Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.
Having finished cleaning out my parent’s homestead this past summer, and now putting memories away in boxes in closets, I decided to do a little “sorting through” of my own childhood boxes that have been traveling with me since I left my parent’s home.
Rainy day, children in school, no appointments on the calendar, animals chillin’ – a perfect time to rummage.
And as I filtered through numerous jewelry boxes and keepsakes I happened upon one childhood memory that I was anxious to share with some old friends. Friends I have never forgotten.
Back in 1966 my parents decided to up root seven children under the age of 14, a dog, a bird and my Nana and move from the wonderful little town in the Berkshires called Southampton to beautiful Cape Cod where my grandparents lived. The packed station wagon and pick up truck was not too far removed from the classic TV show image of the Beverly Hillbillies.
It was a courageous and bold move for my father as he decided to take his building business to the Cape. I remember selling our 1845 farmhouse to a family with six children and I do believe my parents accepted a lower price simply because they felt strongly that the house was meant for children.
It was both a sad and exciting time for me, a ten year old totally involved in her friends but anxious to move to the “ocean”. At that age there is no concept of distance, nor time and I truly believed I would be back to visit my elementary school friends whenever I could. And so, we left it at that with promises to see each other during summers and to write long letters.
However, as the years passed I realized that I would probably not be able to see them and I made new friends and life went on. I did occasionally return to Southampton only for a quick drive through when we vacationed up at our little ski cabin in Ashfield, Massachusetts. And in the following years, if anyone from Western Massachusetts happened to come by to say hello while vacationing on Cape Cod, we would get little bits and pieces about the people back home.
And it was not until the fall of 2004, shortly before my mother passed away, that I returned with my parents, my older sister Cathy, my older brother Steve and my young son Jamy to the Western Massachusetts area to see the houses that my parents grew up in and the houses that we grew up in. We wanted my mother to have a wonderful few days to relive that part of her life. It was three days spent with her that I will cherish forever. But it was not a time for visiting old friends of mine.
So, despite the well intentions, I was never in touch with any of these childhood friends until Facebook arrived and I searched and found some of them. And because of these wonderful connections, I am writing this to share with them a wonderful piece of my childhood that kept them in my heart and because of them I became a loyal and true friend to so many others.
To, Connie, Carol, Karen, Diane, Cindy, Jayne, Jean, Patty, Kathy, Penny and Nancy – thank you for this dear friendship bracelet you gave me 45 years ago when I left Southampton. I wore it proudly and often. I am not sure where some of you are today but your names are forever engraved.