*I know that technically this post says it was posted on the 5th, but I haven't gone to bed yet, so to me it is still the 4th, so I am counting it. So there. *
As soon as the moving truck was unpacked in our new small town, JR and I grabbed our bikes and went to ride them around and explore. We had seen some kids riding around earlier and were just itching to go and meet them. All around town there were big drainage ditches on the sides of the roads, especially the more 'main road' into town. Right down from our house (this is a pretty familiar phrase for me since living in a small town makes everything 'right down' from us, but in this case, I mean on the same block) one of these ditches was the perfect shape and size for a little bike jump, which some kid had discovered long before (I imagine) and now there was even a little path right where you were supposed to go. If you went at the jump from one side, the jump ended up being kinda small, but if you went at it from the other side it was a pretty big jump. The main road into town was one of the few paved roads, but right after the bike jump area and right before it gets to our house is where the paving stops and it becomes gravel, so some of the rocks from the gravel migrated right up onto the pavement, making things a bit slick.
We met the kids we had seen earlier they were a boy and girl who lived down a couple streets or across town (they were the same thing) and also some other boys who lived across the street from us in a different direction. After riding all over town and them showing us their houses and the houses of other important figures (read: kids our age and scary people to stay away from) we came back to the bike jump and were all taking turns. I am not sure exactly how it had happened but my brother was teasing/flirting with the girl we were playing with and he rode close to her bike tire, she swerved to get out of the way and crashed her bike, right there, face first on the half gravel paved road. She cried and when she stood her face practically looked like hamburger. I ran home and got my Mom and she came in the car and got my new friend Mel. We needed to get her and her bike home. Instead of taking the time to put her bike in the back of the station wagon my Mom was driving, I thought it was a brilliant idea if I rode Mel's bike to her house and lead the way for my Mom in the car since I already knew where she lived. Anyway, Mom made it there ahead of me since Mel just told her the way and eventually she got all taken care of.
From then on we were really good friends. Obviously we had better times and worse times. Her parents split up and her Mom moved to a big city pretty far away and I got to go stay with them for a couple weeks one summer, which was super fun. Then once she went to Jr. High we drifted a little since she was a year older and went to a different school than I did. Then we were back together again for a couple years and then we drifted even further apart when she went to High School because she moved to the town where the High School was with her Mom (who moved again - this is not the big city I referred to earlier). I am not saying we weren't friends, but sometimes friendships just ebb and flow, and this was like all those.
I am happy to say though that we are still friends to this day. She is married to a great guy who is perfect for her and she has three daughters, twins who are around 4 and the other who is only 3 months. I recently saw her when I was home for Christmas and it was amazing. It was amazing to me that although we haven't seen each other since before her twins were born, we were able to get together and talk and just click like we always had. The hours we spent hanging out felt like less than half the time we actually spent because we were so comfortable. And I think that because of the bond we have from knowing each other so long, that will always be the case. I can remember us fighting once. I am not exactly sure what it was about (I have a feeling it was because I was being annoying and the other girls all didn't want to hang out with me and I felt left out and I was blaming her for that for some reason ... but I am not totally sure) and I know that eventually her Mom and my Mom had to force us to make up. And we were probably around 8 or 9 years old. And other than that I don't really remember fighting with her. Ever. And considering we have known each other for 22 year that is pretty darn good in my opinion. From Mel I learned that within one person is any number of different versions trying to get out, and depending on the circumstance or the situation, that is totally okay. I learned that you don't have to talk to someone every single day to consider someone a friend. I learned that even as a person changes over time, they are still always worth loving.