Today, I'm reminiscing on friendships. Not just the current day-to-day ones. Those are great when you feel you can call and schedule a pedicure with your best girlfriend (I just had one today!), but I'm talking about the lifelong friendships. That one person outside of your family who you've known the longest and is still part of your life today.
The one person who has grown up with you. Played dolls with you, had picnics with, sleepovers, and you were so comfortable around their house that you could easily have been one of the family.
And that's exactly how it was in the Towers' home. Denise was my bestest best friend from the time I can remember, and I spent A LOT of time at her house. (Since my dad was never big on other kids coming over to our house.)
The most vivid thing I remember about her house was that she had a dog. A BIG dog. I swear he had to have been part wolf or huskie or something. But to me...he was just a big dog. Did I mention I was scared to death of dogs as a little girl? I was. Terrified, petrified, and hysterically in tears when a dog would come running. And "Duke" was a big dog that I kept my distance from...but he never bothered me either. (Good dog.)
Denise lived in an old farmhouse, a great old house. You walked in to this enormous kitchen where the table sat in the middle of the room. I remember her mom always baking - cookies, pies, and lots of other goodies. I always remember her working in the kitchen! I also remember that her mom made the greatest homemade popsicles with kool-aid and jello mixed together. I loved the lime-flavored ones!!
To the right of the kitchen was a small room where Denise had bunk beds...and a dollhouse that her dad had made her with real carpet scraps for the floors. To the left of the kitchen was the living room, where she had an old upright piano that I loved to just look at and wish I knew how to play. Off the living room there was another bedroom I think? That one is a little fuzzy. But I do remember that there was a door in the living room that led out to that front porch where we entered into the kitchen. But nobody ever used that door. It was always the kitchen door. Why did nobody ever use the living room door?
There was a door in the kitchen that hid a staircase, and when Denise's bedroom wasn't downstairs off the kitchen, it had been moved upstairs, which was also a cool room because it had a walk-in/closet/playroom area just off of it. I loved this house!
Yes, the house was awesome....but so was the playhouse that she had in the backyard, and the barn...I loved climbing in her barn! We had so much fun climbing in the loft, down in the (what do you call it?) basement of the barn, out the back door, running around to the front and starting all over again. We were always being yelled at to be careful (it was a really old barn), and to NEVER climb around in there without shoes on. I remember once standing in the center of an empty corn silo and just looking up. It was so tall and ....empty! Then I got a little freaked out thinking of being buried under tons of ears of corn, and I decided I didn't care to ever stand in one of those again.
Denise and I played for hours and hours together...and we were in school together, so we also rode the bus together. Our families went to the same church so we were in youth group together, and went to summer camp together. We both played the flute, we were both cheerleaders...but I have to give the girl credit - she was brave enough to venture into science and math classes in high school that I just didn't have the guts to take.
Yes, there were other friends, and after high school we parted ways when I moved away and she started college. But we've always remained in touch in one way or another, although not nearly as often as either of us would like I'm sure...but it's still comfortable to just be who we are with one another.
And by the way...she turns 40 herself in just...13 DAYS!!!
Happy Birthday to my dearest and oldest friend (A little early!!)