Once again, I’m traveling back in time for Memory Monday. Today’s subject is ‘First Friends’. If I had to choose an alternative title for this post, it would have to be The Lindas. As strange as it may seem, three of my earliest friends were all named ‘Linda’!
My first two friends, both named Linda, lived in Florida, and are the earliest childhood friends I can remember. One ‘Linda’ lived next door, while the other, who actually went by two names (Linda-Gay), lived a little further away, but still in the same neighborhood, I think. My family and I moved away [out-of-state] at the end of my third grade year, but I still have a few memories of the Linda who lived next-door. I don’t have many memories of Linda-Gay.
I can remember playing outside with Linda, from next-door. I remember our parents raking and burning leaves, then roasting hot dogs and marshmallows with us, once or twice. My most vivid memory is the one of Linda accidentally sitting on her mama’s cake ( which was sitting on the back seat of the car) when our families once went on a picnic together! The image of that pink frosting, all over the seat of Linda’s shorts, is forever ingrained in my memory!
I became friends with a third girl, named Linda, about five years after moving to Georgia. I was a teenager, by then, and Linda and I lived down the street from each other. We rode bicycles together, and visited back and forth at each other’s houses, especially during the summer. Linda had a sister, who was a couple of years younger than her, and the two of them fought like cats and dogs! There was a little brother, too, who was several years younger than the girls, who was adored and pampered by both of his big sisters.
About the time Linda and I turned fourteen, her parents got a divorce. Divorce was pretty rare, back in those days, and it really bothered me when Linda’s daddy left her mom. Linda’s mom was a short, sweet, hard-working German lady, named ‘Fannie’, who had a very thick German accent. I always struggled to understand what Miss Fannie would say to me because of that accent.
When Linda’s daddy moved out, it left Linda’s family stranded because Miss Fannie didn’t know how to drive. To remedy this situation, Linda’s daddy actually taught Linda how to drive a car at age fourteen. Somehow, he was able to help Linda get her learner’s license, a year early, so she could drive the family where they needed to go. Linda had her actual driver’s license by age 15, but she only drove when she needed to take the family places.
Linda and I continued to be friends throughout high school, although we each had other friends that we hung out with, as well. Ed was in the army, our final two years of high school, so Linda would often come to my house and take pictures of me, so I could send them to Ed, while he was stationed overseas. When Ed and I got married, three weeks after my high school graduation, Linda was the girl who caught my wedding bouquet!
I sort of lost track of Linda when Ed and I married and moved away, but, occasionally, she’d stop by mama’s house when she noticed I was home visiting. Linda ended up marrying a distant cousin of mine, and they had four daughters together. Linda’s husband, a volunteer fire fighter, actually had to stop and deliver one of their daughters on the way to the hospital! Sadly, Linda’s husband became ill, and lost his battle with cancer, two years ago. The two were married almost forty years.
Linda and I still live in the same town. Linda is a phlebotomist, so she and I, occasionally, cross paths whenever I need to have blood drawn. Whenever we see each other, we inevitably end up talking about ‘the good ole’ days’! Linda’s mom, Miss Fannie, passed away a long time ago, but she never did learn how to drive. Instead, she bought a bicycle!
I’m linking this post up with Judy @ Retired-Not-Tired, for Memory Monday.