Posted tagged ‘Friendship’


May 8, 2017

(That is,   “Friendship in General”)

I came across this old cartoon which is one of my all-time favorites:

Math Joke cr

It never fails to make me smile – and even laugh along with these guys – and it always makes me think.   (Well, I’m not a mathematician;  I don’t think like that.)

I was cleaning out yet another box of old papers —  I mean if I’m going to be removed from this earth soon enough,  I’m thinking at least the Good Lord has given  me time to remove the detritus that has accumulated around me so I’m not a burden to others . .  .

And as I went through all these old favorite things I’ve saved,  I also thought about the years that I had first saved them, what I was doing, why I saved them,  and the people I knew back then . .  .  and some of those people whom I still know.

The two gentlemen in the cartoon speak their own language – perhaps a language only they understand!    But it is their mutual understanding of the world,  their bond of friendship,  the glue of similar outlooks on life that holds them together.    From such things can friendship grows –  if what they have in common is stronger than what might keep them apart.

Everyone can annoy anyone at sometime in their lives.    So, the advice ought to be:  just don’t!

But that’s impractical.   Better advice for forming and keeping and enjoying a friend is to not let your friend’s annoying things  matter.

See the two gentlemen in each cartoon panel.   One is not doing any speaking.  Who knows how long it takes the first guy to get each thought across!   The second guy is showing patience  . . .  3/4 of the way through he is showing patience and is listening, kindly and attentively.

And then it’s worth it!   What a joke!  How funny!   What a surprising point he has made!    They have a foundation of mutual understanding,  similar experiences and observations, which have given them an attitude that is familiar to each of them –  the bond of friendship is strengthened — and appreciated!

And I am humbled.  So many elements to friendship!   I’m not sure I’ve been that good a friend, through the years.  Such moments as these two men enjoy are rare, I think.

Awwww.    Look at the cartoon again – and  just enjoy!






April 13, 2017

I wrote yesterday that some   “happy, beautiful”  things happened to me.  Well,  here is the “happy” thing and what it showed me:

4 recorder j

As humans,  there are two realms put before us at each present moment:      One of great beauty and life;  one of ugliness and death.   And so on Wednesday of this week and Thursday we are reminded that these two realms are set before us.

Adherence to Rituals and Rules

I came to my friend’s house  yesterday,  and this is what greeted me —

 4 table set

It was time for our somewhat regular recorder practice on Wednesday.  The “ritual” is that we  seat ourselves in front of our music stands, allow a little  light conversation while we play our first pieces, and then we get down to some serious musicianship.   Then we begin to feel that our session is over, and we proceed to tea.

Always an absolute delight at my friend’s house; beautiful, seasonal, whimsical.   A thoughtful table for tea.

4 Napkin

My friend served mille-feuilles in honor of a book we’ve both enjoyed.

4 mille

(Also known as napoleons.)   There was a Reality at work here in our friendship and in our music,  a beautiful  Reality that flows out of one realm and into the other.


We did not mention that yesterday was Spy Wednesday  –  but it was:

4 thirty pieces

This Wednesday is called “Spy Wednesday”  because on this day the Jewish leaders met with  riff-raff.    They who were  the righteous arbiters of Ritual and the Law, had to deal with this common man, Judas Iscariot, who was willing to betray his own Friend with secret reports of His whereabouts.       With great distaste,  these religious rulers finalized their plans and sealed the deal with  the 30 pieces of silver that was foretold so many centuries ago.   But one does what one must to achieve a higher goal.

The religious rulers as well as the Romans lived in the one, material realm.

Statues,  unquestioned authority,  riches,  gold and silver, impressive robes and long fringes;  in this  material realm the use of  power of this material world could establish a kind of peace, ruling over all the rest.   This is a kingdom not founded in love and friendship, faith and true  piety,  but on Rules and Rituals to keep people in their proper places.

It is a kingdom, a realm,  that is ugly and leads to death.

So the culmination of all this spying and plotting came on a Wednesday,  but it is for Thursday to carry it out

Material Reality and Spiritual Reality

Material Reality alone fails.    There is a Spiritual Reality which gives beauty and life to our  Material Reality,  but we can’t”measure the spirit  by  material means.

 Can we measure the material worth of Friendship?   of  Honor?   of Courage?  of Love?  What is the price, in material goods,  of your love for  each of family members?     4 ruler

How many miles long is your Truth?    What color is the Respect that people have for you?   4 scales How many pounds does your Faith in God weigh?

 But these things exist.

And yet, some things can be seen and weighed and measured and physically compared. We can’t lose sight of the material world that we live in, nor of the spiritual world which give Life to it.


