Sunday, June 24, 2012

Real friends

We are in St. Louis.  We took a detour to see our dear friends, the Thatchers.  It was well worth the detour.

We haven't seen them for almost exactly 12 years.  12 years!  Mindy and I started chattering like no time had passed.  Bill and Adam seemed to take up a conversation they had started 12 years ago.  Our kids eyed each other for about 30 seconds then became friends as well.

It was just a really fabulous time.

Mindy was educated as a math teacher but could easily have been an interior designer.  Their house is amazing because of Mindy's style and vision and really hard work.  I loved it.  We reminisced about old times and old people we used to know.  I laughed because even though Jessica is now a sparkling and beautiful 16 year old teenager, she is still the sparkling little toddler I once knew who knew how to push her mom's buttons.  I have always loved Jessica.  Jackson, who was two last time I saw him, is a handsome and strapping young man and then Nic and Olivia, who weren't born then, have been added to the family but it seems like I should have known them all along as well.

We drove to downtown St. Louis (girls in one car, boys in the other--Mindy and I didn't want to stop talking to each other and I don't think Adam and Bill did either).  As we chatted, I was over and over impressed by what a great person Mindy is.  She is a really good mother and inspirational to me.  She described, with gratitude, a situation she has been involved with.  She is grateful to be led through prayer in how to help someone.  I was astounded by her charity and goodness but then at the same time, not at all surprised.  Same Mindy I've always known.

When we were reminiscing, I recounted the ways she'd helped me when I had mono and Emma was a newborn.  She didn't remember.  She also didn't remember coming to stay with Braeden the night Emma was born.  She didn't remember staying behind at Emma's birthday party to help me clean up after Braeden shut the party down by throwing up all over everything.

I told Mindy she needs to remember these things!  She ought to always remember what a great person she is.

I had to snap a picture of Bill.  Poor one armed Bill.  He was at scout camp and dislocated his shoulder water skiing.

Mindy, Bill and Adam.  The Mississippi River is in the background.

 We saw the St. Louis Arch.  

Horace tried to climb the Arch.

silly goat
The Thatchers have a dog which made Mark jealous.  I think our goat made them jealous though.  At least it made Mindy jealous.  Goats are quiet and don't eat anything or make any messes or have to go to the vet.  At least that's how metal goats are.  I can't speak for real goats.

I tried to get a picture of our kids.  Didn't quite work.

Nic is the one in red, in the top picture, caught mid handstand.  That kid is athletic like his mother and can walk on his hands.  I told him (with a bit of pride in my voice) that I'm really good at walking on my feet.  Alex, is in pink.  He's not related but staying with the Thatchers.  Olivia is the cutie in purple and Jessica the cutie in white.  You know my three and then Jackson is between Mark and Braeden.

If we had room in our van, I would try to sneak some of those kids home with us.

We went to their house where the kids relaxed:

The men cooked dinner on the grill:

I sliced the watermelon in crooked slices and enjoyed visiting with Mindy as she created a lovely feast for us.

Happily, I got to meet my imaginary friend Christie as well.  She and I have read each other's blogs for awhile and she and Mindy are good friends.  Mindy invited her family over for dinner so we could meet.  Real life Christie did not disappoint.  She was explaining to her teenage sons who they were going to meet and they said, "So you're like LaFawnda and Kip?"


Except we aren't in love.

Just friends.

I don't know if I'd rather be LaFawnda or Kip.  LaFawnda has the snazzy shoes but Kip gets the bling necklace. 

Christie is also a primary president.  She told me I'll survive.

I unfortunately didn't get any pictures of her cute kids and the one picture I got of the three of us, is not the best.  It's the only picture though.

Mindy, me and Christie...Mindy said her picture can't be on a blog.  Is she in the witness protection program?  Sorry Mindy.  My blog.  I want to remember my pretty friend.

Christie is unfortunately not looking at the camera (Adam was trying to be stealth so I wouldn't blink).  If you want to see a picture of Christie looking at the camera so you can get a better idea of how lovely she is, I'll direct you to her blog.  You may want to go there anyway because she's funny.

As we left the Thatchers, one of our kids said, "They should move to Seattle."

I agree.

Then another kid, looking outside at their great neighborhood said, "Or we should move here."

I'd be OK with that too.

Before falling asleep, Adam and I were talking about the day.  We felt deeply satisfied with our visit.  It was so fun to see the Thatchers again.  How wonderful to have lasting friends that withstand twelve years of absence.  We also felt a little regretful.  Twelve years.  That's a long time.  I wish we could all see each other more.

Maybe we'll live in the same cul-de-sac in heaven.


mindyt/jesst said...

You are entirely too kind Thelma--but thank you for the kind words. Most of all thank you for coming by--we loved getting to visit with all of you and we wish you lived closer!! Lets not let it be 12 years before we see each other again. Your children were so cute and fun to be around! We hope you have a great rest of the trip! Talk to you soon. Love, Mindy

Melanee said...

We are excited that Horace is getting closer each day. You see we have 5 goats that are really looking forward to meeting him. Oh, and we are excited to see you too. Drive safe.

Christie said...

Mindy IS exactly as you described her. EXACTLY. Giving, selfless, kind, thoughtful, and fun. I love her more than I could ever say. She showed up at my door yesterday in paint clothes because she knew I was painting the basement and stayed for five hours. Acted like it was no big deal. Fighting back tears of gratitude, I accepted her help knowing I could never repay her. Seriously. How did we both get so lucky?

It was SOO great meeting you! You are so fun and it felt so easy to talk to you. Your family is darling, your husband hilarious, and you are all charming, fun people. I could have stayed all night.

We might need to talk about that picture, however...


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