Friday, September 10, 2010


We have now been in Orlando for one month, and I learn something new every day. Just this week, I have learned these things:

1. I should not drive when I have a sinus infection because I get lost going places I go every day. Apparently having a full head infringes on the functionality of my logical thought process. Did I mention that yesterday morning I unloaded the dishwasher and then ran it empty? Now there's some brains for ya...

2. It is possible for you to see a driving maneuver that is worse than anything you've ever seen before, even when you think you've seen it all. Yesterday I saw a woman come to a dead stop in the fast lane when she heard sirens behind her. All the other cars pulled over to the right. This woman just stopped. Completely stopped. In the left lane. In a 50 mph zone. IN FRONT OF A SPEEDING FIRETRUCK! Did I mention that the firetruck was a tanker, and that it was in the left lane, and that it was probably going 70 mph? And she stopped in front of it. It didn't hit her, but it was a very close call. Had the driver of the firetruck delayed even a second in changing lanes, he would have crunched her right into eternity. Maybe that woman had a sinus infection too?

3. Never underestimate the value of a good friend. I knew when we moved that leaving our friends would be the hardest part. What I wasn't counting on is how far away I would feel here, and how much I would long for a good friend to go to coffee with, to shop with, to hang out with. I wasn't counting on crying as much as I have here. I didn't cry at all when we moved to Little Rock, except for when I was PMSing...

I just need to take a moment to brag on a few friends who are exceptionally special to me, and have been over the years.

This is Diana, my childhood BFF. Of course, we didn't say BFF back then, but we really were the best of friends, joined at the hip from age 6-18. She moved to Washington when I was 10, but we stayed close across the miles. I still have the shoebox stuffed full of the letters she wrote me over 6 years. Then when I was 21, I married her big brother. I don't think Matt's and my marriage had anything to do with us growing apart, but whatever the cause, it happened. But now it is coming back around, and I am so glad! When we were visiting Matt's family in Spokane, Diana and I spent quite a bit of time together, and thoroughly enjoyed it. This photo was taken in the summer of 1994, right before I turned 15.

When I was in college, I met Noel. She started dating Matt's best friend, Stan. The first time we met the bond was instant. I knew that day that Noel would be a forever friend. Here we are 11 years later, and she really is my #1. She knows me better than anyone else, except for Matt, of course. I could not ask for a better best friend...I think finding someone better for me than Noel would be impossible. The biggest fly in the ointment of my life is that she lives 3500 miles away in California. I don't know what I would do without my Noel. Is it possible to love someone more?

Then comes Carol. Right after Pepper was born, Carol and her husband Brian, who went to our church, brought us dinner. Carol offered to keep Snapper for me when I had doctor appointments for Pepper. That was the beginning of another lifetime friendship. Whenever Matt traveled for extended periods of time, I would go stay the weekend at Brian and Carol's house. They are the ones who got me hooked on sweet tea and NASCAR. We have spent hundreds of hours together--grilling, playing games, watching NASCAR, and laughing together. Carol's two older daughters are Snapper's best friends, too, which makes being with their family even better. Almost 2 years ago, though, Carol and her family moved to Tennessee. We look for every opportunity to drive through Tennessee and stay with them. I wish I had a photo of Carol and me together, but the most current one is archived, and I don't feel like digging through my cd's to find it. This is my most current photo of Carol with her littlest girl.

After Carol moved, I felt kind of lost. I had lots of really great friends, but I wasn't close enough to any of them to really share hearts. And then along came Karon. Her hubby and my hubby often traveled together for FamilyLife, and they thought Karon and I would enjoy each other. That was an understatement. We hit it off the first time we met, and the rest is history. Karon do I describe her? Soul sister. Yup, that says it. I miss her dreadfully. On my birthday, I talked to Karon and told her how lonely I was. I had planned on going to Little Rock a week ahead of my sis-in-law's wedding in October, but we couldn't afford the plane ticket. I was so disappointed because I had planned on the plane ticket being my birthday present. Unfortunately, some bills came up that trumped the birthday plane ticket. I didn't cry when I told Karon, but I almost did. Almost. And then that afternoon when I checked my inbox, there was an email from Delta Airlines. It was an itinerary...for me...from Karon and her hubby, Jim. Those amazing people bought me a plane ticket for my birthday! I know their budget is as tight as ours, but somehow they managed. So Karon, here is the public thank you that you deserve. Thanks for being an amazing friend, for making the sacrifice I know you made so I can come visit, and I can hardly wait for September 30th! I get to stay with Karon for a week, by the way! I have a feeling much chocolate and laughter is in my near future.

I can't help but wonder who my Florida friend will be. I have a best friends in California, Tennessee, and Arkansas. Show yourself, woman, whoever you are! I'm ready for you!


Kristin said...

You are so sweet. I can tell how thankful you are for those friendships, and I am certain God will bless that thankful heart with a new Florida BFF!

Tara said...

I would be lying if I said I'm not envious. I have someone I have always considered a BFF but lately, she doesn't seem to act like I'm very important to her. That seems to be how all my friendships have been...I always go out of my way for them but then get nothing in return. Oh mantra lately has been that Jesus is my BFF and he will never leave me.

You are definitely blessed. Good friends are hard to find!

Southern Belle said...

I sure am praying you find a good BFF in Florida. It makes my heart smile that you've had good friends wherever you've lived. I hear you on how leaving friends is the most difficult part of moving. BTDT. I understand that loss. That's awesome news that you'll be able to visit you sweet friend in Arkansas!

BTW, Tara. I could have typed your post!

Stef said...

Em, you are one amazing woman! I love your blog. I love the way you open yourself up so much and blog completely from your heart. Wow.
Your posts lately make me sit here and just sob, reading them. Bringing back so many emotions of our move up to WA a year ago now. It was such a good move, but still brings so many emotions with it, for sure.

First of all... Karen's love and generosity brought my tears to sobs. Wow. To have such kindness shown when you least expect it. God bless them. Truly.

I'm so glad you've been blessed with such dear friends, no matter how far apart you find yourselves now. We know that the true friends stick no matter what distance.

Love you!

momto5minnies said...

It sounds like you have been quite reflective lately. I think moving can do that.

It's still early, but I don't doubt you will find yet another BFF in your new state.

Sweet post ...

Lori said...

You'll be as much of a blessing to her as she'll be to you! :) Btw, have you read the new Lisa Whelchel book called "Friendship for Grown-ups?" I loved it!