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.