Friday, June 20

The Magic of Long Term Friends.

There is something just magical about long term friends. People you have known 'forever', it seems. Not the 'relative family', friends, who are part of your life, for most of your life.

I am referring to the 'friend family', of friends, who are the network of friends you have made along the path of your life. I am so lucky to still have contact with friends I have had for 60 or so years.

Because I grew to adulthood in the same small town where I was born, I was lucky to have that continuity of friendships. Ties that were forged with such reinforcements, they have lasted throughout lifetimes. Differing career paths, living, circumstances. Children, travel, changing/moving residences, changes of country. All fall away, as we recall old jokes, old events, wonderful shared memories.

Oddly enough of all the friends made when I was very young, most of the marriages we made seem to have stood the test of time. It must say something about the times we grew up amidst, or the values we were taught.

I was priveledged yesterday, to spend a magic day with a friend I have known since before we both started school. I had met her husband once before, & she had met my husband 2 or 3 times before.

Here we are, in our first year of school in 1949.
J is on the left, in the front row of seated girls, & I am second from the right.

I can remember the name of almost every child in that photo, which seems incredible to me now. Another girl in that class was a playmate too, before school days, & she & I used to attend Sunday School together. I had not realised how many more boys there were. I love the boys braces!! The little knitted pullovers, that were the fashion then!

As we sat & reminisced, our husbands chatted quietly & most amicably. I wish they had had more time to spend, some time to stay with us. I was so thrilled to have even one day, to see my friend of so many years. She is, as she has always been, a lovely generous person with an absolute heart of pure gold. My brother remembers her with fondness too, as a person who was always lovely to everybody, & that is exactly how she is today.

I feel so lucky she is still a part of my life, even though it is mostly a distant -in miles- part.

It is so interesting to think how little she has changed in her fundamental personality. She still has the same wonderful sense of fun, & humour. She is still generous almost to a fault. She is still so warm!

I love the way these old friends & I speak the same language. We know exactly what we mean by a word, or a tone. It is like 'coming home' to spend time with such friends.

I think she might read my blog. I hope she does, as I can say the things I didn't say in person. It was one of life's true treats, to have her for a day.


I seem to be lost a little in the evolution of this quilt I am making for my Granddaughter. She was here to visit, & helped me choose the differing purples for the rounds on the blocks. She hasn't seen the green checks yet. I really like them, the colours are very good.

It is the next round I am pondering. I tried a dark pink... it just killed the dark green, & looked awful. I am thinking something light, but am not sure what or how light to make it.
The stitchery blocks are from a Bronwyn Hayes pattern, featured in a Australian Country Threads Magazine, & I can't do much by the book, have to be different decided to change the settings, so I am winging it here. Colours are quite different from Bronwyn's pattern. GD loves the colours, so there is no problem there.
Any suggestions??
I have not backed or basted the fun dogs breakfast quilts yet. They are looking at me a little accusingly. I am thinking to be making some more blocks to do another for SG. I guess my thinking is, you can never have too many quilts! haha. What do you think??
We are having more rain. It is a peculiar Winter for us. Usually Winter is clear fine days. This rain is wonderful though, & goes a long way to redressing the drought that has been a factor hereabouts for so long.
The garden... well the weeds are just flourishing! The Daphne is just beginning to bloom.
I know the full moon is about. I have been having incredibly vivid dreams again. I keep dreaming of huge houses, & I am the owner. I have no idea what this may mean, but I do know, that I am sharing these houses with may folk, family & friends, so I feel happy about that.
Randy Crawford, Tender Falls the Rain.


Ruth said...

Yes, I know what you mean about comfortable long term family friends... so lovely.
Your grand daughter is a very lucky girl to have you as a grandma... what a beautiful quilt!

Joyce said...

Maybe you could do another round of the pinkish print, although since you have the cornerstones that colour it might not work. Maybe the first greenish border repeated?

Peggy said...

Love your writing about friends. It was lovely! The quilt is beautiful! Maybe use the color that is framing the center block to go around the checked? I love quilts just don't make them so not good at advice.

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

Happened to stumble across your site... (I am an Aussie expat living in Florida)... gorgeous quilt... if only I could do that... hehe... I know what you mean when talking about friends... though my friend I thought I was going to be with forever (back in Australia) was told by her B/F to not see me anymore (he was jealous) and it was worse then breaking up with a guy... suffice to say that was about 10 years ago... now, I have my hubby and he is my best friend for sure... take care

Stomper Girl said...

Your memory is so impressive.

Henri said...

Good Grief , Meggie , I can remember many of the names of the children in that class photo too -- Although more surnames than first names -- having gone to school with many of their younger siblings quite a lot later !
Glad you enjoyed J's visit -- I can hear her laugh from all those years ago , even now !

Q said...

I so understand what you mean about long term friends. I am having lunch with a friend I have known for 50 years! I treasure her.
Happy Solstice.

Kitty said...

I have known my oldest friend since we were two. I was her bridesmaid, and whilst we don't see each other often, we each know the other is 'there'. I have known my closest friend since we were 5. You can't beat that 'history' can you? x

Working mum said...

Huge house, you are the owner. Do you find rooms you didn't know existed? If so, it means you have untapped potential! Do you have a secret desire to do something new?

Rosie said...

