|Friends on a Promenade Stroll, Circa 1895|
Our wonderful, enduring friendship started in the fall of 1966 soon after my husband accepted an offer to teach Biology at a two year Community College in southern Indiana. At the beginning of each school year the University sponsored faculty social events and paired “old-timers” with “new-comers.” On this particular evening it was a bowling night. Our “veteran” faculty member was Vernon and his wife Marilyn. When I learned that Vernon taught in the Parks and Recreation department, I was terrified, because I had only been bowling a couple of times in my life and to then be paired with someone that taught bowling was not something I wanted to do. But off we went and as they say the rest is history. Randy and I almost immediately bonded with Vernon and Marilyn and we had a great evening.
Randy and I lived there for almost 10 years. During that time, in the span of two years, from 1970 to 1972, Marilyn and Vern had a daughter and a son and we had a son and a daughter. One of our most cherished memories was when our daughter was being born and Marilyn and Randy were in the waiting room – waiting. Marilyn was 7 months pregnant at the time. It must have been quite a sight to see the two of them when the doctor told Randy his daughter was here and he hugged this very pregnant lady.
In 1976 we moved to Waco, Texas, and the hardest part of that move was leaving such dear friends. However, as it has turned out we have stayed very close. Marilyn and I may not talk for two or three months, but when we do, it is almost as if it was yesterday.
For Christmas 2008, our children, Daniel and Lisa, gave Randy and me the gift of a cruise to Alaska in anticipation of our upcoming 50th wedding anniversary celebration in 2011. Of course I told Marilyn. After Marilyn learned of the gift, in secret, she arranged for her and Vernon to take the same cruise with us. We did not learn of their presence until we were on the ship. So Randy and I had two very special gifts, the cruise and getting to share it with wonderful friends. What a marvelous surprise!
Therefore when the theme FRIENDSHIP was announced, it was a given that I would do something in honor of this special relationship. Our faces are from an image taken on the cruise ship before an elegant evening meal. This was printed on Timeless Treasures with an ink jet printer. The costumes were taken from drawings of clothing that might have been worn in the 1890’s. All of the clothing is fused onto the background which was prepared first and then quilted. After the costumes were in place, I stitched around each one of them. The buttons and jewelry are either embroidery or beading. The ladies hats are put together with pre-made ribbon flowers and glued in place. And of course, as a finishing flourish, the top hats have a feather!