On Friendship

cross stitch

Galena Illinois, quaint little historic village  a short drive from where we live.  Lots of little,  one of a kind shops.  If you’ve never been there, and you have the chance,  you owe it to yourself to go at least once.

I spotted a cross stitch sampler in an old, wooden frame at one of those quaint little shops for $11.50

When I saw it I thought  wow– $11.50!

For a time I had a thing for cross stitch items – especially samplers.

This one wasn’t  a “sampler” but  I was drawn to the colors and the friendship theme.


“What’s life without a friendship

That time has proven true!”


When I got  home with my find, I wanted to  clean it up before I hanging it on the wall.

I gently pulled out several small rusty nails to remove the cardboard backer.


Out fell a print.

A print!!!

You’ve got to be kidding me!!!

Not something made with cloth and stitch, but







I had been fooled.

How could I be so  stupid???

All of a sudden $11.50 did not seem like such of a bargain.




Most of the significant relationships in my life (outside of immediate family) have come via  a serendipitous encounter.

I met my wife in a  class room.  Jim whom I went out for coffee with yesterday morning was via a random phone call.  Kristina who is coming to visit this spring again via blogging. Kristi, we met in a counseling room.

I’ve also had  significant relationships that went on for quite some time that turned out to be fake. I’m not talking about a friendship that parted because of conflict, I’m talking about  relationships that were phony from the get-go.

I pay attention to what comes out of peoples mouths and off their keyboard, because words really are an index of the heart…. I’m not glibly going through life with no sense of discernment.

And yet, after the last friendship that proved to be an illusion I have finally come to the realization I am not smart enough to always  see through a fake.

After the anger wore off (and shame) of “How could I be so  gullible ????”

 I am now at a place of being thankful for the whole experience.  (I did not get there overnight// had a fair amount of anger to work through.)

I now know first hand what it means to deal with a charming person.  There is truth in that Jewish proverb that says :  “Charm is deceitful…beauty is vain.”

I’m still standing 🙂

I  refuse to live a guarded life.

I’ll close with some of my favorite words of Emerson:

“A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him I may think aloud….

“Bashfulness and apathy are a tough husk, in which a delicate organization is protected from premature ripening. It would be lost if it knew itself before any of the best souls were yet ripe enough to know and own it. Respect the naturlangsamkeit (that is the slow secret process that is required to produce a diamond or ruby DM) which hardens the ruby in a million years,

 “…because we have made them (friendships)  a texture of wine and dreams, instead of the tough fibre of the human heart. The laws of friendship are austere and eternal, of one web with the laws of nature and of morals. But we have aimed at a swift and petty benefit, to suck a sudden sweetness. We snatch at the slowest fruit in the whole garden of God, which many summers and many winters must ripen. .”


8 thoughts on “On Friendship

  1. It can be difficult to tell the difference. I don’t think it means you’re gullible, rather you’re open enough to give someone a chance. You trust until you’re given a reason not to. I’m the same way, and I think I’d rather stay (somewhat) open than close myself off and live filled with distrust and suspicion. That being said, once someone shows me who they really are, I do my best to believe them.

    Happy New Year to the real – the only – DM 🙂 MJ

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree! Good to hear from you Michael. Quick question- does the ground out your way ever freeze? (ie. do you get a break from digging/ planting/ building over the winter, what I’m getting at is, – is your building season 12 months long or are there a few months where things slow down just a wee?) I know this past year, you’ve become an expert on trenching, wondering if that phase of your project is about done? What’s next on the list?


      • Expert on trenching!!?? (Cringe) digging wise it gets harder as we get to December through early March but anything in a field needs to stop by late October or we risk compaction as things are so wet. Fencing needs moist but not too dry weather.

        We are getting bids on the lumber package for building out our produce processing area in the barn. I’m looking forward to swinging a hammer for a month or two.


  2. Galena, yes, it has been a while since we had been there, love it in the fall. I think there is an alpaca farm close to there we are interested in visiting, also those caves in Iowa are still on the list for us.
    I am glad blogging has created some connection and belonging in our otherwise sometimes very fractured world.

    Liked by 1 person

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