I would burst into the class room, after recess, smelling like sunshine and fresh air, all hot, sweaty and giggling. Two words; Jump Rope. Oh sure there were years when the monkey bars were my favorite (shorts under my dresses, of course) & the love of Tether Ball had me in a choke hold. I have to say, above all else, I LOVED the feel of that yellow, thick, rope in my hands. I would wrap the ends around my hands to get the length just perfect and jump and jump and twirl and jump some more (heck, I still love to jump rope).
The thing about jumping rope is you can do it alone or with a friend. I LOVED the rhymes we would chant over and over. Some only in secret or at school. My mother did not approve of some of our chants. 🙂
“Johnny gave me apples, Johnny game me pears, Johnny gave me 50 cents to kiss him on the stairs. I gave back Johnny’s apples, I gave back Johnny’s pears, I gave back Johnny’s 50 cents and kicked him down the stairs. ” I LOVED that one. Made me feel bossy and in charge. You KNOW my mother said that young ladies should not kick anyone, anywhere.
During grade school recess, we had enough kids to Double Dutch. Two people, one on each end of the rope and a person jumping in the middle……….then when the timing and rhythm were juuussst right, you would invite a friend to join. Not any friend. A friend who you knew could handle the challenge. A friend who wouldn’t mess up the rhythm. A friend who would laugh with you and have a brain to remember all the different chants we used. You had to choose a friend who could adjust her pace to match yours. Or if you were asked to jump in, you had to match hers. You had to choose the right person, because when you tripped or stumbled and got tangled in the rope, you wanted someone who would say, let’s do it again. Someone who would not get mad or frustrated, but a friend who would happily try a do over.
I like coffee,
I like tea,
I’d like for Kathy
To come in with me.
While on vacation, I got to spend an entire day with my friend, Miss Florida. It was delicious. We played all day long. The last time we saw each other was ……let’s see, the last time two Army wives said goodbye, the baby she was holding in her arms, just last year graduated from college. Suffice it to say, it has been many moons.
She is a gem in my life. She has a way about her. I feel bathed in Grace, just by being around her. Yes, that kind of good egg! She is intelligent so I have to bring my A game. She is funny so I have to bring my funny bone and give funny right back to her. She is curious so I must have something new and different to chat about. She is über creative, so I have to rise up and kick my brain into full steam ahead and share some good ideas. She is kind and thoughtful and charming…………..so yes, I have to bring all of those things to the table.
The finest kind of friendship is between people who…expect a great deal of each other but never ask it.
We walked on the beach and collected shells. We bumped shoulders and brushed our wind-blown hair out of our faces. Cocoa Beach, Florida (yes, that beach, I Dream of Jeannie wanted to walk on with Major Healy). We ate amazing food and spent oodles of time in two inspiring quilt shops. We bought fabric souvenirs. We discussed patterns and techniques and methods. We talked over old times and planned some new adventures. We wore sunglasses in the sunshine and ate dinner by the hotel pool. We giggled and pointed out birds and nests like school girls. The conversation jumped from topic to topic. Food to kids to quilting to eggs to books to hikes to exercise to boys and back to food again.
After spending one day with her, my whole being sparkled. I felt like I was glowing from friendship and sunshine and fresh air and well, PURE GOODNESS. I felt like I had my groove back. If one of us would have had a jump rope rolled up in our purse, you just know we would have been two amazing jump roping girls, in perfect time. One visit with her did more for me in a day, than oodles of “positive attitude” books have done for me over the last 10 months.
I love you Miss Florida and would jump rope with you anyplace, anytime. Thank you for gracing my life with friendship that has perfect timing.
We hugged and hugged some more, we waved good-bye. As I walked across the highly polished marble floor (perfectly flat and smooth and lots of space to spread out, really, really high ceiling……….perfect for jumping rope) I had tears in my eyes. The good kind of tears. Giddy and glowing from the inside out. I was already planning the next time we would be together. Already planning another perfect place to play. Two silly girls, looking for the perfect place to jump rope.
I burst back into the hotel lobby, smelling like sunshine and fresh air and happy.