Don't Shoot the Messenger02-14-18

Sometimes in life you make connections that last through the tests of time.  And there are times when those connections are made but may not become fully developed until the right moment.  

I was a tomboy. Now my mother tried to polish me up to be a lady, but she had to get me out of the creek first. Twice a week she would try her best to scrub the dirt off my knees and comb the sticks out of my snarled hair. Wednesdays and Sundays I was required to put on that detested dress and act like a lady.  For the life of me I didn’t understand why I was trying to impress anyone.  At church I was either related to them or grew up with them, and that was almost as bad. 

Then one afternoon at Primary, Claire Frye and Pete Overman introduced a couple of new kids. A girl and a boy that happened to be my age.  I had seen the boy, usually wearing nothing but cut off shorts in the summer. Now he was interesting.  He had a dog that followed him everywhere named Snoopy, and that was good for a few  extra points in my book.  

We were eight years old and appeared to be complete opposites. He was as dark as I was light, but there was something that intrigued me. It could have been as simple as I wasn’t related to him, but we became friends.  Looking back on it now, he was kind of a player.  At a church picnic under the swing set at Lady Birds, He gave me a smiley face ring and half a bottle of his sister’s strawberry perfume.  

We remained friends through the years. In high school we attempted the awkward dating thing, but I ended up breaking his heart and he ended up breaking Larry Eggebroten’s bowling alley.  Shortly after that I left to start my life and he left to start his. 

Occasionally we would run into each other when I came back to town and we would catch up a little, but our paths had diverged.  Almost 30 years later, I returned to the town I was raised in, to start over again.  There was a knock on my door one day and when I answered it, there he stood again.  

It wasn’t the angel singing on high  type of moment. There were no hearts or flowers. He just wanted me to move my car.  But we were both a little startled.  

And then my son brought home a dark haired girl. She was as dark as he was light. There was something familiar about her. My son introduced her and then I knew. I didn’t tell her at first. One night, driving home from Casper she was talking about her dad. I quietly told her that I knew her dad. He was my friend from the time we were children.  

We were both a little banged up from life and it took a while for our defenses to lower.  I was a little heavier and he was a little balder but one evening that dark haired boy and that blonde haired girl met under the swing set at Lady Birds and he gave her another smiley face ring.  Cheri was out of perfume.