The history of my friendship with Karen is a rather odd one. We have been attending the same church for years...her for her entire life, me for almost 33 years. Our church is large with many doors leading in and out of the sanctuary. We all get in our comfort zones, entering in thru the same doors, sitting in the same pews...creatures of habit. The only time I can remember having any real contact with her was back in the 1980s when I was on a team writing Sunday School curriculum for primary aged children and one of the other writers and I had a conversation with Karen after church one nite. Otherwise, our paths had rarely ever crossed. Then, a couple of years ago after Dylan had been born I had to do some emailing with Karen concerning an article I'd written for a church publication. At first it was all business and then one of us...I don't remember which one...made a comment about being a new grandma and wasn't it great?! Her first grandchild had been born around the same time. Well, our friendship took off from there and we email each other epic letters...my family and hers can't get over the lengths of them. We email every week or so. And the funny thing is, we still rarely ever come across each other face to face. And yet I consider her one of my dearest friends ever.
Here is her lovely version of "Where I'm From":
I am from the white bungalow three houses down from the corner—from popsicles on the porch, a wringer washing machine in the basement, and a closet under the eaves upstairs where the witch lived.
I am from pussy willow “kitties” and hollyhocks in the backyard, from fir trees skirting Lake Dawn, and skunk cabbages with feet in the creek.
I am from flannelgraph object lessons and stars-in-my-Bible Sunday school classes, piano lessons with Mrs. Noonan;
from great-grandma Achsah Matilda, Uncle George, and a kid brother who, amazingly, has grown up to be a fine fellow.
I am from an open door policy, and willingness to start a stalled car, fix a furnace, or mend a toy—day or night.
I am from 25 cent a week allowances, making do, and a “smooth out that wrapping paper so we can use it again” mentality.
I am from Bible-believing, God-fearing, fundamental Christians; from the Rock of Ages, a Firm Foundation, and a life-changing trip to the Old Rugged Cross.
I am from southeast Portland, scalloped potatoes with ham, and my Swedish grandmother’s nice veal roast.
I am from Mary Estey of the Salem witch trials, Morgan the Raider, and Aunt Gladys under the rice chest.
I am a quilt pieced together from bits of memories, though some of those once colorful are beginning to fade with time. I might be a bit worn, but I’m blessed!