I have a friend named Melanie. My dad called her Chipmunk when we were little because she had front teeth that were too big for her head. She lived about 5 doors down from me, we went to the same school, and we were inseparable. This was in the 2nd and 3rd grade.
Melanie's dad was military, so they lived all over the place. When we were in the 3rd grade, she moved to Texas. My dad took us on a trip to Birmingham (we lived in Montgomery) to the zoo before she left. I have a picture of her standing on front of the bear cage because her family was native Texan and huge Baylor fans. Their mascot is the Bears. I wanted to go to Baylor for a long time because I thought that's where she would be. Turns out she was, but I went to Auburn, not Baylor.
For most of 2nd grade and all of 3rd grade, Melanie, her brother Jim, my brother, Adam, and I walked home from school to her house. My mom worked until 5:00, so Melanie's mom watched us. Her mom was/is June Cleaver. Seriously. She is the nicest person on the planet and I LOVED her as a kid. When we would get home from school, she had a napkin on the table with Potato Sticks on it and a Dixie cup of Apple Juice sitting out for all of us. We ate our snack, did any homework we had, and then went outside to play. Jim was a few years older than we were and Adam was a couple of years younger than we were, but they were the only boys, so they had to hang out together. We usually pretended to be Safety Patrols (Jim was one and he was SOOO cool - though we'd never tell him that!!!). 2 of us would be Patrols, 1 of us would be the whistle blower signaling when to stop traffic to let the pedestrians walk, and 1 of us would be a pedestrian. The whistle blower would blow, the "patrols" would walk into the street and really stop traffic and the "pedestrian" would cross. Then the whistle blower would blow again signaling the patrols to go back to the curb and let traffic pass. We did this for hours. Really stopping traffic. It was SO much fun and memory I'll always have.
Anyway, when we were in the 3rd Grade, Melanie left. I was devastated. Because we were kids and there weren't things like internets and text messaging, we wrote letters as much as we could. I went to Texas to visit her once when we were about 14, but other than that, we haven't seen each other. As a matter of fact, we completely lost touch about 15 years ago. Because she was a military brat, I had no idea where to look for her, either.
Then Facebook came into our lives. Melanie found my brother, Adam, on Facebook. My maiden name is Hose - very unique, so he was easy to find. Adam gave her my info and we were reunited. It was awesome and I was SO excited.
We have now been reunited for several months and it seems like we've never been apart. Any of you have a friend like that? For someone to have been in my life for such a short period of time and at such a young age, it's awesome to be able to reconnect again like we had been together the whole time. Her parents still keep in touch with my parents. They are now missionaries in Guatemala (right, Mel?). Jim is married and has a beautiful baby boy. Melanie is married and lives near St. Louis. When I talk to her on the phone, her voice is the same and I picture her as a 3rd grade kid. I saw a picture of her mom and she's EXACTLY the same. She has not aged a lick in 25 years. You know, because she's June Cleaver 'n all.
I know there will be a day when we can visit each other and I can't wait. For now, I can be so grateful for a dear friend who, regardless of time or miles between us, still remains as close as ever.
Love ya, Mel.
This picture is of us before she moved. She's on the right and I'm on the left.