Many of them had the same verse, “Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other is gold.”
I was reminded of that a few nights ago. It was our girls-night-out Christmas party. For me, some in the group are somewhat new friends and some I have known for years.
Let me tell you about them and how they are related. Irene Brookshire, Mildred Darby and Elizabeth Foster are sisters. Joan Irvine is Elizabeth’s daughter. Betty Johnson is Irene, Mildred and Elizabeth’s niece and is Joan Irving first cousin. Rhonda Fields is Betty Johnson’s daughter and Patricia Poole is a great-niece or cousin to all of them.
Dot Satterfield and Gail Blalock are sisters. Gail works with Diane Harmon who lives across the road from Thary Matheney. Barbara Hulsey, Joyce Poole and Thary went to elementary and high school together. Joyce is Joan Irvine’s aunt.
We recently lost one of our members with the death of Patsy Howard. She and Joan Frady were sisters. Joyce and Joan Frady are the best of friends.
So, how do I fit in? Well, Joyce Poole and I have been good friends for years. She invited me to join the group.
The first time I went I found that I already knew almost everyone in the group. Diane was in my class the first year I taught. Gail was in the eighth grade that year in the same school. Later, Patricia was one of my students.
Dot Satterfield, Gail and I all worked for the school system. Plus, Dot and I have our hair done at the same place at the same time. Diane is a hairdresser. She does Joyce, Gail, Elizabeth, Patricia and Thary’s hair.
If you understand all of that, like Yogi, you are smarter than the average bear.
Girls-night-out means different things to different people. In our case, girls-night-out means going to a local restaurant once a month or occasionally someone’s home to eat, talk and just have fun. Since no one drinks anything more potent than coke, there is no need for designated drivers.
There are many reasons I like being friends with the ladies in our group. They live the Golden Rule, are church going people and no one hesitates to bow their head when a prayer is said. They understand that “Jesus is the reason for the season.”
Everyone in the group is a salt-of-the-earth person. No one tries to impress the others.
Everyone is easy to talk to. Take it from me, when we are together, there is lots of talking going on. I would be remiss if I did not tell you that Diane and Patricia are very talented in that department.
In fact, I called Diane early in the morning on the day of the party. It was at my house and I wanted her to make the coffee.
Her husband, Fred, told me Diane was at her dentist’s office. I jokingly commented that I would not call her there because she would have her mouth full of dental stuff and could not talk. His response was, “You want to bet on that?”
Dot Satterfield is the leader in the having fun division. With her quick wit, she can keep us laughing. Sometimes we do get a little loud, but, thus far, we have not been thrown out of O’Charley’s or Red Lobster.
We all come from a country background. Work is not a stranger to any of us. To the best of my knowledge, like me, none of them was born with a silver spoon in their mouth.
At our Christmas party earlier this week we got the closest I have ever seen us come to getting in a fight. We were deciding who would get the leftovers of Joan Frady’s salmon patty biscuits. If you have eaten one of them, you understand why we all wanted those that were left.
Nobody wanted to fight over who would clean up the kitchen. We all stayed out of the way and let Dot and Gail to do it.
After everyone had gone, I found myself thinking again about the Christmas card adage, “Make new friends but keep the old...”
Having friends is one of life’s greatest blessings. During these days we call the Christmas Rush, let us not forget that one of the best gifts you and I can give another person is to be their friend.
Marguerite Cline is the former mayor of Waleska.