25 Oct

The joke at our house is often that I don’t have friends. It’s a joke because it’s not true but – also in reality – I have no LOCAL friends. Dave has made oodles of pinball peeps; he has people over on a weekly basis or is going to pinball events with his pinball friends. I have coworkers that are lovely and social on occasion. But I have no “let’s go see this movie” or “let’s take a pottery class” friends.

So I have no local friends. But the list of really, really spectacular people I consider to be friends is long. I’ve been reminded of that recently.

In the middle of September, I attended my 20th high school class reunion. Whoa. 20. But I didn’t just go to the reunion. Kim and Kris – twins with whom I’ve been friends since, oh, first grade – and I rented a cabin (at the campground we all used to work at) for the weekend. We went to our friend Jenni’s childhood home for a birthday bonfire in her driveway Friday night. (Not unusual behavior for us as high schoolers.) The next day, we attended our reunion where we saw lovely people and added Dancing Banana Lynn to our list of friends who gathered. (That made for 5 of 7 Dancing Bananas gathered, missing our Texan and DC-er.)

(AND THEN, that night, Kim and I built a campfire BY OURSELVES. We were so proud. We sat by it long enough to eat a s’more and then retired to our cabin. Where all three of us climbed the narrow, steep stairs to sleep on thin mattresses in the loft, slumber-party style.)

Fast forward to this past weekend when I jam-packed two days with meet-ups in Minnesota and northern WI. I saw my Dawson-turned-Owatonna friends for dinner. When I first met Aaron and Sabrina in Dawson while I was on internship, I became best buds with their son, Carter, who was, oh, three at the time? He’s now 15 with a learner’s permit. Oy.

The next day, I had coffee at the farm with Marilyn, the admin at Red Oak Grove, the church I used to serve. From coffee, I went to lunch with best-pastor-friends JD and Paige. From lunch, I drove to an early supper with college friends, Amanda and Deb. (Who, after calculations, I’ve known for TWENTY years now, first meeting while I lived across the hall from them in the freshman dorm.)

The following day, I started for home, making a stop in Menominee to visit an aunt and uncle and their NEW PUPPY. We had a delicious lunch, lots of puppy laughter, and then – sadly – it was time to make for home.

… when I met the friendliest people due to my flat tire on the side of the interstate.


News flash: I can’t change a tire.

Updated news flash: They don’t like you to change a driver’s side tire on the side of the interstate anyways. Mr. State Trooper told me so.

I called Dave, freaked out momentarily, before googling local towing companies. The first call was answered and he said he’d be on his way. I maybe had to wait, oh, 20 minutes? Mr. Tow Truck Man arrived and loaded my car onto his flatbed. He was super friendly and made bunches of phone calls to find an open tire shop on a Sunday because my donut spare would not get me the rest of the way. We’ll focus on his friendliness and helpfulness … not the fact that his tow truck had no passenger seat belt and that he was spitting his chewing tobacco into an empty gas station coffee cup as he drove. Nevermind that.

The state trooper that pulled up behind me before the tow truck arrived and approached my passenger window was also the friendliest. I was a bit frazzled at the moment. My phone was ringing with Dave and the Mr. Tow Truck Man and I couldn’t get my audio book to stop playing and cars were zooming by … I apologized for my frazzled state and the trooper kindly responded, “It’s okay. You’ve got a lot going on.” Indeed.

Mr. Tow Truck Man found that Farm and Fleet was my only tire option and so he towed my car there. I was grateful; in an afternoon of chaos, Farm and Fleet is a known entity in my life. I could comfortably sit at F&F and compose myself while they work on my tire (which could be patched, thankfully). I could do that. The service gentleman behind the counter was maybe in his early 60s and kind as kind can be. He had heard my story from Mr. Tow Truck Man and knew I had a bit of travel time still ahead of me. He himself personally re-torqued my tires (Is that the right language? I don’t know. Close enough?) and sent me on my way; he awkwardly paused outside my driver’s side door and wished me well.

Of course I had sewing with me as I waited.

I made it home just after 9pm, about four hours delayed.

I went straight to bed, grateful for splendid friends and friendly people.

One Response to “Friends.”

  1. Linda L Christianson November 1, 2022 at 7:21 pm #

    Sounds absolutely wonderful. Yes, 20 years. How does that happen. Mine this year was 56 this year. We have become great grandparents, June Baby Leo, and only have three g-kids left in high school. Four in college with 2 to graduate in December. Life rolls on and on and on. So good to hear from you. I haven’t seen a post for some time. Enjoy this awesome Fall weather. 62 here today. Cleaned off my petunia bed today and broke as many seeds as I could so hopefully it will be full to the brim in the summer next year.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: