Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Eddie Jane Pelkey
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Reconnecting with a good friend

Escape with Eddie

 


What would we do without our family and friends? Life would be pretty dismal. I know there are people around who tend to be hermits, but is it really a chosen lifestyle? Is their lonely existence due to circumstance of their location? Just this past week I discovered how easy it is to lose track of folks who were very close friends. Moving to a new location can certainly be a cause.

I received a message last week, thanks to Bernadine Reed, the city clerk of Kettle River. She handed me a message she received at the city office. A friend from Minneapolis had contacted the city office to see if she could find my location. I called Mary and left a message for her. We had a chance to talk to each other a few days later. Mary is planning to be in Duluth for a conference this week and wanted to see if we could get together.

When Don and I left East Bethel we got so busy with the move and getting acquainted with not only new surroundings and a house, but new people. Gradually we lost many of the ties we had to friends from the Twin Cities.

Mary and I attended Abbott Hospital School of Nursing together. We hit it off as soon as we met.

I was 10 years older than my classmates and I became friends with just a few of them. One of them was Mary and the other was Rose Marie. Mary came from a southwest Minnesota farming community. Rose Marie was the oldest of eight children and she, like me, didn't live in the hospital dorms. These two ladies had a lot of commonality with me, so we began to stick together for lunch and breaks from classes.

Mary married another of our classmates and lived in south Minneapolis near where I lived. We continued our close friendship for many years. Mary and I both worked at Abbott Hospital after graduation. She worked in the cat scan radiology area and I worked in psychiatry. Much of our social life involved Ted and Mary and Jim and I. Mary then left nursing and went to work for a research company. When I talked to her last week, she told me she was back in nursing working in pediatric hospice.

Rose Marie moved from Minnesota with her husband and relocated in Slidell, Louisiana, very near where my father grew up in Covington. Every trip to the south, she and I would get together for lunch in Slidell. She and her husband were flooded out when Katrina hit New Orleans. Fortunately none of her family were injured or killed in the hurricane.

When we lived in East Bethel, Mary and her second husband, Warren, would come to visit and we kept in close touch. Then, 13 years ago we moved to the Kettle River area. I commuted to the cities for a number of years every other weekend. However, going down to work gave little opportunity to get together with friends. Alas, it has been at least 15 years since Mary and I visited.

It's so easy to lose contact. We get so caught up in our lives that many times we put off contacting someone because they don't live very near. Naturally, we see our family who live in the cities, but I have not spent the time to get together with old friends. This Thursday, today in fact, Mary and I will get a chance to visit. I have also made up my mind that when I go to spend a weekend at one of my sons' homes, I will take the time to visit Mary and her family when I'm there.

I have so many memories of all the time we spent together. I used to go camping with Mary and Ted, her first husband, and their children. They had a campsite at Voyager Village in Wisconsin. During the summer I would go there with them once a month or so. Friday evenings we went to the fish fry at the main building. The rest of the weekends we spent around the campfire. It seems like yesterday and yet all these years have flown.

What I realized this past week is it is very important to invest in keeping friendships alive and well. Friends are those people who get to know us best. Sometimes they are closer than family in many ways. If you're like me and tend to put off those contacts, think it over. I can't believe how good it felt to talk with Mary. I won't let this much time go by before we visit again. Mary was there for me through some of the toughest times in my life. I am looking forward to reconnecting with my good friend.

 

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