Thursday, August 13, 2009

And that led to this, and this led to that . . .

Long ago before we started counting time, Mary Jane and I were good friends that loved an adventure and so did our husbands.

We spent vacations with our hubbys canoeing on the Current River—before cell phones—with no way for us to contact family or for them to contact us—taking all of our supplies with us and camping wherever we decided to stop for the evening with a scheduled pick up down the river anywhere from three to seven days after we were launched.


Sometimes we went with kids,

Sometimes we went without.

Then life happened. Mary Jane moved away, founded a school and became the principal and superintendent and got the school accredited and raised three kids with hubby Jim’s help and support. My hubby died and I became consumed with learning to walk again.


Many years later, enter grandson Steven. Grandpa and I attended a Boat and RV show at McCormick place with a few grandkids in 2008. While there, the kids all rode an ATV around a track a few times. Steven whispered to me, “Riding ATV’s would be a fun Grandma Day.”


Because I do so like that boy and because I did so want to do something that he would think was fun and special, I began a search for a place where we could rent an ATV and ride on trails. And I searched. I humbled myself and asked. And I searched. Finding nothing, Steven and I went to Six Flags over Great America for our 2008 Grandma Day.


Back to Mary Jane. Recently while breakfasting with a mutual friend, I heard that Mary Jane had retired. I recalled that the last time I saw her or spent any time with her was after my first husband died, she invited my sons and I to their farm (2 ½-3 hours away) to ride ATV’s. One of my sons actually went through a fence with one of the machines that day.


Sheepishly via email, I contacted Mary Jane and asked if Steven and I could come out for a few hours and ride the ATVs, not even knowing if they still owned any. I recognized that I was being very audacious but it was all about pleasing sweet Steven! She said, “yes!” and so we went—yesterday.



I barely recognized Mary Jane because of her beautiful white hair—but she hasn’t gained a pound. She is still a tease. She is adventuresome and has a great can do attitude plus she is funny and fun and compassionate! I still love her laugh! She talked about healthy eating but served us the largest root beer floats that I have ever seen! She is one of my few friends that still goes skinny dipping under the stars. Actually, she is just like I remembered her!


Mary Jane’s oldest grandson, Darren, is nearly the same age as Steven so we had a great foursome day! Hooray!





If Steven had not whispered, if I had not humbled myself, if Mary Jane would have ignored her email—just think how much we would have missed!

6 comments:

Bernie said...

Brenda, what a beautiful post. To be reunited with an old friend, and share your grandsons having fun on the ATV's then drinking rootbeer floats....what a blessing for all of you. I so loved this post and am wishing you the best Friday ever....:-) Hugs

Diana said...

Once again you had a great story to tell Brenda. I think that you should win a " Greatest Grandma All Around" award! Although my grandmother was the greatest influence in my life and I miss her terribly, you are a great hands on grandmother and I just think that's amazing!

Donna's Book Nook said...

Hey, you were really thin in that boat picture from years ago. But I noticed, you're looking almost that thin again! Way to go! I also think you need a "grandma-of-the-century award". You're making memories they won't ever forget.

Rebecca. Harlan, IN said...

Line from G. Sweeting's book on successful aging this morning...
"This (staying fresh and green, Psalm 92:12-15) suggests zest, optimism, vitality, and participation in all of life."

David & George Sweeting WROTE it, you LIVE it! I love you.

Wanda said...

That was an all around feel good story Brenda...Grandson getting a wish...gramma getting to make points and memories with said grandson, and old friends renewing a friendship and the possible making of two young new friedships.
You are a wonderful grandmother!

Jackie said...

What a beautiful story...
I'm glad that "this" led to "that"... Friends are Friends forever....
Love,
Jackie