I just realized that BBC America will be showing the rugby match tomorrow between England and France

        Dont miss Parades End on HBO, huge positive review in the WSJ today to back up my opinion.

      • katry Says:

        MDH,
        We didn’t do large reunions. My last class reunion was a small one on a boat ride with dinner in Hyannis harbor.

        Most are just informal get-togethers like ones with my drill team friends. I haven’t ever been to a college reunion.

  2. olof1 Says:

    You are so right about the Christmas card being the thing that still keeps some of our friends in our lives, sort of sad really 🙂

    But Facebook has changed that some. I wonder why because after all it is so easy to just pick up the phone and call. Perhaps facebook is the new Christmas card? 🙂

    We actually had some sun today!! But with trhe sun colder air comes from the arctic but we will at least not get any more snow yet 🙂

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      It is sad but at least they are still a part of our lives though a really small one.

      Perhaps Facebook is as I have become reacquainted with a few old college friends but we hardly communicate. I read something and give it a like and I’m done.

      Glad you have sun-it’s about time!!

      Have a great evening!!

  3. morpfy Says:

    Pay attention to what you read. After you read this, you will know the
    reason it was sent to you! Because people come into your life for a reason,
    a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which one it is, you will know
    what to do for each person.

    When someone is in your life for a REASON. It is usually to meet a need
    you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to
    provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally,
    or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are! They are there
    for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrong doing on your
    part, or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to
    bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk
    away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must
    realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is
    done. The prayer you sent up has been answered, and now it is time to move
    on

    When people come into your life for a SEASON it is because your turn has
    come to share, grow, or learn. They bring you an experience of peace, or
    make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They
    usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But,
    only for a season. .

    LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; things you must build
    upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept
    the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all
    other relation-ships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind
    but friendship is clairvoyant.

  4. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Unfortunately, many of my friends from high school are dead. Most of them died young and none of them died in the war. They were a crazy bunch in many ways and some just didn’t make it past the crazy.
    The friends I have now are all from later periods in my life. They are very different types of people and that’s good. It widens my point of view and enriches my life. They wouldn’t all like each other, though. 😀

    It’s sunny up here but cold and a bit windy. I’m in the deep snow zone for this one. The only question is how much. I was googling for cordless electric snow throwers but apparently there is no such thing. Color me amazed. 🙂
    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I just lost one of my classmates a few weeks ago, but I don’t think that many have died. Luckily none of them died in the war but the brother of a good friend did.

      My friends too, as I said, are from my teaching years, my Cape years after coming home. Though we shared a profession, most of us are very different.

      Never got the sun all day. It was cold enough that I shut the back door as I could feel the cold blowing through the dog door.

  5. Bob Says:

    I had two very close friends in high school and I have not been able to find them. The power of the Internet has been useless in my search i am not even sure if they are still alive. One of my high school friends and I reconnected a coupe of years ago when I found my first cousin. We E-mail occasionally but he lives in Montana and I live in Texas. Unfortunately, he sends me stuff that comes directly from the tea party which I send directly to the trash.

    Most people who we consider friends are really just close aquantinces which includes most coworkers. Out of sight then out of mind.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I understand that frustration as I have been trying to find a few friends as well and have been unsuccessful. Does your class have a page in Facebook? I know many schools do. I know other people are successful

      • katry Says:

        in finding friends, but, like you, I come up empty.

        I have friends who said me political garbage which I never look at either-into the trash it goes. They obviously don’t now me well to think I’d be interested.

        I am retired and these friends of mine are still around, and we get together often. We have dinner and movie nights and game nights. We all stay in touch.


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