Today, out of the blue, an old friend connected with me on Facebook. When I saw her name in my Message feed I was instantly happy.
In the blink of an eye memories flooded over me. Good memories. Every single one of them. Debbie was my best friend in that span of my life where freedom reigned. We lived in a safe community and made the most of our free time.
Summers were spent spitting spits on the steps of Comox Elementary. Some days we passed up on the spits and had ice cream. Every single time she had licorice and I had chocolate. She loved to show me her black teeth and lips when she was done. so gross and so fun all at the same time. Sometimes we shot hoops. She practiced her left hand layup until she could make that shot with her eyes closed. I never did master that move, mostly because I never practiced. I was much more comfortable sticking with my right hand and when someone pushed me to the left side of the floor I resorted to my oh-so-flashy crossover along the baseline to my right hand hook shot. Anything not to have to use my left hand.
During those days my family owned a beat up, heavy old rowboat painted a bright red. We used to row it from the Comox wharf over to the Spit where we could lie in the warm sand until we were so hot we had to jump in the cold water. Then we would do it all over again. On one particularly sunny day we grabbed the oars and started rowing. Half way across the bay we were inundated with sailboats. They were honking at us and yelling at us (we thought they just liked our bikinis). Little did WE know that sailboats had the rightaway and that we were in the middle of a regatta. We were not as popular as we had thought.
Debbie also has a January birthday so she had one of the VERY first driver's licences (Yahoo). We took her family's old red station wagon down to get the mail one day (just a few blocks walk, but hey! she had her licence!!). After picking up the mail 'we' couldn't get the car started and ended up having to phone her dad to come and help. How were we supposed to know that you had to be in 'PARK' or the car wouldn't start. If we'd have had any sense we would have been embarrassed but I don't remember feeling that way at all. We were just glad her dad didn't have far to come to save the day.
Debbie was always the more sensible of the two of us and I am sure she saved me from many groundings. Even when I tried to talk her into doing things we BOTH knew we shouldn't be doing, she was the one who always did the right thing. I learned a lot from her about character and I don't think I ever told her how grateful I am for that. Thanks!!
I have lovely pictures (which I won't post) of Debbie in my wedding party. It seems after that our paths went separate ways. We met once a few years ago and our daughters played basketball against each other but they were always short visits. I am hoping that through Facebook, and our retired lives having more time, that we will be able to reconnect in a more meaningful way.
When I think of 'friends' I always count her as one of the most important in my life.