Friends over 5 decades… what are the odds?

Hello Patrons of Positivo!

Today I’m thinking about my childhood best friend, Lynn. We met about 55 years ago while we were both living in the small town of McCloud, in Northern California. McCloud is located about 9 miles from the base of mighty Mt. Shasta. I’ve included a picture above so you have a better idea of it’s amazing beauty. Growing up in this small town of less than 1,000 people, was truly a joy second to none! In my opinion, there is nothing that compares to growing up in a small town in the country, surrounded by nature and so many amazing experiences! 

Now, during this time, my father worked for the forest service by day and was an alcoholic writer by night. Lynn’s father was a truck driver and had a second family in another state. I mention this because it was not only our families dysfunction and lack of money that connected us, it was our absolute willingness to experience lots of fun and joy in our day-to-day lives, that truly bonded us. While growing up in this magical, small, lumber-mill town; out in the country, we created our own world, far away from the dysfunction of our families. For us, it really was a magical place and time. The town was very small, with only about 1,000 residents, and we walked from our homes to school each day. In those days, kids played outside on the weekend’s from morning until dark. In the wintertime, the snowplow would clear the streets and pile snow up so high that all you really saw was the upper part of the house and it’s roof!    

As kids, Lynn and I created amazing adventures and spent as much time together as we could. Mostly, she came over to my place to help me with my chores and then, with my weekly allowance, we would take off for Cooly’s ranch to spend our allowance money on horseback riding! We were the absolute best of friends. She was, and still is, my soulmate, to be sure. I have so many hilarious memories of she and I. Like the time she climbed up the rose trellis outside our bathroom window, pretending she as going to save me from something, only to find my mother in the bathroom!

What is it about a childhood best friend that fills you with memories that last a lifetime? Lynn and I truly figured out how to focus on the positive and leave the rest behind. Both our families struggled financially, and I do believe my mother was the original inventor of the “Post-dated” check. My father’s name was Gene, my mother’s name was Jean and my brother’s name was Gene. It was a very special gene pool, to be sure! Lynn’s father, Frank was gone a lot, so there was just her mother, Marie and her brother, Charlie. I thought her mother was a Saint and her brother had eyelashes like a giraffe! It’s funny how as a young child you form memories like these. I’m sure her brother, Charlie didn’t actually have eyelashes like a giraffe, but back then I sure thought so! 

Sadly, when we were about age 12, her father abruptly announced they were moving away and just like that, she and I were separated. We did get to visit very briefly one more time, a few years later, when her family came back to town for the day. I think we were both trying to keep a stiff upper lip and not cry, but it was really emotionally difficult. After that, she was gone for good. Consequently, we spent many, many years trying to find each other again. This was decades ago, back before cellphones, internet and Google. 

In fact, it was about 20 years ago when the idea popped into my head to contact the elementary school we attended together in McCloud. That’s how I finally found Lynn after so many, many years! While trying to find me, she had posted a message on a bulletin board at our old elementary school and I responded. Then Lynn called me and I nearly fainted! In fact, I was so doubtful that it could really be her, I demanded she tell me her real name. She said “it’s Bertha!” That was my Lynn. Her real name is Bertha Lynn, but for obvious reasons, she goes by Lynn. The odds of us finding each other again seemed nearly incalculable, because both our last names had changed and while she remained in California, I had moved to Oregon, Arkansas, back to California, then finally, Arizona. That’s where I was living when we finally found each other again!  

Since then, she has been to my home and I have visited her at her home. She most recently moved to Alabama and I am going to visit her there in the next few weeks. What were the odds after so many years we would actually find each other again? Probably about the same as looking up at the moon and seeing us there, together, like this!