Thursday, May 5, 2011

On Being Friends

Friends, as we all know, are one of life's greatest blessings. Friends celebrate our joys, mourn our griefs, and sometimes even laugh at our jokes. Friends keep us company in this big huge world. Friends also teach us new things, for example, my best friend and husband, Bill, is trying very, very hard to teach me how to golf.

Of all the wonderful things that friends do, though, the one I like best is the way they broaden my perspective on life. The people I end up spending the most time with are very different from me. Many of them come from different parts of the country and the world and represent the gamut of backgrounds, interests, religions, political and sexual orientations, and so on.

For example, one of my dearest friends shares my love of ballroom dancing and photography, but in lots of other ways is quite different from me. While I'm always changing houses and jobs, she keeps hers for years and years. And even though working with technology is my profession, I'm uncomfortable with tech gadgets. My friend, however, is always trying out the latest ones. She has a magic pen that records the person speaking while you take notes, a picture frame that flips photos automatically, so you don't have to break your fingernails turning album pages, and a little thing that looks like a book that also turns the pages for you. You just have to tap something, I think. It's all a bit mysterious.

You'll not be surprised then, to learn that my friend and I also differ in our preferences for pets. While we both have outdoor pets, they are quite different types. I have two pet crows and a yard squirrel. She has a pet wisteria.

My friend is very fond of her pet.
You might think it a bit odd that someone would keep a wisteria as a pet. I certainly did. After all, they don't eat things you put out for them or poop in your yard. But as time goes on, I've learned that wisterias actually make excellent outdoor pets.

For one thing, they keep roving bands of children out of the yard.

Wisteria bravely defending the yard from hordes of children.
For another thing, they keep marauding animals out of the yard.

Wisteria guarding against animal threats.
Unfortunately, they don't do as well with neighbors' cars. Neither do bushes, for that matter.

Wisteria even allied with bushes are no match for an automobile.
 So, you see, this friend with the pet wisteria has broadened my perspective on what makes a good pet, and I've learned a new appreciation for her pet wisteria ...

... from a distance.

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Friends broaden my perspective on things such as what makes a good pet.

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