Old Friends, Good Times #6

A few weeks ago, my husband and I attended a surprise birthday party for a friend who just turned 60. When we got the invitation, I took a mental trip back down memory lane to when my husband and I met Leslie and John.

Mike and I were married in June and now it was August. It was time to get our classrooms set up in this new school where we both had jobs. I was at the rental house  unpacking boxes when Mike came in from his trip to check out his classroom.

“Met a guy named John. He and his wife teach here too. He wanted to know if we played games,” my husband said.

“What kind of games does he mean?” I replied, worried that he was talking about games I had no interest in (this was the 70’s, not that far removed from the sexual revolution of the 60’s).

“I’m not sure, but he wants us to come over to meet his wife, Leslie, tonight,” he said.

So with a bit of trepidation I went and found that the games he played were games we played. We spent many an evening playing cards and board games since we were too poor to do much of anything else.

The next year another couple joined us playing games. We spent twenty years together as best friends and co-workers. We went through a lot, as we added children to our group. These people know us in ways no one else does. These are friends for life.

Stacey hit the nail on the head when she said friendships recharge our spirit. Our spirit was recharged the night of the party as we reminisced with friends that we haven’t seen in a while. The Christmas card update letter can only do so much. Being there was important for the birthday girl, but also for my soul.

Red Dirt

The following was inspired by looking through my writer’s notebook, this is  from my page of Memories Inside Me.

“What happened to the dirt?” we wondered as we drove from Washington, D. C. to Houston, Texas.

The year was 1966, a major change was happening in our life. All my life I had lived in Chicago, but due to a job change our family (5 kids, 2 parents) was making a move away from everything we had known to an unknown world.

First, we moved to Washington, D. C. for a summer while my dad received  training for his new job. His first assignment (after training) was to be in Houston, Texas. What an adventure this was to be for us! The only world we had known was  Chicago and Baldwin, Wisconsin. Chicago was home, Baldwin was vacation, this was where we spent time visiting grandparents, aunts, uncles, and a multitude of cousins.

The most shocking change to us was the ground we walked upon. Dirt is black, moist, rich soil. Dirt is not red, dry, powdery clay. What happened to the dirt? How do you grow plants in this stuff? This ground was so different from anything we’d ever seen. My mother scooped up a baggie of this red dirt and mailed it to my grandmother in Wisconsin. I can imagine my grandmother’s surprise when she opened up the small package of red dirt.

I think of this everytime we drive across New Mexico and Arizona. I marvel at the color of the land around me as I know this is much redder than the ground in Texas.

I suppose black dirt would be a novelty to those who were raised on red dirt.