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I have enjoyed these summer days. Mornings are my favorite time of day.  Always. But I have thoroughly enjoyed these summer mornings. And I have been thankful for these mornings. With the presence of a nagging & persistent cough that has lingered, it has been easy for me to stay in my pj’s, read for an extended time & not do a whole bunch. I just had no energy to get out & do the things that needed to get done. Bushes had grown in our front yard way past their need of being trimmed. Weeds were in our flower beds that had grown tall enough to look like flowering bushes themselves. The heat & humidity had helped everything to thrive.

That morning, my “To Do” list had become my “Must Do” list & I intended to get it done. That day.

The phone rang. I picked it up, knowing from the caller ID that it was a friend & that meant another cup of coffee & a good conversation. I would not deny myself. Neither was I disappointed. About an hour later, my front door bell rang while I was yet on the phone. I looked down at myself – still in my pj’s, face unwashed, bed head – no way would I answer the door! I continued my phone conversation, ignoring the door bell. It rang again.

It was then that the feeling overcame me. The knowing…..

“Are you at my door?”, I asked her.

“Yes, I am here to help you cut & weed your bushes. Are you coming out?”

“Not really. When I open the door, you will understand why”, I laughingly replied. “I won’t come out but you can come in.”

I went & opened the door. I presented my morning self that I keep hidden from all but family.

We laughed as we stood face to face. We talked for a few minutes. We joked about my appearance & she asked if I knew it was lunchtime.

“Go get dressed & we’ll do the bushes”, she said.

I told her I would rather just visit with her. Get some lunch. Have a good conversation. No way was I going to let her do yard work with me. For me.

“That’s what friends do“, she said quietly, matter of factly.

Something about her words caused me to leave her in the kitchen as I went to wash up, throw some clothes on & put my hair up in a pony tail.

By the time I was done, she had already slipped out of the house & was surveying the work that needed to get done. I got out all that we needed to do the task at hand & we started. Me – using the electric trimmer. She – raking up the clippings. The city girl and the farm girl.

We worked. We stopped. We chatted. And then we would start working again. Each time I would remind her that she could stop whenever she wanted. I did not want her to kill her day doing my yard work.

“That’s what friends do.”

When the barrel was full of clippings, she asked if there was a spot we would dump them. I shared with her that we often dragged the clippings down into the woods in back of the house. She grabbed one side of the barrel. And I the other.

“That’s what friends do, ” she said.

We worked for several hours & several extension cords later, we stopped. The front yard was trimmed. Cleanly weeded. I suggested stopping for day. Getting a cold drink & sitting together on the deck & sharing some good conversation. She, on the other hand, wanted to tackle weeding our garden.

“That’s what friends do.”

But I insisted on stopping, having the cold drink & a good relaxing conversation.

I smiled, “That’s what friends do.”

And so we did. We talked about life. Some struggles. Work. Kids. And of course, books. We always talk books. I pulled out my current read. She looked through my book to see what was underlined & what I had written. She shared that she thought she would be hearing this author speak at a conference later this week. I pulled out my laptop to search & we discovered she was correct. I was so jealous. Not of her. FOR her. For all that she would hear. All that she would learn. For the relaxation & restoration she would find.

“That’s what friends do.”

I am not sure how long a time we spent sitting on my deck yesterday. When she asked me what time it was, we were both shocked to find that it was six o’clock. Where had the time gone to? How had the afternoon passed so quickly?

I remembered the idiom, “Many hands make light work.” And then there was the one……”Large tasks become small when divided among several people.” Both so very true. 

Friendship happens……when you open the door & let someone in. Even though you are in your pj’s. Face is unwashed. Hair is unkempt.

Friendship happens…..when you open the door & let someone in. Into your mess. No pretenses. When they don’t judge you for what is before their eyes. They don’t even think about. They just step in & come alongside. To help. To love.

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
”• Mother Teresa
My friend, thank you for being you. And for being my friend. For loving me. Today will never be forgotten.
~~~~~”That is, after all, what friends do.” ~~~~~