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    Monday, November 28, 2005

    Old Friends

    I got a chance to see one of my best friends from middle and high school this weekend, Becky. I forgot how much I miss her. I haven't seen her since her mother died a couple of years ago. Her mom gave me my first non farm job and she was like a 2nd mother to me.

    Her parents had purchased a 3000 square foot house when we were in middle school. It was over 200 years old and had been abandoned for 20 years except for the goats that lived there. The neighbor put her goats in there because she didn't have a barn. For years they worked on restoring this beautiful house and on weekends I was happy to help them. They poured their hearts and souls into the 12" mahogany woodwork and anything else that needed attention which was everything.

    As you can imagine with a home of this size, there were many neat attributes. There is a servant's stairs on the back side of the house leading into the kitchen. There is more than one way out of every single room. A 12 foot mahogany handcarved pocket door separates the foyer from the grand ballroom. The ceilings are all 12 feet tall with a floating room at the top of the stairs. I say floating, but it's more like suspended from the ceiling above. My friend's closet was bigger than my entire bedroom.

    The house was restored as close as possible to it's original exquisite state. As soon as her mother was finished with the house, at least 10 years, her mother found out that her husband was having an affair. She was devastated because she couldn't keep the house for financial reasons.

    Her dad still lives there with his new wife. Becky wanted me to come to dinner at her dad's house to see the changes made by her step mother. Unfortunately, the changes made are not what this grand house needed. This once beautiful house is now decorated in an eclectic style, not the neat and tidy Victorian that my friend's mom had toiled over.

    As we walked through the house, she pointed out things that I remembered. When we were in high school, a group of us had been drinking at a party and we never did anything in moderation. One of us, I forget who, was sober and drove the whole group to Becky's to spend the night. Her parents didn't know that they had 12 extra bodies in their house and we didn't tell them because there were several guys in the group. Her room was so big that it could easily accommodate everyone. I woke up in the bed with a guy between my other friend and me. He was so surprised as were we. Of course nothing good happend because we were all way too drunk. It was early and we needed to sneak the guys out of the house so her parents would never be the wiser. We took them down the servant's stairs and just as we opened the door, we realized that her parents were sitting in the kitchen having coffee. Wow, did we ever get in trouble. I think all of us girls were grounded for a month.

    Another drunk time, Becky brought me into her house and we were standing in the foyer. I kept screaming that I was blind. She grabbed me by the arm and said, "Open your eyes you idiot!" Hehehe, some things never change.

    As I was telling her my Xavier story, she reminded me about her closet. Remember that her closet was huge. We lived by a migrant camp and were always meeting it's occupants. She met a guy named Robert. The things she did with Robert. He would stay in her room all night and then while she was at school, he would stay in her closet. There was a bathroom adjoining the closet. She would bring him some food and keep him there. So convenient! Her parents never had any idea. I could use a Robert today but my closet is too small.

    As we walked down the stairs, her dad came around the corner and said, " I heard you girls upstairs giggling. I haven't heard that for years. It's nice."

    Her mother died very suddenly of a heart attack 2 years ago. It was so hard to see someone so young die. We had been at a wedding just a couple of months before and had too many beers and laughs. My memories of her are good and I'm glad I got that last night of fun with her mom.

    Becky joined the Air Force 14 years ago and is now an officer. I'm very proud of her hard work. When we were in high school, our goal was to go to college in Guam (Hi D!). None of us ever made it. Becky and I laughed and talked about how different our lives are than what we had dreamed of as teens. When we were talking while drinking some Boones Farm wine, it was like we had never been apart. It's nice to be able to have such great memories. I miss you already, Becky.


    Anonymous said...

    thanks jenn, this was a great story.
    I enjoyed the images in my head as I read the story, you did a great job.

    Boones Farm...oh my aching head...Strawberry Hill..been there done that..LOL

    gigi said...

    Jenn, thanks for this lovely glimpse into your past. Becky sounds like one hellacious chick!

    MamaKBear said...

    What a wonderful story! I love old houses like that, wish I could've seen it in all it's Victorian glory.

    SignGurl said...

    The house is still beautiful, just not decorated like it should be.

    Did anyone read the part about my friend keeping her Latino friend in her closet? Come on people. Don't you think that's fun? *giggles*

    gigi said...

    Yeah! That's why I called her hellacious! We should all be able to keep a sexy latino in our closets!

    barman said...

    I have a large enough closet to keep someone if I only clear it out a little. Pitty I don't have anyone to keep!

    What fun that was to read. Memories abound this weekend. How nice.

    Maybe once the kitchen is done you can add a extra large closet for ... extra cloths of course! ;)

    ell said...

    great story jen. that house sounds amazing. you had me LOL at the part where you thought you were blind. now THAT is a classic!

    SignGurl said...

    Top Cat, Boones Farm is a hangover waiting to happen. But it's so cheap. I brought two bottles for old time's sake. It imediately gives you a headache.

    ~Deb said...

    Wow, this house sounds amazing. Too bad the step mother didn't really decorate it too nicely.

    I remember bartending for this huge conference center that was about 200 yrs old. It was a huge mansion, and it had servant stairs and walkways, we could not be seen by the guests---- we were to walk through the little tiny walls to bring my portable bar over to the banquet.

    Anyway, this reminded me of that time.

    I'm sorry about your friend's mother's passing. That's horrible. It's so nice that you got to spend time with her before she left this world.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    tami said...

    That is... awesome.

    DZER said...

    tell your friend that if she ever DOES get to Guam to look me up! LOL

    nice post hon ... lotsa memories there :)

    buddha_girl said...

    Closet Boy? I like that idea...my head's churning with ideas here...alas, Husband Guy is a whiz with house stuff and would undoubtedly find a human hiding in any of the cracks and crevices in our place.

    Excellent post! I snorted more than once!

    wmy said...

    Hey there, I love those old houses and it hurts my heart just imagining that wicked step mom wrecking it! I ran into my best friend from high school recently and it was just like you said...it was like we were 15 again and I loved it!

    wmy said...

    BTW, I keep trying to put you on my link list and my stupid blog won't let me...but never fear...I am gonna keep trying! lol

    wmy said...

    giggle giggle giggle...thats for the Latino closet stalker. lol

    Michele in Michigan said...

    ROFLMAO re: the way you told the RObert story LOLOLOL

    OMG...I think I wet myself LOLOL