Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
Buzby's Blog
Happy Birthday Girlfriend !
email print
About this blog
By Buzby's Blog
Recent Posts
Sept. 22, 2012 12:01 a.m.

Happy 50th Birthday Lady Di !
Ever since your Honeyman dropped by this week to invite me to your surprise party, I've been thinking about what a treasured friend you are to me. How can it be that our friendship has passed through more than four decades?
I don't remember exactly when we first met, but I'm sure it was on the school bus. It was no doubt your kindness and fun - loving nature that drew me out of my shyness and made us fast friends over those country roads. Every morning I'd look forward to seeing you. When the bus pulled up at the end of the driveway I'd search the windows for you. I'd tromp up the bus steps and quickly grab the metal pole behind the driver's seat to steady myself before he roughly shifted, lurching the bus forward. Somewhere near the back I would find your beautiful brown eyes and big smile. Hurriedly I would head down the aisle to join you, grasping seat backs along the way to keep from falling over.
Together, we'd chatter away about our little girl lives. Sitting next to each other, I often drew comparisons. When school started in fall, you would have a deep rich tan that stood out next to my lefse white skin. Secretly I wished that I had your bronze skin and your long butterscotch hair. You said you were darker than I because you were Polish. So, I wished I could be Polish too.
We spent hours on that bus, often holding on for dear life. Do you remember how we'd angle our heels against the sticky bus floor like doorstops, to try to prevent from sliding off the seat? The rides were often rough but we thought nothing of it. It was simple survival to grab onto one another mid-gab when the bus would unmercifully jostle us over frost boils, rock hard snow banks and cause our voices to vibrate while we bounced over gravely washboard roads. The hard green vinyl seats were Teflon-slick when it was cold out and old masking-tape-sticky when it was hot. But it was all tolerable because you were there.
I would miss you very much when there was no school in the summer. It was a very lonely time for me. No bus rides meant no fun. Our mother's were both busy managing small herds of kids and yours didn't drive so it was rare to see each other.
The hot summer day this picture was taken was an exception. We must have nagged our mothers to death to get them to agree to an afternoon of fun at our farm. I was in my glory when not only you but your sisters came over to play dress up. You were so pretty in the lavender lace bridesmaid dress. I was sooo envious because I was too chubby to get that lace number zipped. Nevertheless I had fun that day wearing the baggy cotton dresses I could squeeze in to.
Weren't we all so pretty with our head bands, clip-on earrings and other lovely baubles? Remember how the clip-ons pinched your ear lobes? No wonder our mother's hardly ever wore them. From the look of things, it appears that Mom even let us play with her little sample tubes of Avon lipstick. Remember how the waxy orange stubs smelled like sardines?
Life was simple in those days when the biggest bumps we encountered were those on the bus ride to school and back. We had ridden bus #11 together for ten years, to Lincoln Elementary, Highland Middle School, and to Central High, until the fall of 1978. That July my family moved to the family farm on the south side of Crookston. Little did I know that the end of our bus riding days would also separate us from our daily connection.
We remained friends, but didn't talk much as we had taken to different social groups and interests. Things changed. I remember how while I waited on the afternoon bus, I would lean with my forehead against the bus window and watch you laughing with your friends hanging out by the boy's cars across the street. Even though it looked like fun, I was too shy to approach and not much of a risk taker. But it was always tempting as I dearly missed you and our talks on the bus. You must have too. This is what you wrote in my yearbook that spring.
"To a very good friend --- I really wished that you wouldn't have moved, because I have no one to talk to anymore. Our bus is really rowdy this year. The little brats I babysit for ride the bus now, and they always pull my hair. I hope I see you around more and I wish I could talk to you some more. Keep smiling. Good luck in the future and with the boys and don't do anything I wouldn't do. Keep in touch. Friends forever. Love Di"
Fast forward thirty years. Even though we went our separate ways after high school our paths were remarkably similar. In retrospect, neither of us had much luck with the boys. We each moved far from home, had children and marriages that were soured by unfaithful men. Many years were spent struggling to raise young children on our own. We both completed the same nursing program, although years apart.
Time passed and we didn't keep in touch. But, when our lives brought us back together, we were still friends. Forever. Just as you had written in my yearbook. For that I am very grateful. Thank you for the memories and for our ongoing friendship today. I treasure you. I hope that we have many more decades ahead to enjoy and reminisce. Happy Birthday to you, my forever friend.

Recent Posts

    latest blogs

    • Community
    • National