As I think back in my life, it seems to be a series of interactions with friends and family.  Early in life it was more family but that seemed to go away after leaving home in the mid 60's.   Friend after friend have trooped through my life and made many impressions on me.  Here are a few random thoughts about that process.

First, I hope you can find friends that will share with you as much as you share with them.  Those times where it was more one sided, the length of time they spent together was limited.   It didn't matter how intense the relationship was, it as the lack of balance that always nipped it in the butt.  Yes, I know the word is bud but I wanted to mix that metaphor. 

An example of this was my friend Larry Parks.  We worked together in basement of the State Defense Building and in different offices.  It seemed that he and I had about the same schedule and we would catch a coffee break together once in a while.  I would describe this as a casual coffee friend.  Later on, My son was dating a nice girl and her father asked him if he was the son of MUD.  He wasn't sure but he admitted as much and now my daughter-in-law is Larry's Daughter.  Amazing.

Back in my teenage years, my friends were a mixed lot of guys with a lot of different things going on in their lives.  A kind of common thing was cars.  One of the guys built a hopped up V8 motor and put it in a jeep.  That sucker could reach 60 in a block but topped out at about 80.  gearing was all wrong.  We did manage to go places and see things in that jeep that we probably would not have seen in a car.  Note- What looks like a concrete speedway on the river flat just might turn into a mud bog if you get too close to the water.  Most of those friends made it through the Vietnam era without getting killed in the war.  The first to go was my Marine friend killed in an auto accident in Southern California.  The second was a guy that just didn't go to the Doctor and his wife found him dead in bed over a minor thing most of us would have gone to the emergency room for.  The brother of my Marine friend was a truck driver and got the flu.  He came in off the road and took to bed sick and no one found him for a week or so.  Yep, again had he gone to the emergency room they probably would have given him fluids and he would have recovered. 

That leaves me with two close friends from that group.  One is a retired school teacher that probably has reached the mental age of 15 by now.  The other is a Construction Superintendent down in Dallas an one of these days I will get to see him.  It is amazing that our meetings seem to be like we were together just yesterday. 

I would be remiss if I didn't write about my closest and dearest friend in life, the Master Gardener.  We are probably the odd couple in a lot of ways but it seems to work.   When we met, I was on orders for Vietnam and stationed near her home near Barstow, California.  She was a strong willed quiet person and I needed a friend.  I convinced her that I was an OK guy and she agreed to marry me right before I went to Vietnam.  46 years later we are still together and I hope it works out.  It is pretty easy when we agree that we have everything we need, most of what we want, money in the Bank and a Wal*Mart nearby.  In fact on Oct 8th we will have a new Wal*Mart really nearby. 

I often have moments where I think about past girlfriends.  Kind of like when I left Wichita I thought how nice it was to have it in my rear view mirror.  I do think about just how things might have turned out but I know that like most of my friends and family it would have probably wound up in a divorce. Barb was the kind of person that had clear goals and it was like a journey to go with her and watch where we would wind up.  The other girlfriends had no clue what they were going to do or wind up.  Some days you get bear and some days you wind up with a bear.  I wound up with a dear deer. 

Better get on with the day.


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