“Make new friends and keep the old…

One is silver and the other’s gold.” Little did I know at age 6 that belting out rounds of “Make New Friends…,”while on the school bus to girl scout camp, would foretell how essential dear friends would be 60 years later.

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Maurice Sendak

Take Claire and Jay. When our kids were little they lived up the street from us in Bass Harbor, Maine. In the ninth month of my second pregnancy, we had already decided a girl would be named Sarah after my grandmother (we didn’t know a baby’s sex 36 years ago). But we were flummoxed about a boy’s name.

“Hmm”…said Claire, as we sat around the table eating latkes. “How about Ethan?”

We liked the sound of it. Ethan means “steadfast, strong, firm and safe,” which turned out to be the perfect name for our newborn son, now grown man.

Claire and Jay moved away from Mt. Desert Island nearly 30 years ago. For years, we occasionally ran into them during a summer visit to the island. Luckily, that changed after they saw my Southwest Harbor home for rent online and got in touch. That was seven or eight years ago.

Since then, their home in Southern Maine is a must-stop as we cross the Maine state line every summer.

Last week, they visited us in Tucson: We laughed. We talk, talk, talked. We ate breakfast one day at Tumerico and the next day at Five Points. We hiked in Saguaro National Park West after driving over Gates Pass marveling at the view.

I knew that Claire would figure out how to prepare giant Baja shrimp that I bought at the Tohono O’odam swap meet. She did. Along with Barrio Bread and a yummy salad, it was the BEST MEAL EVER.

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Don Guerra of Barrio Bread

Sharing a delicious meal is one thing. It’s so comforting being around dear friends whom I’ve known for nearly 40 years, who knew my kids when they were small. Who know Me. 

Jay and I taught together at MT. Desert Island High School. He was right to call last week’s visit “a unique experience.”

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Claire and Jay in the desert

It wasn’t just the laughing, hiking, or sharing meals. There was something more, which to me makes life worthwhile, plus we agree that it’s hard to believe how old we are now!

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This entry was posted in Baby Boomers, Bopping Around Tucson, Mount Desert Island/Maine, Old friends and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to “Make new friends and keep the old…

  1. Claire says:

    We are so touched! It is always special to be together….Sweet memories and new discoveries (we both like stripes…and purple!)
    Love you!

  2. sheilawill says:

    Aww…thanks to you both for a wonderful visit. I didn’t want to get into all the things we have in common, Claire, or that we watched the debates in tandem, drank wine, and texted across 3,000 miles. Love you too! Here’s to summer in Maine!

  3. Marilee Marchese says:

    Nice friendship story, you all! Nothing like special time with special friends.

  4. sheilawill says:

    Thanks Marilee! They’re in Sedona this week, which of course reminded me of our visit there with you.

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