Just as our tea table yesterday contained a tea pot, cups, saucers,  hot cross buns and milles-feuilles,  and you could have recorded the sound of a lovely music CD, our voices,  the telephone ringing,  chairs squeaking, footsteps . . .   you could not have measured the intangible things of the actual Spiritual Realm (mutual love, friendship, respect,  faith)  which accompanied us and penetrated all our material  “noises.”

Both existed.   The material realm and the spiritual realm met and  co-existed.

This is not “above” human beings to  understand.

4 last supper reclining

Jesus met with His friends  at His Last Supper with them,   It was a supper determined by Rituals with  prophetic meaning.   It was a time for the last bit of teaching,  last time to show the means of Loving which is self-sacrifice and servitude,  last bit of instructive and loving prayers, and one thing more:

4 l;ast supper jess

With God’s creative and sovereign will,  here was the first Transformation of the material aspects of that Supper into an eternal, spiritual union with the Creator –  present from now on,  any time,  any place that this “ritual supper” is recreated.

From the earliest beginnings of Christianity,  this Last Supper was not meant to be merely copied by our actions, nor imitated.   The Last Supper,  within these last 24 hours of Jesus’ life on Earth,  was meant to be entered into  spiritually,  really,  actually — and perpetually,  until He comes.   Matter and Spirit.

These last 24 hours are completed at Calvary.

The Last Supper which then  becomes the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.


September 29, 2016

I don’t know if my friends and family realize how much I love birthday cards!   Maybe I’m sentimental,  but I take them all seriously and enjoy each and every one.


I gathered up as many as I could find…. there are some missing.   Yes, you can see the ZERO at the edge of a couple of those.   I told you this was a “new decade” for me,   but that’s the only number you’re going to see.  (I probably well deserve the funny baby card.)

The music notes are from my music partner in the gazebo.    Of course!    As the card says,   music has the power to inspire,  to make us smile, to bring back old times — and to bind friends together.

I didn’t chronicle everything.   I didn’t do a good job of documenting my party,  but here are a few pictures. 

Cooper played a big part in the decorating.


He took very seriously his job to sprinkle the glitter on the table.     I think he placed each glittery piece one by one.   As careful as he was that day,  the glitter has now spread itself out over the entire house, and even outdoors on the deck and down the stairs to the back patio.

Sometime mid-party I remembered to take a picture of the cake;  (cakes)  and the cookies.

cakes-table-370Yeah.   Four.   Four cakes.  (One behind the flowers.)     Lemon,  two chocolates,  and one butter cake with raspberry filling!     (I liked each and every one of those too!)

This was an opportunity for my friends to meet Cooper so we also had a Cookie Reception.  People brought cookies and it was Cooper’s job to greet the people,   show them where to put the cookies “so they would feel comfortable coming to Grandma’s house.”   That was an excellent way to give Cooper an important job to do,  which he took seriously:


This is the young man who will tell you what to do and where to go.   He shook hands with many people,  but some of the adults weren’t used to shaking hands with a five-year-old.   He watched their hands and if they weren’t ready to shake he just talked to them.

From what I hear,  Cooper entertained the adults very well.    Makes sense.    He has a YouTube channel of his own in which he demonstrates  his toys and explains what to do with them.

In the background we had music playing from the year — well, yeah, the year  I was born and a couple posters of “my life.”    The actual me.     The big circle on the television is the   Decca label or sometimes Columbia, as the music was playing on YouTube.   


So here’s some close-ups of those poster pictures:


Oh, a close-up on that,   if you like “baby pictures.”   –


Famous people in my family  and other party pictures –


It’s been a long, long life.    Sigh-h-h-h-h


The party lasted a long, long time, and we had several “waves” of people coming and going.


Two having a tête-a-tête.   Some serious discussion going on.  

Party games?      Yes.      Remember that glitter?


Duck your head and see how much glitter you can pick up with your forehead!  After a while we found out we didn’t even have to try –   parts of us were picking up glitter anyway.

I missed taking the photo of so many more people.    I don’t know how that happened, except there was so much going on,   so many people to talk to,  and I was just so happy to be with my friends and family — as I said, I just wasn’t being a chronicler.

I haven’t had a birthday party like this since I was 12 years old, so I was a little excited.

One friend brought her dog so we could “walk the dog”   around the block.     We needed the fresh air by then;  it was a cool, fresh eight-tenths of a mile.   

Mother Nature gave me a gift too – and finally!    I have been on a quest to get a photograph of our  neighborhood albino squirrel – even posting a picture one day of some bushes “where he just was” –  he is so elusive!!    But right there in front of us during our walk,   without even hunting him,   he ran right in front of us!


When almost everyone left, all but one guest,  we had to have a birthday dinner.  


On the menu?      Blackened hot dogs in the fire pit!

