Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Oh where, oh where, have all my friends gone? Oh where, oh where can they be?

I had several friends when I was growing up. I recall my earliest friends who lived just up the street. They were Linda Wallace and Jeanette Briton. We played house, mostly. And Linda's father built a wonderful playhouse, in which we really became little mothers. We used boxes for our stove, sink, refrigerator. We used blankets for our beds. It was so much fun.

Then when I went to school I got more friends. I wonder where they are now? Linda Lott was probably my best friend all through my school years, because her dad, too, was a pastor, and we both knew what it was like to have to be perfect all the time. Linda contracted leukemia shortly before she was married, and died not to long after her marriage. She was about 23 or 24 when she died. I prayed for her recovery, I recall. But God saw that it was her time to be with Him. We had that in common as well, our love for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Of course there were many school and church friends. And I know where some of them have gone or where they are now. Were I to list them or talk about them it would be a very, very long BLOG. Perhaps some time I shall talk about my church friends. I have pictures of those friends, and I know where most of them are today, and what they're doing. Friendships that I have kept up with are few, but I do have some.

I bring up the topic of friends because I have grown-up friends as well. People I met after I married and after I had left Runnemede. I spent today visiting with one such friend. Her name is Anita. She is the sweetest lady you'd ever want to meet. The love the Lord shines through her. She has six children, all of which she either has home educated or is still educating at home. Her oldest just graduated from Marshall University (in W. Va) and will be getting married on August 31. Her second child is studying to be a pharmacist, like her dad, who, by the way, just received his Ph.D. in pharmacy.

Anita was in town because one of her younger children was accepted to Cincinnati Conservatory of Music Summer Session for violin. So, Anita is here with her youngest daughter, Olivia, while the young lady attends violin camp, or whatever they call it. It's an intensive week of study and Olivia is loving it.

All her children have some sort of musical talent. Abigail plays the harp beautifully. Rebekah plays the piano as does Joe and Audry and now David is learning.

So, my friend, Anita spent the day and we just got caught up on our families lives and what we and the family members have been doing since we last saw each other -- which was about two years ago -- not that long when you think about it, but long when a friend is in a location that is not nearby. Phone calls aren't always a solution to a need for friendship.

I have had and do have other friends and I thank God for the people he has put into my life that have nurtured me and put up with me and loved me even with all my faults. That's what a true friend is -- someone who tolerates you even when you're "ugly". Not facially ugly but ugly in your actions.

Alan's Aunt Jean taught me about "ugly." I had never heard that expression about the way someone behaved and she was talking about a time when her sister-in-law had acted "ugly" and it took a while for her to overcome what she perceived as an insult.

So I ramble on about my friends and if I listed them all here -- at least those I count as my friends, and friendship is really a two-way street, isn't it -- I would have quite a list because I barely touched the surface of all the people I've known and which I consider my friend.

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