Last night I had a real treat.... a visit with my childhood friend, Earlene. We met in 6th grade in Winslow, AZ and were friends until my parents moved to Barstow, CA during Easter vacation, 1971. Our friendship spanned those critical years between childhood and early adolescence. Those special years where all of a sudden, boys started to look pretty good, we went to our first school dance and learned how to rotate through classes in Winslow Jr. High School. I haven't seen Earlene since I left back in 1971, that would be 39 years ago!! You can imagine.... we had a LOT of catching up to do.
So let me back up a bit... as I was growing up, I always imagined myself married to a handsome cowboy, riding horses, gardening and living out in the country, WAY out in the country. My parents were "city folk", but I always saw myself differently. Earlene's family was the closest thing to that I knew back in Winslow. Her mom was a stay at home mom that cooked, had "pets" and loved being a mom. Earlene's dad was a Park Ranger in the area. I LOVED going to her house, spending the night and pretending to be one of her family. After I left Winslow, she continued on, graduating in 1975 from Winslow High School. After that, she attended college in Colorado majoring in Pre-Veterinary Science.
When she graduated, she helped out at her family's Tree Farm, managed a Resort near a trout park, worked with her local humane society and went into the long distance phone business. After marrying and having her daughter, Quintana, she found her calling working as Director for the Longmeadow Rescue Ranch in Missouri. Currently, she transports horses all around her state of Missouri often traveling some of the Western States as well. She's also been involved with 4-H and competed in many horse shows. She's led a life filled with animals of all kinds. That doesn't surprise me at all!
We had THE BEST visit ever, even though it was short. She filled in "the blanks" for me about what some of my former classmates have been up to over the years and told me about Winslow's annual "Standing on the Corner" event, which I'm planning on attending this year!!
Yeah, it made me long for those good old days growing up in a small town along Route 66, a small little dusty town on the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe route.
Earlene, you keep up the good work out there with the animals. Thank you SO much for calling me and initiating our little get together. If you EVER come this way again, my door is always open and I'd love to visit again. Tell Leonard and Bill "Hi" for me and see you the end of September if you can make it!!