As all military wives do, I made a friend.
This story started 30 years ago, next month.
Our husbands were stationed at Fort Richardson, Alaska.
We each had a two boys, under the age of 3. Our husbands were in the US Army. We both lived in the same town house complex. We were both stay at home moms. We both had limited funds (I will circle back to this point).
That my friend, is more than enough in common for two people to become friends.
We traded watching kiddos once in a while. We planned picnics and shared boys birthdays. We traded recipes, we tossed around the idea of home schooling our children, exchanged Christmas ornaments and once in a while when the guys were home and the boys were asleep we would take a walk or a bike ride.
Once we planned an indoor “summer” picnic in the middle of winter in Alaska. We got out the plastic pool, wore sundresses, sun glasses, turned up the heat and ate picnic food while the Beach Boys serenaded us. The boys wore shorts and t-shirts. It was silly but I think it might have saved some of our sanity as those Alaskan winters can seem rather long and drawn out.
When the boys were tucked safely in for the evening, sometimes we would sit on the back porch steps and drink mugs of coffee with huge scoops of ice cream plopped in them. Not sure who thought that up, but we would talk the evening away.
We were both interested in counted cross stitch. Word was out, a new Counted Cross Stitch magazine was about to hit the shelves. Jeepers, it was expensive! I don’t remember the exact cost, however, I am making a guess of most likely $24.95 for a yearly subscription. Too much for me to spend. dang.
One of us came up with a remarkable idea. Let’s each pay half and we would share the magazine! Talked it over with the husbands and we were a go!!!! As each issue arrived, we would arrange to sit on the back step in the warmer months or in one of our kitchens and peruse the latest issue. Then we would trade-off, every other month, who got to keep it at home for the first couple days. We would sometimes decided to do the same chart/project. Sometimes, we would each do a different one. Once in a while, one of us would take the magazine to the library and have a copy made of a pattern we both wanted to work on at the same time. It cost 25 cents per copy. ouch.
Fast forward to 2015.
Best guess, close to a gazillion gallons of water has passed under the bridge. We are indeed still friends. We both have much more in common these days. These days, while we live in different states, we text and trade pictures of our grandchildren almost daily. We still share recipes. We have shared the good and pretty ugly of 30 years of living. We still talk about husbands, adult kiddos, world problems, religion and yes we both still cross stitch.
We knew we had to acknowledge and make a point of celebrating 30 years of friendship. Each of us wanted to make something to show our boys. Instead of talking about being grateful for friends, we wanted something tangible to show while we shared some of the stories.
We decided we would choose and purchase a cross stitch pattern to do together. We would begin stitching on the same day. We may slip in our initials or a twist of some kind. Share snippets of our progress. Finish our projects, have them framed and mail them to each other. We have placed a deadline of the end of August, because we want to celebrate our friendship during these summer months.
Enter technology. With mugs of coffee in our hands (no ice cream this time around) we sat at our separate computers, states apart. For the last month or so, we have each been looking for “our” pattern. We each submitted suggestions via email. We each gently but politely vetoed one after another. It was taking a LOT longer than the olden days. We had thousands upon thousands of patterns to sift through as opposed to the 12 or 15 per magazine issue.
The moment we found “our” pattern. We both knew it.
So, it was with a thrill that we placed our order. Yes, we agreed to each pay 1/2 the cost of the pattern. (told you I would get back to the money “thing”)
Yesterday, I received the pattern in the mail.
Technology strikes again. I was able to make one copy from the printer in my home.
I mailed the pattern, thread and fabric this morning.
I made a “girl scout” promise (even though I LOATHED the girl scouts, another story for another blog post) that I would not begin one single stitch until she sent me a text saying that she received her share of supplies.
To be honest, I had to put my supplies away. My fingers are itching to begin. Just looking at that color drenched linen, the gorgeous hand dyed thread………..let me at ’em!
Sort of can’t believe it has been 30 years. I think I can wait another couple of days to begin our celebration.
I promise to keep you in the loop. I will share updates as the pattern begins to take shape. I thought it might be fun to have you tag along with this happy summer project.
I would love to hear how you celebrate friendship.