Well, there I am in the white jacket, and of course that is Tim behind me but who are those other lovely people? That's the Minock family. Marsha sitting beside me, her hubby, Paul beside her and one of their sons, Kane next to Tim. These people were our best friends and neighbors in Colorado and, lucky for us, remain our best friends today even though we have however many hundreds of miles between us now.
Every time we go back to Colorado to visit, they host us, feed us and in general make us feel as if we are the most important people in their lives. They have already come to Florida to visit us where we at least tried to do the same for them.
Not long after we moved into the house we contracted to have built in Colorado, Marsha and I met. It was one of those days when the rain was teasing, on, off, on, off, sometimes just sprinkly, sometimes a little harder but I felt like taking a walk anyway. So my umbrella and I set out. Part way around the neighborhood, I saw someone else walking, with an umbrella, toward me. Naturally we stopped to talk and laugh about our mutual insanity. From that point forward, we walked and talked together most week nights, year 'round. Regardless of the weather, we had that hour or so almost everyday to talk, to laugh, to share our thoughts with another person who "got" us.
Once our husbands met and realized that they got along as well, suddenly we had our first "couple" friends. These people became an extension of our family. If we had news, they were the first people we told, if it was a holiday, these were the people we shared it with, if we needed something, these were the first people to show up to help. Like that. We took a few trips together, we explored new restaurants together, we helped each other with projects, spent a lot of Sunday evenings on their patio.
Naturally we had done things with other couples before, but usually it was something like, Tim's good friend who had a wife/girlfriend/significant other. And while the guys were genuinely friends and enjoyed spending time together and the spouses were politely pleasant to each other and maybe even liked each other, there was no giant click. For that rare moment to happen in every direction between four people is HUGE. This was one of those moments.
It hard to explain and so I won't even try. I've had very few really close friends in my life. Most of them I am still in touch with, still care about, still enjoy. Most of my close friends, even though I rarely see them, and there is a long time between contact, when we do talk or text or email, it's as if no time at all has passed. The giant click is still there. Despite all the years and all the changes in our lives and all the miles between us, friends, I mean the realdeal friends are precious.
I hear people talk about having hundreds or even thousands of friends. Hundreds or thousands of friends? Really? I know hundreds of people. I am friendly with them. But it's not the same thing, at least not to me. I think we need another word. The word "friend" is so over-used and cavalierly used that it has lost it's significance. There has to be another word for those people that are not merely friends.
I'll work on. If you have ideas, do please share. And in the meantime, thank you to my friends for being in my life, for putting up with me and mostly for being who you are.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.