Where Life Leads

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.
Prov. 27:1

Work recently took me within an hour of a very dear friend now lives. We manage to see each other perhaps every other year. Visiting with her reminded me what good friends we really are and how much I miss not seeing her more often.

Many years ago – when our children were toddlers – we lived a few blocks from one another. We were both stay-at-home mothers before anyone thought it peculiar for college educated new mothers to do stay home with the kids. We were also both trying to write – both for the creative outlet and to supplement our husbands’ entry level salaries.

Soon we had a deal. I’d watch all four kids one day a week so she could get some writing done. She’d do the same for me another day. When we had the time, energy, and money we’d stuff the four of them across the back of a car and head off on some adventure together.

When the kids were old enough to let the schools tend to them several hours a day we each decided it was time to bring in a paycheck. Without knowing it, we each applied for the same editorial position with a state agency. When we discovered this we had the perfect solution. Our child-watching system worked out so well that time share the job. Neither of us was all that about full time employment with young children at home. We already knew we could easily take care of each other’s children. Perfect – we thought. The single young man who was hiring didn’t quite catch the vision when we explained how the time-share option could work. I got the job and she took another one instead.

Then life led us down separate paths. My path led to moves to several different communities for various job changes. Long after all our children were raised and on their own, her husband left her for another woman and a different life style. Several years later mine did the same. By then we lived on opposite ends of the country.

I know people who spend their entire life within a hundred miles of where they grew up. I know others who left for work then retired back to same geography and traditions that launched them. Some seem destined to be settlers – staying near where we were born. Others of us seem destined to wander – living a short time in a variety of places.

Whether we stay or wander, a day spent with a close friend is a day well spent.

The Girl Scouts got it right: “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other gold.

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