Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Friends and family

Summer might have been yesterday. We actually saw the sun for a while, and it even got quite warm. Normal service has resumed again today, however, and the rain is back again, together with the warm clothes. I should not complain, though, given that half of the country is flooded and 1000s of homes have been ruined. Drinking water is being delivered to the worst areas, as the water companies say they will not be able to connect the water supply for at least 2 weeks. Dire. Just dire. I am dry and my home is just fine, so I have no right to complain at all.

Our holiday trip is getting closer and more real now. Things are getting crossed off the to do list, and Diana has been planning our time travelling about North Island. We will be getting to see a great deal, and it is all very exciting! I am most excited to be seeing my daughter though, of course. And my best friend since university days too. For all of us, I think this is just what we need. Something really special and new and good.

Linds and I met in residence in our first year at university in Cape Town. Yes. We have the same name. And then we both married Englishmen called Geoff who were both 11 years older than us. And the same minister married us, though it was not planned that way. The minister who was due to marry them fell ill, and the one who married us stepped in. I had Andrew, then she had K, and then we were both pregnant at the same time with S and Diana, and the same obstetrician delivered our babes, so we used to plan our checkups at the same time. We can tell by a look just what each other is thinking, and we have the same sense of humour. We have conducted searches all over town to find the same toy for our children, and we have the ability to visit each other, go home and then spend 2 hours on the phone continuing the conversation. She is the one I called at midnight when I tossed a birthday cake at the wall. She did not think I was insane. She is the one who used to conduct midnight searches for chocolate through her children's rooms by torchlight. Quite reasonable, I thought.

We went to have our ears pierced together, in our 30s, and she ran away after my first ear was done, so I flew after her and hauled her back to have hers done too, and then we rushed to the ladies room to check out our new ears, and celebrated with toasted chicken mayonnaise sandwiches at Stuttafords. Oh the memories.... We once went shopping and spent hours trying on classy nightwear and lingerie, sending the assistant off to find fancy heeled slippers to go with our gowns, and had hysterics in the changing rooms.

Linds and Geoff moved to NZ in the 1980s, and we dreamt of having a fax to stay in touch. They were newfangled things back then. Space age. Then we got them. That was so exciting! Seeing letters spewing out. Then we dreamt of having computers ........ with email. And that happened too. You have to remember that when we were at university, computers occupied enormous basements and had big round wheels with tape with holes in, and binary code had to be learnt, and cards inserted, by the geeks who thought holey cards were exciting. We were not among them. We used slide-rules at school for maths and log books!

So yes, we got computers. We had arrived. Then came email and our cups ranneth over. Then came mobile phones and we could send text messages! From coffee shops! Instantly! Sigh. Then there was broadband and cheap calls and stuff like messenger. And digital cameras and photos flying back and forth instantly. Technology is just wonderful. So you see, the communication has never stopped for a second. We are part of each other's lives in the best of ways, and always will be. I know when she goes shopping, or when she plays golf. How she is feeling. And she knows me better than I do myself sometimes. And I have never sat in her New Zealand kitchen drinking coffee. Yet. But I will soon.

Friends like this are beyond price. Shared history, and shared laughter, tears, children, families, growing older, creaks and groans, encouragement and sympathy. Empathy. I have watched her children grow to wonderful adults, as she has watched mine. I don't know them well in person, but I KNOW them, through their mother. I have not seen her for a few years.

So now you know just how special this trip is going to be. My daughter will show me her new home and her life in NZ. My friend and I will have time to catch up in person. Sigh. Things are looking good right now.


Kelli said...

It rained today, heavily, and I thought of you. Ours was heavenly and welcome. But, I can't imagine how you all are still holding up.

I'm so glad you're almost ready to go! It sounds like a wonderful respite and much needed :)

Enjoy the journey of getting ready!

Linda said...

I'm getting excited for you Linds! It's all going to be wonderful. A friendship like that is just so precious. I think it very special that you've stayed close, despite the distance, all these years. I imagine NZ as a very beautiful place. I hope you'll share lots of pictures once you've settled in.
We've had rain most of the day here too. I think it is worse there than here, but we are fast catching up. Please Lord - some sunshine and drying out time!!

Penless Thoughts said...

It all sounds wonderful and delightful. We will be looking forward to the exciting posts and pictures and just being aware of the smiles on ALL your faces.

Susie said...

A friendship like that is a gift from God. I have that with one special friend and can understand each word you've written. Fortunately we don't live but one mile apart!!
I hope you have a wonderful time together and I know the time you've been apart will just evaporate when you see each other.

PEA said...

Are you sure you two are not the same person???? lol Oh Linds, how very special to have such a lifelong friend and it's truly amazing how much in common you two have. It's no wonder you are so looking forward to this trip..I'm so excited for you:-) xox

Dawn said...

That is an absolutely amazing story! Just amazing.

Cousin Ann does not sell her art that I know of. She did tell us that she has several very valuable stones in a safe place in Africa for her future, or her children's. She has an amazing talent, for sure. She's one of those, like your Linds, that we connect with instantly when we get back together - though we don't keep in good touch with the wonderful technology we have available to us.

I trust it'll stop raining soon! We had a bit last night and were so thrilled. Minnesota is badly in need of some, too. Such craziness of weather.

Heidi said...

Oh, it is so amazing to have a friend like that. I treasure a few long lasting friendships now and the way you write about it is just amazing. Your relationship is great - and the whole name, minister and ob thing is slightly freakish and wonderful too!!!! (My best friend lives 9 houses down from me in the same floorplan that we have and she has the same ob as me too-we both had her as our ob before we even met each other.)