Sunday, July 15, 2012

Aging: How I Found Friends in the City

I had a hard time making friends here in the city.  I was raised in a very small town and lived in rural eastern Oregon all of my working life.  I found that I just did not fit somehow. Maybe I was just looking in the wrong places or I tried too hard or maybe I simply did not share a culture that those raised in the city know and share.  I really do not know why. I guess I am a country girl and I guess I always will be.

While friendship was alluding me, I was been looking for an old friend.  She has been hidden for many least from me. A small class reunion prompted me to take just one more look and see if she could be found. It became very important to me somehow.  A part of me was missing. I needed  just one non-family friend.  I visited an old friend from my home town knew her brothers name and that was all I needed to locate him and then her. 

I called her and we decided to have coffee and just visit for an hour or so.  I was feeling very hopeful and excited but I was unsure how it would go.  I know she felt the same way. Would we have changed so much that we could not relate?  It wasn't until I could look in her eyes once again, I realized that what made us friends over 50 years ago had not changed. It was like coming home.  We share a childhood and a common culture of upbringing.  That will never go away.  

She came to our little community of 800 people when she was 13 after living 7 years in Indonesia.  Her parents were missionaries.  She was the most exotic person I had ever know and still is.  I felt a little frightened of her worldly knowledge and tried to fit into her life when she came to live near me. But it turned out she felt the same.  She was unsure of her English language skills after all those years living overseas.  She worried about being out of place and finding friends.  Another best friend and I were the "go to" girls when a new kid came to town.  We took them under our wing and tried to include them.  But Sharon was special.  She turned into a true friend.  She added so much to our lives.  I feel bad that she did not know how we valued her until just a few days ago.  But she hid her true feelings just like we did. I will not let her go again. Friends are what complete our lives no matter our age.  

Oh by the way, she lived just up the street from my home here in plain sight yet hidden.

How does this relate to finding friends?  I am beginning to realize that friendship may be just under my nose and I don't see it.  While I was joining golf groups and book clubs and inviting company in for dinner, I should have been looking people in the eye and seeing what was going on in their lives. I should been more thoughtful and country real. I am discovering that visiting over the back fence with neighbors almost every day is very satisfyingly simple.  Taking soup into someone that is ill or just giving someone a hug is what I have been searching for and it was there all the time...the country girl culture is still alive everywhere I look.  I just could not see it.  

Have a wonderful day.  Thanks for stopping by.  Become a follower if you have not already and beam me up to Twitter or Facebook or the planet Jupiter!  I would like that a lot...especially the planet Jupiter thing!

Links:  My Friend RosieKeith's Ramblings 


  1. As we learned while visiting you and Earl last week, Betty and I saw that "country real" charm and openness. Making friends involves some work and taking some risks. But, you have shown the payoff is quite clear.

  2. Thank you Bob. It was remarkable the things we shared in common. And you are so right...friendship requires work but even after the effort. That friendship garden requires a lot of water and nutrition.

    Be well.


  3. John and I are still looking for new friends in the valley. The friendliest people have been in our town house community. Funny that!

  4. Shelley...boy to I hear what you are saying. Finding the common interest, religious philosophy and political views can be a deal breaker. If you have moved to a community that is provincial and people have known each other since childhood, the process moves even slower. I think that becoming a person that people need helps. Good luck.



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