Sunday, January 3, 2016

On Friendship

"My Friends are my estate" (Emily Dickinson)

And a New Year begins. How did you welcome in 2016? Here at the Garden Spot we have spent the last several years celebrating with our dear friends, all who have known each other for half a century and more.

The Andersons, Dave and Sherry, come from Northeastern Colorado. I have written about them. Dave and his brother farm 13,000 acres; Sherry is a retired nurse (RN).

Today's mosaic honors the highlights of 2015 using Watelogue : Sherry's backyard
 bird sanctuary, Dave's had work (the HG is driving the tractor along side
 the combine), and one of my favorite photos of the cattle we met in Texas last summer.
2015 was a good year.

Brain and Lori also live in northeastern Colorado. He is self-employed, driving  truck; she works for the public schools.

Gary and Cathy live closer. He works for a city in traffic control. I believe he is the traffic light specialist guy and Cathy works in financial planning.

So what do we all have in common?  Dave, Brian, Gary, Cathy, and the Head Gardener all went to school together, kindergarten to graduation. They all grew up together. The HG graduated a few years ahead of the others,  but they all have a shared history, evident as they to tell tall tales about their legendary feats of youth. They share common roots that go as far back as their great-grandparents who came to northern Colorado to settle, mostly as early farmers. Their roots in Northern Colorado run deep, entwining a rich childhood, a common ancestry, and a life enriched by their friendship.

I came to know them when I accepted my first high school teaching position in 1970; they are my former students. I remind them that their success in life is directly related to having a fine English and speech teacher early in life, giving them the skills to communicate and think.  We all laugh. We have been laughing together for years.

"With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come." (William Shakespeare)

In those early years, I never imagined that those bright, young spirits would become my life long friends, nor did I imagine that I would marry and make this place my home. Now these kids have turned 60 and we share not just history, but a great friendship and kindred spirit. There is a sense of humor amongst us as we laugh (or not) about growing old, complaining about our aches and pains, the lines on faces, the graying of our hair. We are all grandparents, so we brag about the young ones, and we have lost our old, faithful dogs and now are raising new dogs, so we have lots of notes to compare and new stories to share about the nurturing of the pet children.

And we are there for each other.

Emily Dickenson says it best about friends, given that she was recluse:  "They might not need me, but they might. I'll let my head be just in sight; a smile as small as mine might be precisely their need." (Emily Dickinson)

Sherry and I met years ago just before she married Dave and we have been constant companions since; thus the friendship with Dave. They moved away and the friendship grew stronger. And she knows, "That there is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate."  (Linda Grayson). 

We also share our love of gardening, comparing notes, boasting about our prettiest plants, lamenting our horticultural failures, but mostly just listening to each other's laments ands joys as we visit on the phone every day. That's what friends do.

And I call you friend, too. I am grateful for all of my friends who make me smile, help me laugh, and understand my craving for chocolate.  And you nurture my intellect, entertain my spirit, and enrich my heart. When I began blogging, I never imagined that I would acquire friends all over the world, which is just so amazing. As a kid, I had two pen-pals, one in California and one Illinois. I loved writing letters to them and exchanging photos and pictures. Our common interest centered around horses. Today Ii guess we have taken pen-palship to a new level. Thank you so much for visiting the Garden Spot and becoming dear friends.

 Happy New Year.


  1. Lovely post Ann. What cheering words from Emily Dickenson.

  2. Aw! What a beautiful story of friendship! You are loyal and faithful, Ann.

  3. Hello Ann, wonderful post and story. It is great to have such lifelong friends. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

  4. I love the Dickinson quotation. And 13,000 acres! Wow! I grew up on a 160 acre dairy farm here in Wisconsin. I've seen those fields in the west. They're incredible.

  5. Lovely story and photos. I love the poinsettia!

  6. It is a funny thing about old friends isn't it - you meet up and just carry on as you always have done, as though there is no distance between you or however long you have been apart. So happy that you enjoyed your reunion it sounds like it was such fun.

  7. A perfect way to spend the New Year! Here we were pretty low key enjoying good food and each other's company! Happy New Year!

    and LivingFromHappiness

  8. How fortunate you are to have these long time good friends Ann. I am blessed with making so many new friends through blogging and enjoy the sharing we do through our posts. I'm pleased to consider you one.

  9. A Happy, Healthy and Sparkling New Year Ann! Happy to hear you had a good time with your friends.

    Did you make the painting? It's lovely!

    Madelief x

  10. Oh, I love playing with photos on Waterlogue! How neat yours are and what a nice post. Makes me want to call one of my friends in Texas. Enjoy your week sweet friend. Hugs, Diane

  11. Lovely post, Ann! I have enjoyed very much visiting your blog this year.
    Wishing you and your loved ones a new year 2016 full of happiness and health and joy!

  12. Lovely post on friendship Ann, I have two old school friends I only see once a year, but when we meet each other we go on chatting where we stopped the year before.....
    So nice you quoted Emily Dickinson, I'm fond of her poems.