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By Kimara - Posted on 18 March 2008

            If you were ever a Brownie you know the song…


Make new friends, but keep the old,

One is silver and the other’s gold.


            New friends are great! They’re kinda like a “do over”. I ran into a neighbor “boy” that was home visiting his parents. He is now married and he and his wife bought their first home. After we were chatting for a while he said, “Boy, I was a jerk in high school. I wish I could go back and apologize to a ton of people.” The truth is he was a jerk. He was a bully, and he and his friends terrorized many insecure classmates. A dear friend’s son was often the target of his cruelty. And perhaps not surprisingly, but totally irrational, this “jerk” was quite popular. I looked at this neighbor “boy” and I thought, “You know, I think you really have changed.” He was nice mannered, pleasant and very communicative. Anyone who met him now would have a profoundly different impression of him than his classmates and teachers did.


            New friends fall into the category of “Variety is the spice of life.” As we go through our lives, interests change. Maybe in college you were the partying sorority girl. Now, by some cosmic hiccup you’ve become, of all things, a crunchy mom. How is that even possible? And although you hold tightly to your old friends, it’s wonderful to make new friends that share your present mindset. (There’s no way your still single college roommate who continues to party every weekend would give a flying leap that you found a supplier of organic diaper wraps!) So, new friends, with common interests, allow you to share a slice of your life…maybe, some day, they will become “old friends”, but for the time being, they enrich our lives and embellish our personal tapestry.


            But this blog is really about “old friends”…those friends that have been with us through thick and thin. They’ve seen us at our best…and our worst. They may be people we talk to every day or just exchange annual newsletters with at Christmas time, but they are the people who “knew us when”. Several years ago I took an “old friend” to the community Bible study I belonged to. We’ve been friends since she was 16 and I was 19…so, hmmmm, OMG…34 years! Irrelevant, other than demonstrating that we’ve been together for a long time! Anyway, we were sitting in the pews of the church where a visiting speaker was talking about temperance. She was this little old lady, who was standing on a stool to be seen above the podium. She was waving her hands, slamming her fist on the lectern, talking about the evils of alcohol. Now, I can guarantee you, being raised Catholic, I had never once heard a sermon quite like this one. I think this is what Carrie Nation must have sounded like! Anyway, with a grin on my face, I leaned into my friend to make a comment, but when I turned around I noticed she had slid about 6 feet away from me. I whispered, “What are you doing?” And with a completely deadpan face she whispered back, “When the lighting hits, I don’t want to be sitting too close to you!” I faked a coughing attach, and made my way to the bathroom just in time to avoid wetting my pants! There wasn’t a single other person in that room who could have made that comment to me. She continually tells friends that the only time she ever got in trouble was when she was with me. When our children were young, her father always grimaced when she mentioned I was watching her kids and to this day he develops facial tics when my name is brought up! Old friends!


            Every Wednesday morning I meet a group of “old friends” for coffee, aforementioned friend being among them. We’ve known each other for eons. I remember when we use to talk about “boys”, then babies and stretch marks. We’re still talking about stretch marks, but also about menopause, our husband’s heart attack, saggy boobs, and the grand babies. We also talk about politics, books, our children, and hot actors. (Quite true!) And we still talk about our youth. (Again, ask my pew pal about “chaps and the Marriot”…I think she blew the entire thing out of proportion…at least that’s what the guys in the band would say!) But, I digress…


            But there you have it…our existence is a kaleidoscope of old and new friends, everyone adding a little to our life. As time goes by we find some of our new friends and acquaintances are temporary or “situational” friends, but some hold fast and become kindred spirits. I’ve forgotten the name of some friends I’ve made over the years, yet I am grateful that they were there when I needed them. But I must admit, I am every so grateful, and feel blessed, every time I think about my handful of close friends. The ones who knew me when…and to quote Simon and Garfunkel in their song Bookends


Time it was and what a time it was it was,

A time of innocence, a time of confidences.


            There is no overriding purpose to this week’s blog other than acknowledging the value of friendship. I wish all my friends out there, the old and the “new”, a lifetime of friendships that grow and flourish and bestow untold smiles upon your days!

Friends are the people that we treasure in our lives. They add color to our world. - Dony McGuire


You are so right! I did enjoy reading this and totally feel connected from my posting to yours! :)

aka Hootie :)

First off, it is so incredible connecting with so many people. I really do appreciate everyone's kind words. Your support has really encouraged me. It's also so gratifying to see the "readership" growing, but you guys will always remain my "old blog friends"! Here at the beginning :)

Sarah...not pathetic at all...when I was going through a divorce, my on line friends got me through many rough days...and some have become long time friends! They were and are every bit as "real" as people I can sit face to face with.

