Tuesday, October 16, 2018

What is a friend

"What is a friend,
a friend is here indeed
sitting all around me,
listening to my song..."

Laurie sang, strumming her guitar.  We were having an informal memorial service for my sweet friend Ron, who had died in a motorcycle accident.

This was over 30 years ago, and I haven't seen Laurie since then. 

Laurie, Beth, and I were very young then, and very different from each other, but, thrown together as roommates in a cabin, we worked together at a state park in the Black Hills of South Dakota.  After work and on days off, we would pile in someone's truck and go hiking or what we called "looping"- driving the scenic road that circled through the park, looking for wildlife.  On the rolling hills we would find the semi-tame park burros and herds of buffalo.  We would hang out the windows, enthralled, even though we saw the animals all the time, even having to skirt grumpy bison as we walked to the Visitor Center. 

We all moved on after that summer, but every so often Laurie and Beth would pop up in a letter or on social media.  This September they met in the Black Hills where we had worked.  I wanted to go, but fires prevented me.  Next year we are going to try to meet again for a park employees' reunion.

I admit, I'm not very good at staying in touch with anyone during fire season, unless they work with me. And it really is me, not you.  After working months of 12-16 hour days, I don't have much left for anything or anyone.  I always hope that friends will understand, but sometimes they don't.  Maybe I wouldn't either.

I'm grateful for the ones who stay.
Picture from Goodhousekeeping.com


  1. I'm awful at keeping in touch with people too. I don't work long days like that, but I feel like I am constantly pulled in so many directions, I don't have energy left for anyone else when I finally get to sit down at the end of the day. The people still there, or the ones who seek me out instead, are the ones I know are real friends.

  2. I struggle with staying in touch with people. The ones that understand my schedule and priorities in life and still stay...and work within the confines of what works for me (and them) are the keepers!!

    1. Yes if people can realize it's not about them then it works.

  3. Lovely thoughts....do hope you are able to gather with them next year. So many years, so many experiences you all will have to share!

    1. I hope I can. I want to hike there again.

  4. LOL You have friends and fight fire? Who are these friends you speak of? I don't buy it! LOL


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