Yesterday, I went out to lunch and consignment shopping with three of my oldest and dearest friends. My fourth friend in this category was busy teaching Yoga. We have been friends and managed to maintain this friendship for forty-five years. I think this is pretty impressive. If you demand to know what this has to do with quilts, I will tell you. Each block of a quilt can be very different. Such as, the colors, the shapes, the sizes and yet, once the quilt is assembled it’s quite beautiful. To me, that’s the way our friendship is.
Michele, Karen and I met on the first day of orientation. We were all Elementary Education majors. Now, you have to imagine three very Italian looking girls, (even though I’m not Italian), marching off to the same classes every day. We did draw a great deal of attention. We had to take a Music Method class, which included purchasing and learning how to play ukeleles. We quickly became nick-named, the “Italian Mafia” because our ukelele cases looked like machine gun holders. This incident was only one of many.
Karen and I were kicked out of our Math Method class. Our professor, Dr. Uncle, was certifiable. I can tell you, she is probably in some psychiatric hospital with a cup of bingo chips talking to herself, “Put ten chips in the one’s column, then ten chips in the ten’s column, and next put ten chips in the hundred’s column.” We had done nothing wrong, but we decided we would go to the store and buy some bingo chips, or whatever we had to use for our next class. As we were leaving, Karen put her car in drive instead of reverse and we got stuck between two bumpers and couldn’t get out. What else could go wrong? I am actually hysterical writing this because it was so funny at the time.
Gussie joined our group very soon after we arrived. She was accepted into the Master’s degree program for special education. Gussie and I became fast friends. We were the same size, so I got to wear some of her beautiful clothes. She had and still does, this delicious southern accent. Gussie has no idea what an influence she had on my life. She was a Phi Mu from her previous college so suggested we start a chapter at FAU, which of course we did. These times were some of my favorite in college. Belonging to this sorority was a life altering experience for me. The title of my post happens to come from a Phi Mu song.
Chris and Barbara entered our lives with their vivacious personalities. They too, were Elementary Ed majors. Barb lives in North Carolina now, but I know she would be right with us if she still lived in South Florida. Chris is such an inspiration. If I could think of one word to describe her, it would be “fun.” Another word would be “theme parties.” Actually, that’s two words. She’s full of fun and joy.
In fact, getting back to our get together. Chris is having a luau party for her granddaughter’s birthday this weekend. While at one of the consignment shops, which was called “Vintage Fantasy” and should have been called “Hoarder’s Nightmare,” she found a little pink flamingo dressed in a hula skirt, shelled bikini top, and lei. It was a bargain and the perfect touch to her party, but unfortunately one wing was broken. That didn’t stop Chris from buying it, then later sending me a picture of the broken wing covered with a little towel monogrammed with the letter “F” for “Flo the Flamingo.”
Friendship is a beautiful gift, and I have been gifted with my wonderful friends for all of these years, through good, bad and beautiful.