Saturday, February 16, 2008

My Friend, Mel...

This picture is of one of the gems in my life - my friend, Melanie. I have been trying to write this post for three weeks without coming off as overly sappy. She is one of the most creative people I know.
We came together as friends through our spinning and weaving each of us admiring the other's work at first. Of course that led to doing projects together. Over the years we've been 4H leaders together, worked for the same company, each lost a parent, seen our daughters grown and married, and gotten in-to and out-of trouble together so many times we'd give Lucy and Ethel a run for their money! For the past years we haven't been able to see each other much even though we live close by. It seemed like other things in life had to come first - and that's OK. Isn't being or having a friend include space to grow separately at times? In some ways, I think it's made me appreciate just how special she really is.
She's not only a friend, but I respect and admire Mel, greatly, for deciding at the stage of life we are now in (is it "midlife"? Or some other PC word?), to go back to school and complete a degree in Nursing. It takes guts to make decisions like that. Real stamina and pure courage. And I've always believed in her. She's intelligent, caring, creative...well, all those nifty "Scouting" terms. And she is a friend that if you need help, she's there. No questions asked.
When you hit midlife, you've started losing friends and family - people who've been with you in your life up to that point. You begin to realize that it's time to stop worrying about small things that don't matter much. It's time to appreciate the things in your life that make it good. What is that saying? "Good friends are the treasures in life." I have come to realize that is so true. A lot of you reading this are my good friends as well, gems in your own right. But I thought it time to introduce you to a gem living just down the road from me. :)

Maybe one day I can slip out of this Type A, left-brained mentality to learn how to dye fibers and yarns as "The Creative One" does...maybe there's hope for me yet, eh, Mel?


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

How wonderful to have such a wonderful friend living so close! Are you sure you could move to Oregon and leave her there? Or would you bring her north with you?

Candy Duell said...

Isn't it wonderful to have a friend like that! They are very far and few between. It was great to read about her, and how you both has been such a good friend through out your lives

bspinner said...

Sounds like both you and Mel are aware that it takes a great deal of work and commitment to have a great friendship. You are so lucky to have each other!!!!!!!

Thanks for sharing Mel with the rest of us and good luck on her nursing career. I bet some of those "Lucy and Ethel" moments would be fun to hear about.

Kathy said...

Thanks, everyone...for the nice comments. Yes, there are adventures we've had that would keep you laughing for a good while. :) I only wish I was 1/2 as creative as she is. (She spins, weaves, knits beautifully, cooks and bakes...well she's just one of those individuals who can do anything, even woodworking) I know she will make a compassionate, caring nurse!

nursedragon said...

Rut-roh! And here I thought I could continue to grow silent and hairy here in the mountains of Arizona.

Kathy, what kind and complimentary things to say about a crusty old bird like meself! The proverb, "The best mirror is an old friend" certainly rings true!

For all of you waiting out there to genuflect and kiss my (ring), line up outside Kathy's door first. Kathy was the first person I ever met who, if you ever thought you could do something well, was the one who could certainly teach YOU a thing or three about how to REALLY do it. Where shall I start?
Spinning: her yarn is the very epitome of precision.

Weaving: ditto!

Quilting: what would you like to know learn?

Basketmaking: if you didn't know it the maker was still living, you would think you were looking at a museum-quality collector's item.

Natural dyeing: Kathy can teach you not only how to dye using local or other plants, she can tell you Genus and species, as well as how to grow them. (Did I mention Master Gardener?)

Culinary arts: Kathy is one of the best cooks I have EVER encountered - I have never tasted an "oops" at her house. I always thought I could cook until I met her! Kathy makes stuff I would never aspire to doing: homemade pickles, homemade applesauce, beer (well, ok, Ralph does that! [another renaissance individual!).

OK, all of you, start begging Kathy to make soap...heh heh heh.
Kathy makes the BEST SOAP in the world. If you are ever lucky enough to get a bar of her soap, count yourself blessed (and don't wear it out with washing too much!)

Kathy knows more about animal husbandry than most veterinarians, I'll wager.

Anyway, I'm sure I have missed a few areas of expertise, but these are the ones I KNOW about.

Kathy (and Ralph) have bailed me out of a pickle many times, even in one situation requiring a chain saw!

Life is funny, and you never know where you are going to end up. If I am lucky, I will end up somewhere in Oregon, a stone's throw from Kathy & Ralph's homestead. Cheers!

Kathy said...

Aw, shucks, Mel...

Don't believe a word she says...Did I happen to mention she's a fabulous story teller, too? :)

Leigh said...

A friendship like that seems to be rare these days. But I don't have to tell you how fortunate you are!