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Day 183: Photo Blog #2

Saturday, July 02, 2011

The second assignment is: "A picture of you and the person you have been closest with the longest."

Now, that's an interesting one. What I would've liked to have done is use a picture of me with my brother. Sadly, he died nearly forty years ago.

My best friend from school days is still very much a friend, and we communicate fairly often. But there's a long - quite long! - gap from about '77 until maybe five years ago, so while there were the usual annual exchanges (birthdays, Christmas cards) and the occasional phone call during the 'gap years,' we aren't nearly as close as we were way back when.

There's a time I would've used a photo of me with my first husband - I've known him since we were six. Alas, we split up in '95 and it's been bitter acrimony ever since.

That's a long-winded way of saying 'closest' doesn't work so well with 'longest,' in some respects.

But there is one person who has been a constant fixture in my life for... I had to get out a calculator. For nearly 35 years.

In the mid-'70s I worked at a college, academic secretary for the English department. A student was assigned to me for work-study, more or less an office go-fer. Nominally titled 'Student Secretary,' she ultimately did nearly every job going, including hanging out of my 3rd-story office window to clean the outside. I think I paled visibly when I came down the hall, waltzed into the office, and saw her feet dangling off the floor as she leaned backward to get just a little more of the window clean - scared me to death.

I wasn't all that much older than the undergraduate students, and she was in her sophomore year, so there's a little less than five years' difference in our ages. For some reason, we clicked. Jane became the sister I never had.

She's seen me thru a 'big' wedding, the births of two children, the horrible divorce, and marriage number two. I've seen her thru graduation, post-grad degrees, and an incredible job - she works at a school for deaf students, and is so fluent in ASL she's a joy to watch.

She's met my parents, my extended family, and become a surrogate aunt to my children. I've been with her thru major surgery, several boyfriends - two of them serious and near-contenders for becoming husbands - the trials of her parents' health, and the ups and downs of her four siblings.

Come to think of it, I don't know that we've ever had a cross word. That strikes me as pretty amazing - I can be a real grump. Not that you'd notice or anything, lol.

So meet my friend Jane:

The last two pictures are from my son's wedding. After he was born, Jane took care of him for a couple weeks when I went back to work - he was about 8 months old at the time - and has been his best grown-up friend ever since. 'Miss Jane' is as much a part of his life as she is of mine.

Next year is in the works to be a big year for me. I'm turning 60, and I hope to make it the biggest year-long celebration I can manage. I'm planning to take a cruise - never been on one before - and I've asked Jane to go with. I don't know if Himself is going or not, finances being what they are, but truth be told, I'd rather it was just 'us girls.' He hates shopping, lol.

* * *

Now, on a different note: the viewing went fairly well, a young couple who spent more time here than any of the other people have. I wasn't kidding when I said I'm not holding my breath. Que sera, sera. These things have a way of working out, ain't?

Today's been sunny for the most part, and the temps are coming up - finally. I haven't looked at tomorrow's forecast. Sometimes I like surprises. I'm hoping it will be almost hot, with scads of sunshine, and if it is, I'm going for a long walk outdoors. Maybe two walks. No holiday on Monday for us, but then, every day's a holiday when you're retired. Thinks me.

Goodnight, Sparklers, wherever you are!

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