Cooper, the chief hot dog cooker.   He did all the work but I managed to pinch, cut, and burn my finger between the grill and the fire pit somehow.    (Taking it easy on the clean-up for a couple days.   Heh.)


Those are sparks from the pine wood, caught in motion by the camera lens.

There you are.   We had a comfortable, friendly, happy time, and I love all my friends and family.     I hated to say good-bye.    Each and every good-bye was like a “loss”  – even though I know, God willing,   we shall always be a part of each other’s life.

Sometimes it takes a birthday to figure that out!






April 21, 2016



This is a little blogging interlude – a break from all the harsh things that are waiting to be used  on my computer Desktop. 

It was Recorder day today,  a time when my Recorder Friend and I get together to play our recorders.

We don’t   “practice” together;  we play,  really perform our music, and today we managed to actually find the Baroque sound that we both love so much.   It was a wonderful feeling because there is an elegance in Baroque music that is its own blend of rhythms,  melody, and haunting harmony.

And there is a dignity in this sound that makes us want to participate in its elegance.

We play,  then have tea and conversation.  (Actually, we play and have conversation and then have tea and conversation.)


My Recorder Friend always has the nicest, most interesting — most elegant napkins.


If you have respect for yourself,  for your friends, and for the occasion,  these little details are so enjoyable.    I think they are a component of elegance;  going the “extra mile”  to make the occasion worthy of human dignity.

Now I laugh – at myself.   Such “details”  don’t come easy!    I received a big box in the mail a couple days ago,  courtesy of eBay.    It was for this week’s recorder session.  Inside, buried deep, deep inside foam peanuts and wrinkled newspaper were  —


—   my new Ruby Red glass teacups!

And my new Ruby Red glass saucers:


Oh, yes –  wrapped so well in bubble wrap and layers of clear packing tape,  and then tightly wrapped in newspaper,  that it took me 15 minutes to free the four cups and saucers from their binding!

But it was well worth the time and scissor pokes and chipped fingernails.


The new cups and saucers match the beautiful Ruby Red cut glass dessert  plates I had snatched from a garage sale awhile ago –  for no other reason than that they were  . . . pretty.


Happy little  springtime  Lemon Bars!


Gee,  I hope the dessert matches the “elegance”  of the day!


June 17, 2015

The evening deepens.  My back yard grows dark.  A last beam of sunlight lights up the trees.

 Sorry to be away so long.   I’m not normally withdrawn.  I’ve been “dammed up” for a while.  Oh, I met my social and “business” obligations and seemed normal  (I think)  but in between I couldn’t reach out on my own initiative.   Maybe health issues.    My health went from bad to not-worse. . . getting better, probably.    That takes a little adjustment.

Everyone needs a little inwardness once in a while.

Each time I felt “communicative” again,  I never got further than sitting down at the keyboard.    And then I walked away.   I’d sit at the piano, and then walk away with touching a key.     Who knows why?

But like my back yard in the evening —

        —     this time of the year the sun  finds a space between the houses to shine its sunbeam before all goes dark.

And each time this ever-darkening Scandinavian psyche of mine withdrew into comfortable gloom,  some bright sunshine nudged me awake.

Here’s where you all come in.     What were these little nudging sunbeams of mine?

. . . .an awfully nice friend who met with me for “coffee” and some good meandering conversation.

. . . .some awfully nice companionship and conversation with Son, one evening out on our deck

. . . .an awfully nice friend who shares her music skills with me with music we both love, followed by a beautiful tea in her English garden

. . . .an awfully nice friend who called just to ask something, to discuss a problem, and to have a conversation

. . . .an awfully nice Cousin in the Far Far North, that keeps our remaining family together with oh, so interesting information

. . . .awfully nice classes who, though they may look at me askance sometimes they keep their questions to themselves, while carrying on normal conversation

. . . .an awfully nice friend who will be visiting soon after his cross-country driving trip to visit family and friends here;  looking forward to his (our) high-speed conversation

. . . .an awfully nice sister who also carries on rapid-fire conversations with me,  informative and interesting and lots of laughter

You get the idea.  You could be any one of those people to someone else who is on some sort of unexpected, unexplainable retreat.   Just be your normal good self.

I don’t know what was happening or when it would stop.  Perhaps I was on some sort of Healthy Retreat,  but I came out of it “with a little help from my friends.”   Literally.

Now it’s my turn.  My turn to be a friend.   To carry on a steady and normal friendship with the people I know.    Because being a friend is good medicine too.

Now that the dam has broken open and my need for solitude seems to be at an end,   I have a lot of pent-up observations to make here in The Spruce Tunnel.    Look out!

 I think I can find some sunlight on a few branches.