These are random musings of my life journey, the people, animals, places, and events which have woven, and continue to weave, a tapestry that is me. We all know there is no real destination, only the ongoing experiences which blend together, creating the trail. Each step gives a glimpse of what is to come, without allowing me to see the end result. It is exciting. I have a home base that is mine, that gives me a place to rest. This is it. This is where my heart is, no matter where I journey...................

Thursday, November 08, 2012

More reunion memories

Here's another one ....

There was a friendship that went back to grade school. Don, or Donnie, as we knew him in the 4th and 5th grade, was one of my playmates back then. There were four of us that were nearly inseparable during those years. Donnie and I were a year older than Judy and George. We all lived within a block of each other. We played together on a daily basis, at one of our houses or the two vacant lots that held much kid fun.

Our play was pretty egalitarian. We all played war in one of the vacant lots, digging foxholes and setting up camouflage with branches and boards. Then we would move to the other vacant lot and play Tarzan on the long rope my daddy gave us to tie to the long branches of the enormous cottonwood tree. I wonder if Donnie remembers the day I nearly fell about 20 feet from that long old limb as I shinnied out on it to tie that rope. I should ask him.

Anyway, the next game would be having a tea party in Judy's back yard. We had a shady spot under one of the many huge snowball bushes where we set up our playhouse. Yes, the boys had tea parties with us. That was the rule of equality back then! Trading an hour of cowboys and indians for an hour of teacups and sipping air or sometimes water was simply how it was. I think we even coerced them into playing dress up! The boys were good sports about it!

Once I got a pogo stick and one of the others had one, too. I think it was Judy, but I don't remember for sure. The four of us shared those, bouncing for hours on them! I often bounced from my house, down a short and steep driveway about a block to Judy's house, played a while then bounced my way home again, up that driveway. Another toy we shared was something for which I have no name. If you're, ahem, as old as me, you might remember what I'll call "spring shoes." Two flat metal plates were connected to two heavy-duty metal springs between them. One plate had rubber treads on it to avoid slipping on the sidewalk, while the other had straps, much like old fashioned roller skates, that you strapped to your feet. Once they were secure, you could bounce around on them, much like on the pogo stick.

We had a lot of fun. Those were simple times. We were simple in our friendships.

After a while, probably when Donnie and I moved on to junior high school, Judy and George disappeared from our lives. I don't remember them leaving, so I assume we just grew apart. By this time, Donnie and I were growing apart, too. I moved to a different neighborhood, perhaps he did, too. And of course, it was sometimes awkward to be friends with kids you'd had as playmates when you were younger. I donno. I think we were still friends, but just distant.

By high school, Donnie and I saw each other just around school. We were in completely different crowds, although I dated a friend of his for a while. Some of the sweetness of our childhood bond remained throughout all these years, and there was a tenderness in my heart for him. A couple times I called on him to help me sort out a problem, to make sense of a boy-problem, but other than that, we were in different worlds. What was nice, though, was in spite of the seeming distance between us, Donnie was there for me, had my back, more than once.

Then we graduated. I had no idea about where he was or what had become of his life. I didn't hold much hope, because he was hanging out with some rather rough guys near the end. When I married my second husband, we discovered that Donnie figured into one of those "six degrees of separation" things. One of Donnie's high school girl friends was my husband's previous wife. We were amazed at how that could have happened, as my hub and I grew up at opposite ends of the state.

Then at one of the reunions, 30th or 40th I think, I saw Donnie. Excuse me, Don. He had grown up, straightened up, gone to college and is now an engineer, electrical, I believe. He is married to a sweetheart of a woman, and happy as can be. I love that. We've enjoyed visiting at several reunions now, and it is interesting to me how gentle our friendship is, even now. His wife "gets it." She doesn't worry in that crazy insane way that some do. Indeed, she doesn't need to. But I've had other guy friends who were nothing more than buddies, yet their wives have been less than friendly. This dear lady has welcomed me into their lives, and even drove about 50 miles to visit me when I was in Oklahoma. Don was out of town on business, but she came to visit at another friend's house.

This is what I love most about reunions.... keeping in touch with old friends and making new ones. Sharing the memories that are special for us, often just between two people, but binding in so many ways is so important. It is so grounding to have those common bonds, anchored 50 or 60 years ago.

I'm so happy to have Don and Charlene in my life.


  1. Isn't it wonderful to reconnect to a childhood friend, its like they never were out of your life. I have a few of those kind of guys that are like brothers to me. Cracked me up with a visual of you bouncing down the sidewalk.

    1. It is, MM. I enjoy it every time. And in your vision, I hope you subtracted a lot of the weight I have now, so I wasn't jiggling!! giggle!

  2. I still have a pair of those springy shoes, in their original box, in my garage and Kaylen loves them! I just looked them up on Google - "moon shoes" or "jump shoes" seem to be the formal name. Check this out:

    1. That would be the ones! I think my daddy called them my "bouncy shoes," for obvious reasons. I can't believe you still have them! Can I come to your house and play????

  3. I don’t know the bouncing platforms you describe, perhaps they just didn’t exist in Germany.
    This is a lovely story, warm and gentle; it’s so good to have such memories and to be able to share them.

    1. Thank you, Friko. The story was lovely on this end of the telling, as well. One doesn't find friends like that often enough.

  4. Just wavin' HI! :)

    It is interesting to remember how we played as children and now to watch the "grand's" play I wonder at what their "own" imaginations conjure up. You talk of the wonders of a vacant lot and yet so many of today's kids know nothing of this world of make believe and the freedom that was associated with those worlds. I wonder what they will write in 50 years?

    1. Hi, Seamus!! Long time!

      You know, among other things, it's not safe for kids to play like that in so many places these days. So sad. At my reunion, we talked about how lucky we were to grow up when and where we did. Yes, 50 years hence .... who can even guess?


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