Wednesday, October 31, 2007

a visit with an old friend

This morning I mentioned Dona, a long-time friend, in an entry.  Writing about her really laid her on my heart, and when Cliff and I decided to go for a spin on the Honda, I suggested we visit her at the nursing home, less than twenty miles away.  It was too cool for a long ride anyhow.

As soon as we entered the rest home Cliff spotted Dona cruising around in her wheel chair.  When I called her by name, she turned to see us and lit up like a Christmas tree.  I think we were a pleasant surprise for her.

We met Bud and Dona on the CB radio, of all things, back around 1976.  Cliff was coming home from the butcher shop each evening at the same time Bud, a postman, was coming in from Kansas City.  We all ran channel 8 on our CB's, and took turns talking back and forth to our spouses, being careful not to "walk on" one another.  (Boy, that takes me back to the old CB slang!)  Cliff's handle was "Jersey" and I was "Jersey Mama" (for the cows).  Bud was Big Ace, and Dona was Cupid; they called their home base "the funnyfarm".

One evening when I mentioned to Cliff... over the air waves... that I needed a battery for my power mike, Bud (a total stranger) broke in and offered to pick one up for us, since he was in the city each day.  "All you'll have to do is come and get it," he said.

Turned out they lived only five miles from us, and we became good friends.  When we first met, they had a Jersey milk cow and I had two or three.  Later on they achieved what was, at that time, a dream of mine:  They built up a small herd of Jersey cows and had a grade C dairy.

Dona and I both liked to garden, and freeze or can the produce.  We loved all things country:  goats, ducks, chickens, turkeys, geese.  And of course, our Jersey cows.

Often, if she was going someplace interesting during the day, she'd stop and pick me up, knowing I didn't drive and it would be a treat to get out of the house. 

If Cliff had car trouble, he'd call Bud.

During an extended tough financial time we had after Cliff's R. B. Rice job ended, Bud offered to loan us a few hundred (or thousand) dollars to get us through.  We declined, of course.  But I've never been more touched by an offer from a friend.

So today at the rest home, we talked about motorcycles and Jersey cows and our ages and anniversaries.  I inquired about her kids. 

I asked if her sister still kept in touch, which brought her to tears instantly.  "She died," Dona said, sobbing.

She's had some dementia ever since the stroke, but we could tell it's gotten worse.  She told us the same stories two or three times.  She informed us she is saving her money so she can buy another dairy herd:  "Why, I made over $500 a month when I was milking," she said.  "And all I had to do was put the milkers on the cows and then clean up the buckets when I was done."

I'm so glad we went.  We'll be visiting her again from time to time.

Isn't it sad the way we lose touch with people?


redpoppy007 said...

I am glad you got to see your friend..
I know that made her day.

madcobug said...

Sounds like Dona really needed a visit from you. Helen

randlprysock said...

Hope you have a happy halloween and it was so nice you went to visit her.  Hugs,

gen0507 said...

I know it meant alot to her for you guys to come to see her.  The picture of you two is really good.  We never know what hand we will be dealt in life.  Just enjoy life while we can.


marainey1 said...

Your visit certainly warmed my heart. I'm sure you and she benefited by it.  Glad you got to go. You found that JOY that warms you soul to day for sure.
'On Ya' - ma

siennastarr said...

Just knowing that you brightened her day, must have made your's all the more brighter also.  Sometimes, I think that a person comes to our minds and stays there because they need to either hear or receive a visit from us.  I'm glad you followed your heart and checked in on her.  She may forget 5 minutes after you left that you were even there, but, while you were there.. I'm sure you made her day!


magran42 said...

Sometimes it's hard to slow ourselves down enough to remember to do the important things but I'd say you do a very good job of it.

nanlynska said...

WOW !!! CB radio ! Takes me back a ways too.  My handle was Copper Kettle because of my 'copper' colored '66 Mustang. The ol' call letters were KPA 0858. That was waaaaay back in 19 and 66.......LOL. I was a mere 'child'...barely old enough to have a FCC radio license. Ya had to be 18 back then to get a license from the FCC. I was 19. Had sooooo much fun with that CB. Met alot of real nice people over the air waves. Thanks Donna, for joggin' my memory about those care free days of yore.

tendernoggle said...

You mademe remember that me and danny use to have a CB also back i the 70's! But for the life of me, I can not remember our "handles" (names). lol
I know that Dona was happy to see you....she was probably thinking a lot about yall too...the reason she came to your mind.
love ya,

loisontheweb said...

  You made me nostalgic for my trucking ... talking about the CB.  How wonderful that your visit to Dona was so pleasant, & that you are going back.  This will make such treasured new memories for a formerly active person now confined this.

bnanajm said...

I'm glad you went to see your old friend.  It's so heartwarming when people remember you.


geocachelinda66 said...

I'm glad you got to go visit your friend!  Linda

csandhollow said...

I am so glad you went to see her.

ora4uk said...

What a wonderful thing you guys did....and I am certain her day was much happier for it all....and yes...easy to lose touch with folks...real easy!!!  God Bless you guys...hugs...Ora

fowfies said...

She looks really happy in that picture with you. I think it is nice that you and Cliff went to visit her and I know she loved it. It is sad that in this day and age we seem in touch with more people than ever, but seem so disconnected with one another at the same time.

ryanagi said...

CB radio!!! The things I learn about you. My huband was a CB fanatic back in the same time frame you all were on the air.  He made some great friends that way too...including meeting his first girlfriend. He'll get a kick out of this when I tell him about your post. :-)  His radio passion never died. He got a ham radio license and then talked me into the hobby too.

helmswondermom said...

What a nice picture, and what a nice thing for you and Cliff to do.  I loved hearing the story of how you guys met and became friends.

suzypwr said...

Oh, how sweet of you to go see Dona. I think you should go as often as you can - she sounds like a lovely lady!