Friendship Is a Sheltering Tree

The older I get, the more I value the friends I have and the more time I want to spend with them.  Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in his poem “Youth and Age,” wrote “Friendship is a sheltering tree.”  I like that image for friendship, especially friendships that have endured over time.  An unknown author said, “Friends are like stars.  You may not see them but you always know they are there.”  I am so blessed to have some really good friends.  They are there for me whether I see them or not.  And I always hold them close in my heart even when I am far away.

During our months in Ohio, we were blessed to spend some time with friends.  We spent most of our time with family which is a double blessing.  My parents and John and Jackie, my sister and brother and their families, my Aunt Anne and Uncle Paul.  These people are all family but they are also friends.  We laugh and cry together and fill in the blanks for each others’ lives.  Their friendship is a sheltering tree from the harsh reality of life.  When we are together, things are always better, even when they are hard.

I really appreciate the friends who take time to drive to see me.  Sometimes we meet halfway, sometimes I go to them, and sometimes they come to me.  We had our annual dinner with Tom and Esther Shuman and Sandy Shaw.  Susan Ross and her husband Greg and Eric Shaw were not able to come, but they had a place at the table in our hearts.

Steve, Amy, and Emma Winstead all drove to Columbus to visit with us.  We had a wonderful afternoon together which was entirely too short.  Speaking of short, watching Emma run around with John and Jackie’s dogs was a hoot.  They are all the same height and were very curious about each other.

I managed to fit in two visits with Karen Graham, the only one of my friends that I saw twice.  We traveled up to Lakeside for one visit in October.  Then we met her in Bucyrus for another visit.  After the visit to the Bucyrus Copper Kettle Works with Mom and Dad, I ordered two small copper pots.  When we met Karen we stopped by there to pick up the pots.  Karen is retiring this year so that visit to Lakeside was especially important.

Wendy Bower drove all the way to our house to visit with us.  Tom and I drove all the way to Deborah Wilcox’s house to visit with her.  I enjoyed the visits with both of them so much that I forgot to take pictures.  I hadn’t seen Deborah for two years because she has been battling breast cancer and didn’t feel up to many visits.  But I talk to Deborah and Wendy as often as we can connect.

My Wedgewood ladies met us at The Barn in Smithville for supper one night.  Being with them is always a delight.  No matter what challenges we experience, we laugh and give advice, and put each other’s lives in order.

I wasn’t able to see several friends because our time at home was too short.  Some of my friends are busy taking care of grandchildren.  Some are still working.  That limits their availability, but it is okay.  Even when I don’t see them, I know they are there for me.  I hope they know that I am there for them as well.

The love and support of all these friends continues to be a sheltering tree in my life.  I love them all.