Making Friends

The wooden frame in the header photo is one of three that Husband and I constructed on Sunday.  They will have poultry netting stapled to them and then will be connected  to posts in the garden and will serve as pea fences.  They are 12 X 5 feet and we constructed them with cedar slats, bolts, washers, and nuts. I got a new Dewalt battery operated drill out of the deal.

It took us somewhat longer to construct them than we anticipated, as we had the invaluable help of a 4 year old boy and his 6 year old sister, our next door neighbors.  (Their dad was constructing wooden planters in his garage, and I think he was glad the kids were with us.) They find whatever we do to be absolutely fascinating, and they were so excited to help us. They fitted the bolts with washers, put the bolts through the holes, waited impatiently as Husband and I fitted the slats together, and then they secured the bolts with another washer and nuts.  It took some patience on our part to make our instructions clear and wait while those little fingers got everything connected and screwed down, but they were having so much fun!

The 4 year old is quite a conversationalist, and asked lots of questions about all sorts of things, each question beginning “Mrs. Dr. Boomgaarden, what is . . . .?”  His sister assured me that they would help us when ever we needed them, and would we be home working outside tomorrow, and then her brother cemented our friendship by asking when we were going to have a sleepover at our house?   He seemed to think that it was a very reasonable thing to do. I told him we couldn’t because Husband snored and no one would be able to sleep, but I was very touched.  We must be friends!

Tell about some of your friends and what makes them special.  Who were your favorite adults when you were a child?

23 thoughts on “Making Friends”

  1. justin was on my little league baseball team in 5th grade. we became friends immediately then i didn’t see him til jr high we became card partners and cemented the friendship
    i introduced him to my girlfriends sister and they married. we were drinking buddies and did lots of stuff together. i see him a couple times a year and it’s always a nice moment. great guy

    my memories of childhood go to charlie davenport my dads friend growing up
    he lived two blocks away and stopped by often. i asked him didn’t he have a name like other big guys? he was just charlie wasn’t he a mr somebody? nope he said he was just charlie
    i always liked charlie.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. we played cards in jr high to get cigarette money
        black jack poker stud draw at the time i needed $.35 a day for my pack. say habit
        justin helped me get it. we’d won every day and split the profits

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Becky was my first best friend. She lived behind us, and we were inseparable until we moved to a different part of town. I and my friend in Howard Lake met in Grade 1. There were two grandma ladies on either side of my first house, Mrs. Schoon and Mrs Shoemaker, and they were always good for treats. Mrs. Shoemaker made homemade popcorn balls.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    When I was a child, our house was filled with friends, neighbors, and community members who would come to visit my father. This occurred wherever we lived. So there were many neighbors who behaved towards us, Renee, in the same manner you treat the 4 yr old and 6 yr old. It is so sweet.

    Harry, a retired EUB (precursor to United Methodist) minister, moved into our neighborhood when I was 12 yo. He also knew my parents when they were students at the local Methodist college because he was the minister of the associated Methodist church where they attended daily Chapel and Church on Sundays.

    Harry fixed broken items in our house, built a bedroom and bathroom in our basement, took us aside for little counseling sessions, And tended my father as he became more disabled from MS. As we got older, Harry would be at our house when we came home from school playing cards, cribbage, with dad, then rope us into playing, too. Earlier in the afternoon he would play golf during Spring, Summer, and Fall, but finish his game in time to meet us at home.

    Harry was just the best.

    Liked by 7 people

  4. Margot is 5 1/2. She is one of our new neighbors just to the north, although now that we have another set of neighbors just to the north of them, I probably shouldn’t call them the new neighbors anymore. They have been here two years after all. Anyway Margot is full of drama but shy. It took me a few months to win her over with princess Elsa and Anna stickers and May baskets and bunny cakes. But the shyness is all gone now. She always has something new to show me: shoes, scooter, helmet. And I have several pieces of art by Margo on my fridge!

    Liked by 4 people

  5. My best friend called last night. We talked for an hour, although he is a prominent emergency room doctor who is busy leading Montana’s battle against the virus. A former Minnesotan, Bill was concerned about what has been happening here this week.

    Although I’m older by eight years, Bill and I grew up together. We helped each other make decisions to own dogs, get married and have children. When his marriage and mine failed, we took care of each other. We hunted and fished together in ten US states and several Canadian provinces.

    Early in the friendship I liked Bill but realized we were different in significant ways, so he was just a good friend. Then one day I realized he was actually the best friend I’d ever had, and that awareness made it possible for even more intense intimacy. It is so comforting to be with someone who has seen you at your best and worst, and who never wavered in his support for 57 years.

    Liked by 7 people

  6. Good Morning –
    I really like this story. And I had to think for a bit about what adults were around when I was a kid.
    My mom’s Uncle George was a really nice man. We didn’t see him often, but he was funny and he was mom’s favorite too. I was pretty young when he died.
    The milkman, Red, who picked up our milk. Saw him every other day. he had a cleft pallet and I remember he had a funny way of talking, but I was young enough that didn’t bother me and I always ran to the barn to see him.
    And the man who drove the Skelly gas truck, Ed. Just saw his obituary a few months ago. He was a WWII hero; he was at the Battle of the Bulge, he was on Omaha Beach, and he helped liberate Buchenwald. Course we didn’t know any of that. My siblings say Ed would give them a dime (or maybe it was a penny) but I don’t remember that.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. When I was very little we had a next door neighbor named Gladys, and I was able to walk over and see her, then my mom would follow. In our next house, I remember Mrs. Pete (Peterson, probably) who took care of us sometimes – she lived across the street in probably the first apartment I remember (maybe a four-plex? six-plex)…

    There was a friend of Dad’s named Lura McLain, single older lady with no family nearby, who was sort of like an aunt – she liked us kids… gave us a wonderful bird book, some little (real) china doll dishes… I still have one of the cups.

    I’ve left a good friend in every place I’ve lived, and keep in touch by email, facebook, Christmas Cards.. I’ve been in touch with all of them by phone since the Corona virus started. Glad for the phone, and even things like Facetime, and what’s the Google one?

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I have to add, Renee, that like Ben, I just loved this story – it actually made me cry. It’s how I think the world is supposed to be.

    When in Robbinsdale, we finally met the family across the street and down a bit (after maybe maybe 5 years of their being there – kicked ourselves later for delaying). We clicked right away, and became the “grandma and grandpa on the block” for Lola and Abby, then ages 1 and 5. First time they came to play, we played “store”, since that’s something I was able to pull together materials for – emptied out food containers and cans to set on “grocery” shelves.. 5-year-old Abby immediately created a cash register out of a box and marking pens. After their parents’ divorce, which was hard on Lola, she came over on Wednesday afternoons for some special time. (I wrote about this years ago here.) Sigh – they’re graduating from high school and college this month.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Fru Carlsen, the old lady who lived across the street from us in Stubbekøbing, was the wife of the owner of one of the town’s two lumberyards. So despite being neighbors, me parents were not “friends” with the Carlsens; our social status being much below theirs. But Fru Carlsen loved kids, and she always gave me lovely birthday presents. I remember on in particular: A beautiful, fragile porcelain coffee cup with a tiny chip in the lip, filled with chocolate cat tongues. I had that cup for years, and treasured it, but it didn’t make the cut of things I brought with me to America.

      She had grand kids who lived in Copenhagen who were the same age as my sister and I. They’d visit a couple of times a year, and when they did, we played with them a lot. We’d set up a grocery store with items from Fru Carlsen’s pantry: raisins, corn flakes, rice, and whatever fresh vegetables were available from her garden. In addition to being the provider of everything in our store, she was also our best customer. I regret that I was far away and not able to see her before she died.

      Liked by 5 people

  9. Margot update. When I went outside earlier to do some yardwork and cut the grass, Margot was in her pool and she came over to the fence and wanted to know if I could come over and watch her swim. I told her that I would do my yardwork and then I would come over. She actually came down the driveway to watch me weed a little bit and to ask when I was going to be done. So I skipped going straight to cutting the grass and went over and sat in the lawn chair while she rode her scooter and splashed in her pool and showed me her Fairyhouse that she has built.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bless you, vs, I think it’s really important for kids to have older adults in their lives who can devote time to just being there and paying attention.

      Liked by 3 people

  10. Over time you’ve heard a lot of Tommy stories. Justin was the next oldest of Tommy’s five children, and when he was little, lived right next door to us with his grandparents. He must have been three and four years old at the time.

    Every day, Justin would wait in their front yard for me to come home from work. As soon as he spotted me, he’d run to greet me by jumping into my arms. I’d twirl him around, and we’d visit for a while on my front stoop. Then we’d go into our house. I’d make us a cup of hot chocolate, he’d climb onto my lap and we’d visit some more. Then we’d read a story, after which it was time for him to go back home.

    I treasured those visits, and was hoping that they’d at least give him the idea that another calmer home life was possible than the turmoil he lived in. Once we took Justin with us for a week’s visit to Will’s homestead near Ely. One night, he camped out with husband (this was during the winter) something he had never done before, and something he has never done since, I’m sure. Will took him along on a hike through the woods where he helped cut down a few trees. I took him and his two younger siblings to see the stage production of The Lion King. I really tried to make a difference in their lives.

    I wish I could tell you that Justin has established a stable life for himself. Unfortunately he has not, and neither has the two of his younger siblings that I’m close to. He dropped out of high school (as did Cody and Trina), has never held a steady job, and has, so far, fathered two children. At the age of thirty-something, he’s a drug addict, unemployed and homeless. It breaks my heart to realize that these beautiful children were so damaged from early on (Cody has been diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome), that their lives will always be a struggle. I try to find whatever joy I can in Trina stopping by, unannounced, to show me her latest offspring.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Thanks, Rennee, I hope that’s true, though frankly, I don’t hold out much hope that Justin will change. I hope, however, that when he looks back on his life and ponders how he came to be where he is, that he’ll at least find some joy in remembering those blissful moments we shared.

        Looking back on my own life, I’ve come to appreciate how many loving adults really made a huge difference. I truly believe that my childhood, even into my teens, was an example of “it takes a village.” So many people reached out and protected and inspired me, and for that I’m truly grateful.

        Liked by 3 people

  11. Ludwig and Martha were an elderly Czech couple who lived across the street from us and next door to Daughter’s best friend. Martha always made a point of preparing special Easter baskets and Halloween bags for the girls. She was a grandma many times over but made room for Daughter and Best Friend.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This makes me smile and makes me think of one of the emails I received from Elizabeth, the middle child of the American diplomatic family I was a nanny for back in 1964. One of the memories she had of me was that I used to sing to them and tell them stories. One song that had stuck in her mind as being connected to me was “itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka-dot bikini.” Can’t really claim to be proud of that, but she said whenever she heard that song it made her smile, and think of me. She went on to say that she considered herself very blessed to have had a nanny that cared enough to sing and tell them stories, and that makes me very happy.

      Liked by 1 person

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