Candy...nice to know I'm not the only one around that can cause friends to scatter in church :) BTW...Michelle is every bit as wonderful in person...a kind heart and creative thinker. I always say I want to be just like her when I grow up :)'s probably no accident that my blogs often reflect our recent conversations! You have been a catylist for topics and a "subject" to be studied! Thank God you're interesting :)

Lisa...nice to meet you :) If it makes you feel any better, my doll Betsy...formally know as Betsy Wetsy...still hangs out in my room. She is 50 years old, but doesn't look a day past 18 months. She gets a quick "finger kiss" often! And, given that fact that there are just so many hours in the day, we can't feasibly keep up with everyone worth knowing! That's what memories are for!

Tina...I totally understand what you mean about staying connected with old friends. There are people I can go a long time without seeing, and when we get together, it's like we've never been apart. THOSE are the people you make sure to never lose contact with!

And Barb...I'm so glad you made it through one of your stacks and found my Christmas card with my blog address. You were on my mind while I was writing this. You'll also see yourself my blog "Kids in the Kitchen"! And about those questionable stories...let's's 'bout R.H.s underwear...weasel hunts...and the famous "Mongo" Hicky”... See...old friends :)

Hi Kim,

Now I have to be the oldest friend on your blog - since 5th grade . I have some great memories from high school that are probably not "blogable". Would love to reconnect - I love this time of my life and we have so much to catch up on. :)

Love, Barbie Blose (a.k.a. Barb, Mom, and Princess Grandma)

The thing that I find interesting about very good, old friends is our ability to perhaps not connect on a daily basis any longer because of where we might be in life, but yet, the history of shared experiences still forms a basis for that friendship to continue. My husband and I are attending a wedding this spring for our oldest, mutual friend - 20 years! I'm not sure that we share any common interests any longer (well, we all like to cook!), but I don't think that really affects our friendship in any way. I do agree that the Internet has really changed how relationships and friendships form and continue. Without email, I'm not sure I would be very good friends any longer with my old friends from school who live far away from me. But, with email and sharing of digital pictures, we can share in each others' daily lives. And on the opposite spectrum, I'm sure I'm not the only person here who has friends that I have never met "IRL".

I've been reading your blog for a while now and I really enjoy it. You've got such an interesting take on things. I've never posted before but this blog really hit home. My husband says I "collect" people and don't know when to let go. I guess I try to hold onto everyone I was ever friends with. My Christmas card list is long and mighty, and I continue to send cards to people I haven't heard from in years. Your blog made me think about "letting go". Friends are a part of us, I guess even after we forget their names. And when I think about it, the friends I don't see now, I probably don't have much in common anymore. I too am blessed with many very good friends. I just haven't been able to bear the thought of leaving behind anyone. (It's probably not surprising I still have every doll and stuffed animal I ever owned!) But I guess its time to let go, be grateful for the time I had with them, and focus on the many blessing today. Thanks, Kim. BTW I think we all have friends that would do some pew sliding!

Funny how these blogs always seem to coincide with a recent conversation of ours. ;) I just had the moms from my kids’ play group over for a Girls Night Out. As the conversation drifted away from our kids and to that life “BC” (before children), I realized that I probably would not have been friends with anyone in the room at a different stage in life… I was a bit more reserved and definitely more law abiding. No real need to scoot away from me on a pew bench… not that I didn’t have my fair share of fun but I would hardly show up on the charts as lightening bolt worthy. And my friends from back when are not at the same point in life now… ie owning a minivan (actually I just turned in my minivan and got a new Outlook – highly recommend it over the minivan). And the internet has definitely opened up a new world for connecting with others. I think the most interesting part of this blog is the fact that back tracking through your friendships really do give that bigger picture of who you are.

Kim, you have such a great writing style. You always make me think. I am very blessed to say that I have lots of friends. A few have known me since elementary school, a few since college, a few for only a couple years. But like you said, they all add something different to my life. I have on-line friends that I have never met (Michelle!) that know me more than some of my friends in "real-life" And yeah, one of my best, oldest friends will be the one scooting away from ME in the church pew, too!

My son is out of school this week for spring break and everyone is still asleep so I’m taking advantage of the quiet right now. Quiet mornings are a real luxury. I lived in the same town until I went to college so I knew friends for a long time. I’m kind of surprised that there are only a couple I keep in touch with, and I wouldn’t consider them good friends anymore. I also still have a few good friends from college but we’re not on the same page right now, but that’s okay. I figure eventually we’ll all be married and have children! But I have 2 cousins that were like sisters to me that I have that “kindred spirits” with. They are the people who know ALL my secrets and that I can lean on. When the 3 of us get together which we do a lot, its great! But the thing I wanted to mention was the idea of new friends and people that are in your special interest groups. I think the internet has really changed things for a lot of people. In some weird way I’ve come to think of you as a friend. (That’s not pathetic, is it?) I feel like I really connect with what you say and I value your thoughts. I have a very different relationship with my mom. We shop and decorate! Michelle is your daughter, right? She’s very lucky. So I just wanted to say thanks for being a new “friend”. You do add spice to my life!