Three years. That's how long it takes me to make friends. We've figured that out about me over the last, oh, thirty years or so. And since most of our moves were made close to the three year mark, you can imagine I have left a very slim string of friends spread across the country. Now mind you, I have 1204 friends on facebook. So sure, I know a whole lot of people. And for our 13-year-stay in Siloam Springs, I can proudly boast of lots of friends including one very bestest friend. (Hey, Trish!)
There have been several times since moving to Bozeman three-and-a-half years ago that I have whined "I wish I had a friend here." That usually happens when I have free time and no one to spend it with. I'm not really one that likes to be alone. I thought having seven children would take care of that, but most of them have had the nerve to grow up all adult-like and move out!
So this afternoon, when I realized no one would be home for dinner, I called a friend to see if she could meet me for dinner out. It was short notice. And she lives a busy life mothering the last of her six sons. So I fully expected her to be busy, but I called her anyway. And we made a date!
It felt really wonderful to sit at the restaurant and chat, and chat, and we chatted a little more. Three hours later our food was only half eaten and we were still abuzz catching up on each other's lives. Since we have 13 children, 5 kids-in-law, and 6 grandbabes between us (we have grandsons born on the same day!) there were lots of stories to tell. It was only the nervous glaring of our waitress that convinced us to bring our conversation to an end. Although her nervous glaring did diminish when we added an exceedingly large tip to our check.
As we were parting our ways in the parking lot, my friend yelled to me, "You think we'll ever get caught up?"
"Probably not", I replied.
And that may be what defines a good friend to me. Someone you never get caught up with.