I do agree about the value of long term old friends...I love them to pieces

Ali Honey said...

I too am lucky enough to have a few friends like that. Isn't it great being able to say remember the day we did........... and they know instantly what happened and where you were.
Cute school photo - I could pick you out without you saying which you were.

How does a border in the pale purple / mauve look? That's what I'd try first.

jellyhead said...

Oh yes, old friends are treasures beyond compare. It's lovely that your friendship with J continues to thrive despite the miles between you.

I hope she reads your blog, too, because it is a real delight.

ancient one said...

I loved working mum's interpertation of your house dreams... she was discribing mine with the rooms I didn't know I had...isn't if funny what we dream sometimes..

Your quilt is going to be so pretty and GD will love it.

meggie said...

I was amused about the house dream as I do find hidden rooms- even little flatlets!- almost nightly! Each time I have these dreams there seems to be a different house, but they are all very large, & all filled with friends & family! At least I wake feeling happy!
Last night's dream included a talking Parrot & a beautiful dog!

bluemountainsmary said...

I have to confess to being envious - most of my oldest friends only go back to University days - which is special to me of course but to go back to when you were 5. Wow!

Anonymous said...

in a way I envy people who do have these long term friendships. I don't have any really. My oldest friend is someone I met at the age of 17 ie 25 years ago - and yes, being with her feels easy, no need to explain much.

I think I have changed so much since my school days, and moved away as soon as I was 18, that I can't see I would have anything in common with any school friends now. I don't actually regret that at all. I'm glad that I changed. And I would actually rather leave those times behind. But that's just me and probably a result of all sorts of stuff that happened at that time.

Jeanne said...

What a nice old photo! I enjoy seeing the young you!

I have some old ones like that tucked away, too. I went to the same school from kindergarten through 8th grade, so NINE YEARS with the same group of classmates. I wonder if I could still name them?

Jeanne :)

Molly said...

I have a picture just like that one and can remember all the names! Your quilt is lovely---reminiscent of Ali's current one.

jovaliquilts said...

It's great to have friends from your childhood! I moved constantly growing up and so don't really have friends from my youth. Recently, however, I reconnected with my best friend from the 6th grade and it turns out we are both quilters! Makes me happy. :) I'm so glad you have ties to your past.

Pam said...

My mother, now in her 8o's,re-connected with her best friend from primary school days. They hadn't seen each other in all that time and are now having the best time ever, although "Bubbles" prefers to be "Betty" these days.They go to the city together, cook for each other, and go with each other to medical appointments. I think it is wonderful as each found heading into their 80's quite depressing beforehand,particularly as my dad can be a bit callenging.Old friends are important for our well-being, and I found the biggest gaps in mine when I shifted with my husband interstate a few years ago, and didn't know anyone.We are back here now again with old friends,and much happier.

Anonymous said...

Hi Meggie,
The Bronwyn Hayes squares I would use the pale purple next. In fact have you tried a 'flip-flop'? Email me for instructions if you don't know what I'm talking about.
Love the scrap quilts of your 17th June post. You don't give yourself enough credit for your work. You do a really great job.
I am lucky to have an old friend here in Australia, we went to school in England together and have been friends for 46 years. Never had a falling out or cross word. It a great feeling knowing you have someone who understands you completely especially in a 'foreign' country. We have the same hobbies and often do quilt workshops together. We always work as a team and help each other along the way. People are amazed at the way we are together. Just like twins really. Each of us knows instinctively what the other one is going to do next or where help is needed.

Jonah K. Haslap said...

We can't choose our families, for better or worse, at least not the ones we're born into. Our friends, though, are only in our lives because we choose them to be. I can't think of a greater testimony to their importance in our lives.

Fairlie said...

The great thing about long-term friends is that shared history - the fact you don't need to explain something from the past that affects today, they just get it too.

fifi said...

I felt like digging out my old kindy photo and trying to identify everybody! you must have a great memory.
Nice to have that friend.

Lucy said...

I love the way all the little girls' legs are crossed at the ankle, except one!

I can remember quite alot of names from early days at school, but there were no group photos that I remember.

Christine Thresh said...

I have lots of dreams about houses that I own (huge ones). I find hidden rooms. I love these dreams and feel happy in the morning. I like the idea presented by a commenter that these rooms are hidden possibilities.

julieQ said...

"Old friends are the best." I am so glad you had a magic day with one of yours.

anne bebbington said...

There's something very special about longstanding friends who just know all your history so you don't have to explain the background behind everything - comfortable like a favourite pair of slippers or a comfy cardigan. Love the stitchery - I'd go with the mid purple you already have in there or something similar, not too light

Dawn said...

Thank you for that beautiful musing on forever friends! And your quilt blocks are so beautiful--the purple is so vivid. And I must apologize--Ugh!...I had a glitch in my blog comment section. Please, please come back if you weren't able to visit!

Thimbleanna said...

Oh Meggie -- that picture is just adorable. And look at you, sitting up tall and with that wonderful big smile -- what a cutie! Isn't it amazing how we can pick up with old friends, even after decades of not seeing each other and start talking just like no time has passed. Love your quilt too, although I don't have any suggestions. I'm one of those people that just has to try a bunch of different options and see which one I like best.

Tanya Brown said...

Beautiful. It says much good about you that you nurture these relationships and keep them alive.