Paula has been my best friend since we were in sixth grade. We are now seventy-two years old, so that’s . . . sixty years! Hard to believe but true.
We lived close to each other and would often “meet in the middle,” which was halfway between our houses. Sleepovers were common in those days, as they are today.
We clicked right away and did most everything together. I remember when we taught ourselves sign language and would sit silently in the back seat of her family car, happily signing back and forth.
There was a time in high school when we made clothes alike, so we could dress like twins. I think we both secretly wished we were real sisters all those years. Point of fact: we look nothing alike. How we thought we would pass for twins is beyond me.
For several summers during high school, we went on vacation together with her family. Those are some of the greatest memories I have. Especially the night we stayed outdoors on cots so we could see the deer come up to the cabin. We planned to stay awake all night in shifts. Well, the next thing I remember is us waking up in the morning and seeing the deer tracks where they had come up to investigate us while we slept.
Or the time we planned to row across the lake in a very small boat. That lasted about half an hour and it seemed we were getting nowhere. So we turned around and came back. Best laid plans!
We shared most everything in those days – ideas, activities, goals, worries, laughs and dreams. Where one went, the other was not far behind.
College found us going in separate directions – different career paths, different jobs, different friends.
After college, we stayed in touch by phone and letters. We were in different states by then. We both got married and had two children each. We visited each other a couple times during those years.
Then one day Paula called – she was getting divorced. How could we help? “Come get me,” she said. We helped her move and she stayed with us for nine months.
It was just like before. We laughed. We cried. We shared everything. Paula and Gramps became gardening buddies. Gramps would enter the house after work and announce, “Hi Honeys, I’m home!”
Paula has since moved out, remarried and bought a new home. But we remain close. She is my best friend forever.
We share a love of quilting and belong to the same Quilt Guild. We keep in touch with phone calls, lunches, birthday and holiday dinners and sleepovers.
The best part of our relationship is the shared history. We don’t have to say a word. Sometimes a look will get us laughing and only we know why. Everytime we get back together after a time apart, we just pick right up where we left off. No awkwardness. No reintroduction necessary. We really know each other.
The two of us have been to many of our high school reunions over the years. They have all been fun but the best part has been sharing them with Paula. Remembering those years together has been most special.
In fact, Paula and I are going on a cruise this year for our high school fifty-fifth reunion. We will be roommates for ten days to Alaska. Can’t think of anyone I’d rather go with. (Except Gramps. But he didn’t go to my high school)
We are going to have so much fun. Share such a wonderful trip. And make more memories together.