D is for Down #AtoZChallenge

A friend is someone who helps you up when you’re down, and if they can’t, they lay down beside you and listen.

Winnie the pooh/ a.a. milne

I have been blessed with the best of best friends. We have been through it all together and we are still going strong. No topic is off the table. Family, health, work, life….even intimate (gasp!) matters. I will drop everything to be by their sides or at the very minimum be on the phone when they need me and they have returned the favor.

Friend is a word that seems to be tossed about pretty casually these days and I’ll admit I am guilty of doing the same. There are different “levels” of friends- not that I’m ranking people. I’ve found that I have acquaintances whom with I’m friendly. It’s pleasant to see them from time to time and catch up on life. There are common bond friends, such as Mom friends or work friends- the ones you are in the trenches with, sharing your stories, getting and giving advice, commiserating. I love spending time with childhood friends. There’s nothing like chatting with someone who knew you when you were a gawky shy seven-year-old!

But nothing beats those best friends. They’ve been there for me for what feels like forever. They have been patient with me throughout my ongoing pandemic anxiety, my worrying about my kids time, my ranting over an unfair court system, and every high or low I share with them. I hope I’m returning the favor to them. Goodness knows I’m trying!

A to Z Challenge: D

Peace and friendship,

-Kat

B is for Betsy

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The book I gave to my middle child, Kris

“Betsy returned to her chair, took off her coat and hat, opened her book and forgot the world again.” – Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown

What drew me to the Maud Hart Lovelace’s Betsy-Tacy books as a child was the cover. It wasn’t the one pictured on the left, but actually the original cover from 1940, when the first book was published. (I have always loved books illustrated by Lois Lenski.)

I can still remember devouring the first in the series, not realizing there were more. Imagine my delight when I saw that I could keep reading more and more about Betsy and Tacy. I didn’t own my own copies until I was an adult and bought them online. Growing up I checked them out of the library over and over again.

The books follow Betsy Ray and her best friends Tacy and Tib from age five to Betsy’s marriage. Betsy was a lively, outgoing, imaginative girl. In contrast, her first best friend Tacy was very shy and sensitive. Tib, the last to join the trio, was more adventurous. Betsy loved telling stories and knew in her heart that she was a writer who needed to write. I admired Betsy’s spirited nature, so unlike my own, but felt a connection with her dreams of writing at such a young age. I was more like Tacy, still am for that matter. More often than not, like Tacy, not wanting to be the center of attention. Throughout my life, I’ve related to Tacy on so many levels and loved Betsy for all the ways she wasn’t like Tacy- or me. But like the quote I chose for today, Betsy and I were kindred spirits, losing ourselves in a book. Even at a young age.

I was the only person I knew in my friend circle who read Betsy-Tacy books. Are you familiar with them?

#AtoZChallenge

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Stay safe!

-Kat

Unlikely Friends

“Friendship marks a life even more deeply than love. Love risks degenerating into obsession, friendship is never anything but sharing.”      -Elie Wiesel

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Everyone needs friends- even headless Lego guys! 

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Ari makes a new friend!

Photo a day- Friendship

Have a great day!

-Kat

On Kindness

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”    -Scott Adams

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When things are tough, it is easy to feel like you’re alone. Even surrounded by loving friends and family, feelings can become overwhelming and all consuming. That’s how it can be for me at times.

And then when I least expect it I am reminded of the wonderful, caring people in my life. Whether it’s a text checking in or a beautiful soft throw, it’s a happy feeling to know that even in most trying times, someone is out there thinking of you. (Thank you, my friend, for both! Every time I see this throw with all of those wonderful positive words on it or feel its softness, I’ll think of your kindness and friendship and know I’m not alone.)

Kindness really does have a larger impact than we ever realize. And I try to keep that in mind. In my quest to boost myself into a better place, I’m so grateful for those kind words that bolster my spirits and remind me that although I might have to do some heavy lifting on my own, I’m never truly alone.

-Kat

S is for School

a to z school stuff

For reasons unknown to me one of the childhood keepsakes I’ve held on to is this pencil case. I must have really loved it. Or maybe it was packed away with a few other treasures and I didn’t have the heart or interest to get rid of it. I’ve come across it over the years, along with the dolls and other “memorable” items from my childhood. And I would always do the same thing. Open it. Look at what’s inside- markers, pencils, a red pen and ball point pen. And then zip it back up again. I used it for many years because it held a good amount of writing utensils and it stayed flat on top of my books (because we did not use backpacks back then!) That’s the extent of my memories attached to this pencil case.

But it did get me thinking about what memories I have held onto of my school days and my earliest memory always stands out. My parents and I had moved into our new house mid-school year and I was five years old. Only one moment stands out in my memory of my first day at a new school. It was when my dad picked me up at the end of the day. We were walking back to the car and he was holding my hand. A voice called out from behind, “Bye, Katherine!”

I paused and turned, not letting go of his hand, and I looked back. It was Marie, with a huge grin spread across her face while she waved at me. I smiled back. And then I timidly raised my hand to return her wave. “Bye!” I’m not sure my voice even carried across the distance between us but Marie waved again and skipped over to her mother.

My dad’s voice burst through my little cloud of happiness. “Who was that?” I looked up at him, seeing the curious look on his face that matched his tone.

I looked down and a small smile returned to my face as I happily replied, “My friend.”

This is my first memory of school, which has nothing to do with school other than it happened there. And it’s my first memory of Marie, who is my oldest friend. We have been friends for fifty years and I can’t believe it’s been that long. For awhile she was my best friend but despite our paths going in different directions, we were at each other’s weddings and we have never lost touch over the years. We pick up where we left off despite any time that has passed. We share our joys and sorrows. She has been a constant in my life, a special person who holds a precious corner of my heart- just because. And I really like that.

A to Z Challenge

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Peace, love and friendship,

-Kat