Monday, May 21, 2007

Old Friends in New Places

One of the reasons my parents are so thrilled with WHERE I live is because BB lives in the same neighborhood. She's a friend of mine from high school days. We'd bump into each other every few years - a Christmas party here, a funeral there... but there never was really a time to visit.

Then we moved here, two blocks away and after a month and a half, STILL hadn't managed to connect except by a couple of emails and one phone call.

Tonight, Z-boy and I went for a walk. We walked up to her street and down her way, and squatting in the front yard in a pretty bed of plantings was my old friend BB, pulling weeds and watering. She looked up; I waved; she gave a generic "How you folks doin' tonight" greeting and I laughed. I don't know what her eyesight is like now, but I suddenly remembered that it wasn't all that great when we were growing up. I guess the laugh tipped her off that we weren't your ordinary neighborhood walkers, and as we got closer, her face lit up and I was enveloped in a great big ol' hug.

I introduced Z-boy and her dog was going crazy behind the fence which distracted Z no end (he is dying to get our new dog, whenever that is). There was an invitation to sit a spell and have a coke while she flea-dipped her dog and we were ushered into the backyard.

I had heard from common friends that BB's yard was a magical place. It was. An expanse of green that somehow smoothly blended into a tangle of woods at the back. Her patio was an outdoor livingroom with a swing and a couch and a few chairs - and a chalk rug drawn on the concrete. Z-boy was enthralled.

Our drinks were set before us, along with a slightly yellowed picture. Damn, I wish I'd brought my glasses, but I could see well enough to recognize long-ago beloved faces. Priest-man at age 23, with BB's brother kneeling in the sand. An unrecognizable girl, next to BB, with her arm slung around Guy, next to me and Pilgrim on the end. A day trip to the beach somewhere around age 16, possibly 15. OMG, we were so young once. If I'd have thought of it, I'd have borrowed the picture and scanned it so I could post it here. Maybe I'll ask tomorrow.

In Pilgrim's honor, we broke out the Kansas records for background as we talked.

I'm sporadically in touch with Pilgrim, BB's in touch with others. We caught each other up with what we knew. She gave me and Z-boy a tour of the house, which suits her perfectly, right down to the tiny diningroom decorated with "ugly art". Velvet paintings!!! I haven't seen those in years.

Time got away from us. I finally noticed that it was dark - which happens around 9pm in these parts. Half an hour past Z-boy's bedtime but hey, this was a special occasion.

We said goodnight and strolled home in the dark. Z-boy smiled up at me and said, "I really like her, Mom! Can we visit again sometime?"

You bet, baby, you bet.


Anonymous said...

BB? Drawing a blank here... I know who Pilgrim is, but who on earth is BB?


Sayre said...

Think rubber chickens in chandeliers. B and B are first and middle names. Her dad is helping you with your special project...

quinn said...

hey sayre..always nice to reconnect with friends from the past..enjoy.

ablondeblogger said...

Oh, I hope you can show the picture! I'd love to see it!

Anonymous said...

I never, ever heard her called BB... I thought that might be who you were talking about, because I am pretty sure I was at the beach that day. Without seeing it, I would guess the unidentified girl in the picture was Kathy Hinson, Mike Hinson's older sister.


Sayre said...

Her niece calls her BB because she can't say her name. When she was learning to talk, she learned Mama, Dada, and BB. Since I don't like naming people without their permission (hence "W"), when she told me about being called BB, I thought that would work just fine for here.

Jessica said...

It's nice that you've met up with your old friends.Nothing like reuniting with lost or old friends and reliving those great times spent together.Enjoy this bond and visit my site for some interesting ideas about friendship.Bye!

nikki said...

Perfect! That's wonderful for you.

Stephanie said...

Make new friiieends
But keeeep theeee ooo-ooold!
Ooone iiis sil-ver
And the o-ther iiis gooold!!!

Janet said...

Hopefully you guys will finally get to connect, all these years later. Sometimes loose connections develop into the best of friends, unexpectedly.

Stepping Over the Junk said...

I love that story. How nice to have a friend within a walk away! I find that sometimes it is so hard to make plans but so easy to just stop by and make it work! Lovely! My friend D is a 5 min walk for me and we stop in alot at each other's houses and love it.