Friends

Yikes! It’s that time of month! No, not that time, it’s my turn to post a blog. It’s March and for me that means the worst of winter is supposed to be behind me. Thank goodness! It’s been a cold winter and the heater in my old house had a problem. (There’s always a problem in this old house.) Somehow I managed the worst of low temperatures without a central heating system.

There was a time I had a husband who understood things like heating systems. He tended to know exactly what was wrong and what it took to fix things. Me? If I set the thermostat to sixty-five thermometerFahrenheit and the house has cooled to fifty-nine, I only know that I’m cold. The truth is I don’t bother to study such stuff. I don’t care. I only want it to work. In a way, I’m lucky. I called the guy who installed the system about nine years ago, and he came out and fixed it. My heater has practically been rebuilt, and I wasn’t charged an arm and leg for it. He got paid an honest wage and he allowed me enough time to wiggle that money into my limited budget.

I’ve been more than lucky, and I know that. I’ve been blessed with wonderful friends. I’m not sure why, but over the years my life has been enriched by so many wonderful people. I’m not saying that life has been easy, because it hasn’t. But friends somehow make living easier. Friends have come and gone. We’ve lost touch over the years, moved away, or life changes have separated us. But all along the way, there have always been friends. The man who fixed my heating system is a friend. I know his wife, his children, and where he goes to church.

Last week, I took off to Pennsylvania to visit a friend and another friend went witAmish_Horse_and_Buggyh me. While we were there, it snowed, and the world turned white. It was beautiful! My friend got to see an Amish horse and buggy. She was impressed. I was more excited to see the rainbow and where it touched the ground in the pasture. But being able to share that moment with two friends made it even more special. On the way home, we visited a restaurant in the Shenandoah Valley called The Chocolate Bar Restaurant. RestaurantReally, who could resist stopping at a restaurant named The Chocolate Bar Restaurant?  chocolatesNot me! The food was delicious and the chocolate dessert was heavenly. We had a blast.

Maybe I look at the world differently. I see friends who supported over the years, the ones who stood by me when I married my husband (against my parent’s wishes), the ones who were there when I was losing my mother, the ones who shared coffee and tears when things were wrong, and the ones who comforted me when my husband died. Friends are there through thick and thin. They aren’t always the same ones, but they are still friends.

I helped a fellow author with a manuscript and she wanted to know how to repay me. I told her don’t, just pass it along. I learned that lesson early in life. It’s often impossible to repay someone, so we just pass it along and help another.

I can’t say what makes a friend a friend. I honestly don’t know. I’ve lived long enough to see friendships destroyed and I’ve been betrayed by friends. Being a friend is reciprocal. Friends are the people who make you smile when you need to be lifted up. Friends are the people who encourage you to follow your dreams. Friends celebrate your successes. Friends are there for you when you need help. And friends need you to be there for them.

We don’t go through life with catcher’s mitts on. If we’re lucky enough to catch the ball, we need to toss it back, or pass it along, and we need teach the next person how to grab it. Some people think that winning is everything. I’d say it’s how you play the game. If you don’t play, you lose and what fun is that? I’d much rather lose with a smile on my face than to fail because I never tired.

Without friends, what good would it have been to see a rainbow touch the ground? Would dinner and dessert in Winchester, VA been as much fun without a friend to share it? No.

Friends make it all worthwhile. Sharing a cup of coffee with a friend at Starbucks or a late night meal at IHOP is what makes life worth living. To Bob, Tamera, Denise, Mendie, Casey, Thomas, Jan, coffeeMarilyn and all those other wonderful people who fill my daily life and keep me going, to Steve, Curtis, David, and Ron who keep me grounded and support me, to all my UT friends, and especially to my fellow Authors of Main Street, I raise my cup of coffee and cheer our friendship.

Without friends, my life would be nothing more than a computer, two dogs, a cat, and grown children and two almost grown grandchildren who are living their own lives and forging their own paths. But as I look at the list of people who I have named, there are so many more than I didn’t. People like John who fixed my heater, and Rob who knows how I like my coffee. When we feel alone, we only need to look around us to discover the friendly faces that make our days a little nicer.

No one is ever totally alone. Remember when we were taught that some friendships are silver and the others are gold? It’s true, but there are also the ones that extend further out. A smile goes a long way. So smile more, laugh when you have the chance, and say hello. It just might make someA Son  by  E. Ayersone’s day, maybe your own! And when someone does a favor, pass it along.

Just like real life, friendships extend through my River City novels. Sometimes the bonds are tight and sometimes they aren’t. Dallas wasn’t a close friend when she helped Katie out, but Dallas knew what it was like to find herself without a place to stay. When she offered Katie a place to stay, she set the wheels in motion that would change Katie’s life forever.

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19 Responses to Friends

  1. Tori Scott says:

    One of the hazards of living in a rural area is the lack of friends. I’d be lost without my online friendships. I’m glad you have lots of people who appreciate you!

    Like

    • Thanks, Tori. It’s true, it’s harder when you are rural. I’ve been in the middle of cornfields and my dearest friends visited me with letters. I’d save them for the moments when I was alone with a cup of coffee and I could curl up and read them without interruption.

      And you, my friend, are very special. Today we don’t have to wait for letters to crisscross the country. A few mouse clicks and you are there!

      Like

  2. JoanReeves says:

    I’ve had so many friends move away due to hubby job transfers and retirements and some have passed already — too soon. Online relationships fill that gap. I have a book my parents gave to me when I was a child, LEAVES OF GOLD, and in it is a little verse that proclaims: new friendships are silver, but old ones are gold. Both are priceless.

