Clyde, Meet Marlene. Marlene, Meet Clyde.

June 25 – Our friends mean much to us as we meet them from time to time in various places around town, and our conversations, hugs, and kind words really do make our day!

My last couple of blogs have been about Price Chopper and our friends there, but we do meet friends there who aren’t FROM Price Chopper. When our visiting and shopping had come to an end (more visiting than shopping, of course) the other day, we walked over towards our elderly little green truck, produce in hand, and finally ready to pack up and head off for home.

160626_ClydeDaleAs Dale closed up the back of the truck and I moved to unlock my door, someone next to me in a silvery truck stepped down to the parking lot. “Hey, where have you been all this time?” a familiar voice asked. Well, that was a real surprise.

That morning we had driven up to Clyde’s house, rang the bell, and waited for him to open the door. When nobody came, we had just decided to leave some oranges for him and his wife Nan, when the garage door opened right as we getting back into the truck.

160626_ClydeBookcaseQuite a coincidence, we thought, but were surprised that Clyde hardly returned our greeting. “Can’t stop to talk right now,” he said, “as I have an appointment for a haircut at 10:30, and it’s just about that now! Oh, but just wait a bit. I have something for you.” He hurried back to a corner of the garage and picked up a sizeable book shelf. “Here, you have so many books, I thought you could use another place to put them. Only cost me two bucks at a garage sale. Can you fit it into the truck?” After Dale had moved some of the stuff around, he pushed the bookcase into place. By that time, Clyde was well on his way to the haircut.

And now, here it was a real surprise it was to have Clyde step out of his truck! Much more surprising, however, were his first words. “Where have you been?” he asked. “I’ve been waiting for you for half an hour, just to enjoy visiting together.” Knowing where we were headed, Clyde had driven all around the parking area until he spotted our truck, then waited till we arrived.

Just as we began to talk together, a friendly lady came walking over to us, calling out her greeting with a big smile on her face. Now, who in the world was this? Since she was wearing a big pair of dark sun glasses, I couldn’t see her face without a second look! But, when the glasses came off, and I could see her friendly face, I knew it was our friend Marlene, who lives a couple miles from the store.

160625_GraceChurchSeveral years ago while volunteering to clean the trash off a distance of two miles along a nearby route, we were surprised when she stopped by one day to say hello and to thank us for doing that job. We had first met her at a garage sale held by the Lutheran Church of which she is a member. Yes, I know that most people don’t make friends of those who host the garage sales, but I just enjoy talking with all kinds of folks, and there’s always something interesting to remember. Since I now have a tendency to forget the names (but not the people), I have a list of those we have been fortunate enough to meet through the years. And it’s taped right to a cupboard door!

The four of us talked just as if we had known each other for years, and it was so good to be with our friends, that we forgot to introduce Marlene and Clyde! Finally, after about ten minutes, Clyde held out his hand to Marlene and said, “You know I don’t have any idea of who you might be…” I had to really apologize for being impolite, but it just seemed as if all of us had known each other for years.

In the conversation somewhere, Clyde told Marlene that his wife Nan would soon be going back to visit her family in Scotland. “And where are you from?” he asked Marlene. “I’m German,” she answered, “and I come from a family who has lived there for a long time.” She told us her maiden name, but even though my family way back was from Germany, I have not much of an idea of their names.

160625_QuoteIn the continuing discussion she found that he had spent many years in the service in the US Navy and was sent to the Pacific theater.

As she was leaving, Clyde came up with Auf Wiederschauen, and we all hummed the tune remembering bits and pieces of that beautiful old song. “Until we meet again,” brought our conversation to an end, but each of us is hoping to be together again before too long.

These days there is so much technology to keep us in touch – e-mail, cell phones, iPads, etc. but I will always be glad for our friends who stop to talk, not only with their words, but also with their smiles, or a twinkle in their eyes. They want to make sure we are doing well, or if we aren’t, they would like to help. – CHRIS

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