Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Girls From Ames

Have you read the book yet?  I started it last week and couldn't put it down.  It is the true story of a group of 11 friends and their 40 years of friendship. Reading the book made me reflect on the girlfriends that I have been blessed to know and share memories with.   

Girlfriends have always been very important part of my life.   Growing up, I wasn't popular or part of a clique in school but I always had a good and trusted friend.  One of my high school teachers once said, "if you can live your life having made one true friend, you have experienced more than most people do in a lifetime."   I treasured those words.

After reading the book I wanted to talk about it with someone so I hope some of you have read it, or will read it and add your thoughts.  I was so surprised at the large circle of friends, being so connected without the discussion of jealousy.  There were plenty of other emotions shared but that one element was missing...I think it to be a good thing.  One thing that was upsetting was reading about the "mean girls" incident.  It was painful to read and something that I'm sure many of the women regret today.  Sally had a huge heart.
My 40th Birthday Party in 1996 - a wonderful circle of friends
When I turned 40 I wanted to honor my friends and all but 2 of my  closest friends were able to gather for a party that was held in their honor.  Each of them have given me the gift of friendship for many years and I love each of them dearly for their incredible gift.   As a part of the celebration I wanted to give each of them a keepsake gift to mark the occasion.  It was funny when I went to buy their gift(I ordered engraved silver cuff bracelets), the shop where I did my shopping thought I was getting married!
 My girlfriend Chris.  I wish I had a picture of her with her chickens.

I've never had a group of friends that were connected in any way, nor did I feel that they needed to be.  Each of them knew something about the other, but my friends come from different parts of my life.  
 Here's Judy!  Just can't imagine my life without her in it.  We raised our kids together. 

There are friends from when I taught school, worked in the firm, from junior high and high school, college, church and my neighbor of 18 years.  Each are important to me in so many ways.  Most celebrated my 50th birthday too.  It meant so much when my Dad died to start the funeral and realize that Melinda, Judy, Fran and Tricia had traveled 2 hours or more to be there for me. 

My high school friend, Deborah

If only there were more hours in a day.
I'm so lucky to have a soul sister like Adrienne...

Adrienne in France
and we are so connected. She lives in NY but we still manage to see each other once a year.

Adrienne on the Great Wall
 There is also my soul sister that lives in Seattle.  She's the mother of my Goddaughter, Shea.  Of course we have to connect as often as possible.  I don't want to miss out on watching Shea grow up.

Caitlin and Shea
Then there is my sister.

Me and my sister - the laptop sisters (notice the matching pajamas - we still buy matching clothes).  Please overlook the morning face with no makeup.  BTW- the critter hanging on the bed is a possum.  I call my husband Hossum and he calls me Possum and I actually found a stuffed 'possum at Cracker Barrel!

It has always seemed that each friend is like a facet of me and they polish and add shine to my life.   I would love to have more time for girlfriends.   After reading the book I want to have girlfriend reunions every year.  Please add your thoughts.

Wow.  The power of sisterhood.  It's one of life's greatest gifts.

James Earle Jones said, “One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can't utter,”   and that's exactly how I feel about my friends.


  1. I can tell you are a good friend to them as well - I think in a friendship - it has to go both ways and you have to be free 'to love'. Sandie

  2. friendship is one of the most important treasures in life. to give and share and to be there for each other in happy and tough times.real friends can share disagreements while still being compassionate and loving.

  3. I really like your post and your words. Tell me more about the book " The girls from ames". Do you think I can find it on amazon, kindle version? Have a nice day, Anita Camilla

  4. I'll have to look for this book.
    Great post. Friendship is like faith - a gift that you can't demand....it is truly a gift, but like faith, it has to be nurtured. It sounds like you've been fortunate to be blessed with the gift of good friends and understand the bit about taking care of friendship.

  5. I have very fond memories of my circle of girl friends back in Switzerland..., and have not been able in the 13 years to get that here in the US. Well we move a lot, my husband is my best friend, and I've become a total home body!

  6. Your post is just super and the photos are just gorgeous. I do believe in friendship too. Hugs. Endless friendship

  7. Good morning Jojo,
    What an interesting post, I will try and get hold of the book for sure. You must be a very nuturing person to have established so many long standing friendships.
    Love the photo of you & your sister with matching laptops and pj's.and now you & I are internet friends, how great is that?

  8. What a treasure! Seems like you and I have been nostalgic lately. I love it that you and your sis still by some same clothes. Thanks for your sweet comments you left me. Linda

  9. Just found your blog and love your post on friends. Reminds me of my group of friends...we call ourselves the Valley Girls. We were all great friends in high school but lost contact for the most part after a few years into college. Then about 4 years ago we decided to get together. It was the first time all 9 of us had been together in almost 40 years. Well.....it was like we had never been apart. We had so much fun. Now we stay in constant contact via email and get together once or twice a year. I don't know what I would do without them!

  10. Loved reading this post and seeing your delightful pics! Will have to check out the book!

  11. Now you are making me jealous. I just wrote an article for an online magazine where I talked about the very opposite.

    I came from WOW to check out your blog and to wish you a good weekend

  12. Wow! You are so blessed! I loved reading this post. The photos you posted of your friends are all so beautiful...Makes me wish you would write a book, with a chapter devoted to each woman. I feel very much the same way about my friends. I have had many different "lives" and I have dear friends from each leg of my journey. I am going to find that book and make it number 1 on my summer reading list! Thanks for this post!

  13. Oh what a great post..first thanks for stopping by to say hi on Pink Saturday, but I need to read this book. I have a few girlfriends that I don't see often, my best friend of 30 years and I don't see each other often, either but when we do watch out its like no time has passed.
    Have a great weekend, Sandie is right it takes a being a friend to have a friend!


  14. WOW...I am in love with this incredibly touching post!

  15. This is a lovely post. Absolutely lovely. It just made me smile through the whole thing!

  16. Such a beautiful post! It is indeed a gift to have good friends with which to share our life.

    ( PS .. "Possum" is such a cute nickname!)

  17. JoJo, this is a heartwarming post. I enjoyed every word and beautiful photo. What a thoughtful tribute to your friends. Like you, I think friendships are one of the true blessings in life. Friendships that span the years are indeed a treasure. I cherish my friendships, and like you, my friends are from many different facets of my life. Thanks for sharing this post! ~ Sarah