    Like

    • E. Ayers says:

      I remember those books. There were two of them. One was gold. One was sliver. They were filled with little inspirational thoughts. And out online friends are some of the best!

      Like

  3. Anonymous says:

    I agree, friendships, especially fellow writer friendships are wonderful. Writers understand each other. Living in the country isn’t the only place to be lonely. I live in a condo building in a big city. All I know about my neighbors is that one stopped smoking after someone else posted a note on her door imploring her to stop smoking in her unit. I’d complained about it a couple years before that to no avail. The note did it. I didn’t post it. The other side of us is a family of 5, two parents and 3 very small children. They’re from Saudi Arabia and are here to go to school. That’s it. All we all ever do is say hello if we’re waiting for the elevator at the same time. I’ve lived this way for so long that it’s normal to me. Thank goodness for my online friends.

    Jane

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    • E. Ayers says:

      I’ve never lived in a big city. I can’t really imagine doing it. Visiting? Yes, that’s been fun, but not to live there daily. I can’t walk down the street and ignore everyone – I smile and say hello. I know that doesn’t work in a big city. I’d be in so much trouble.

      I’m happy to have you as a friend, Jane, and not just as a writing friend, but as a real friend. Thanks so much for stopping by.

      Like

  4. 🙂 Good friendships make life sweeter. Author friendships are different in that there are so few of us. To find a friend who understands the drive to create literary worlds is precious. It’s a precious thing to be understood. Nice post. 🙂

    Rose

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    • E. Ayers says:

      Thanks, Rose. Being a writer, especially a novelist, isn’t always easy and finding others who understand the way our minds work or refuse to work, is a wonderful thing. But when we find those who share the same interests and love for life, it’s extra special.

      Like

  5. stephaniequeen says:

    Friends are so important! My writer friends are very special–like all of you who’ve become my friends “online”. I hope we all get to meet in person one day–how fun would that be? Today I’m lucky to be getting together with a writer friend who I’ve known for 10+ years! I’m excited to just sit and chat and sip a glass of wine, laugh and brainstorm a few plot problems. Can’t buy that.

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    • E. Ayers says:

      The best things in life can never be bought. True friendship is one of them. I hope you had a super time with your friend, untwisted the plots and ironed all the wrinkles. But mostly, I hope you had the chance to relax and enjoy yourselves.

      Like

  6. I’ve met so many authors online and call many of them friends. I’m not sure other friends understand me the way author friends do. Moving so much in the past few years, I’ve made friends and lost friends, and still have a best friend I met when I was eighteen. Being alone, friends are important, whether online or in person. This was a great post, and a good reminder to say hi to out of touch friends.

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    • E. Ayers says:

      As a friend, it’s important to keep in touch with friends. I think writer friends know how hectic our lives can get and understand when we don’t stay in constant contact. I’ve never really moved much compared to some people. My husband was the son of a Navy family and he changed schools seventeen times while growing up. He learned to make friends very quickly and he learned to say goodbye to them. But over the years he also ran into a few of them in the oddest places. It was as if they had never been separated.

      Like

  7. monarisk says:

    I’ve kept in touch with friends from high school. Although we’ve changed over the years and led very different lives in very different places, when we get together at class reunions it’s like time has stopped to exist. We’re school girls again. I made new friends after I got married and when I moved to different states. Writing sent me critique partners who became wonderful friends. We trust each other enough to give critique and praise with total honesty knowing that the friend would receive it this way. Publishing sent more friends my way. Authors who support each others and readers who cheer new books. And I’m lucky that my on-line friends are here to stay.

    Like

    • E. Ayers says:

      I’m thrilled to have you as a friend, and I love when you’re here, with internet, long enough to have a cup of coffee with us. Having good critique partners are worth their weight in gold! You are extremely lucky to have such people in your life.

      Like

  8. leighmorgan1 says:

    What a fantastic Blog! Friendship changes for me as I grow and it’s funny how some of those closest to me are easy to fall right back into a comfortable rhythm even when time and distance seem to keep us physically apart. New friends are wonderful as well and some of them will turn into comfortable pieces of us we carry around even when they are not near. Thank you for being my Authors of Main Street friend; I’ve loved every moment of it! Cheers and here’s to continuing friendship.

    Like

  9. E. Ayers says:

    Leigh, I think we’re all going to be here for a long time. We’re having too much fun. We keep connecting with other readers and writers. We all write contemporary novels, but we’re all very different. Yet, we can come here and connect, share, laugh, talk about writing, weather, family, food, or whatever strikes us at the time. No matter what, we are never alone!

    Like

  10. Loved your post, E! You’re so easy going and write with such a personal touch. Friends are worth their weight in gold. We at Authors of Main Street are truly blessed with a wide variety of great new friends. 🙂

    Like

    • E. Ayers says:

      Thanks for your kind words. And yes, we are blessed. Every author here is top-notch and I’m proud to know everyone and to be part of such a group. And speaking of proud, I’m so excited to see that Kristy won best new indie cover for February! A great cover to go with a great book.
      I know you are overwhelmed with family matters at the moment , but when do we get a sneak peek at your next book? I love your soft Georgia-style that you bring to everything you write.

      Like

  11. Carol says:

    E. thanks for the sweet words on my Southern writing. Maybe with my next post, I can add a short excerpt of A Smoky Mountain Wedding.

    Like

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