Doris Ann was telling me that she and the other Blue Birds were going to a Dairy Farm that Saturday. I said I would like to go too and she invited me to come over to her house Friday after school where her mother conducted the weekly meeting of the Blue Birds. These were little girls too young to be Camp Fire Girls, (we were six years old) but interested in learning crafts and going places. The next thing I remember about that outing was standing on the first rung of a wooden fence next to Doris Ann looking across the meadow.
When we were old enough we all became Camp Fire Girls and we continued to meet, do crafts and go on outings. When we were in the eighth grade we had a cookout at Doris’ house and after eating and clearing up we wandered down the road to a small pond where we found numerous pollywogs. The great adventure turned out to be a raft we found, boarded and pushed away from the edge and off toward the center. It was pretty rickety and I doubt any of our parents would have approved this venture. We returned safely and went back to Doris’ as if nothing had happened.
We all earned our Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha medals – a large silver medal inscribed with Mohawk symbols and a drawing of Blessed Kateri in the center, during the eighth grade – these were presented to us at a special service at St. John’s Cathedral in Downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Blessed Kateri is now Saint Kateri.
We all went to different high schools, but stayed in touch. Once we had all finished school we re-connected to have a social life – we went to the singles dances at the local hotels and to the theatre and dinner and later we double or triple dated. One by one the girls married and I moved away.
On my return visits, I tried to see at least one of my old time friends. We wrote letters and Christmas cards, exchanged photos of children.
Now many years have slipped away, I moved back to the place I came from, our children are grown and on their own, a couple of our friends outlived their spouses, and one friend did not survive much longer.
Doris and I spent a whole day together this week – a rare gift of time for both of us. We enjoyed lunch and went on to a local mall where we first stopped at one of the few Barnes and Noble stores still up and running. I brought along my Nook, a gift for my big 70th birthday from my wonderful employers. I still did not have a good handle on how to use it. After a short lesson at the customer service desk, I felt so much better equipped to enjoy this gift. I was also interested in looking for a special book – I did not have the name of the author or the title, though they did try to find something using the clues I did have. No luck but I would check the information I had saved from the Internet, at home. We looked at books of poetry and art books and Doris looked for items on her list for vacation reading.
Next we walked down the flower festooned streets to The Cheesecake Factory and oh yes, we did indulge in one of those most decadent of desserts. Doris selected strawberry – the original specialty and I could not resist key lime mango cheesecake.
The day wore on as we then moved on to the Half Price Books store where Doris found 2 of the books on her list and I found 3 books in the clearance section. By the time we headed back to her home it was after six thirty. We had a glass of iced tea before saying good night. I drove home the long way, savoring the day spent in leisure with my friend from first grade.