Saturday, January 4, 2014

Happy Birthday Gertrude...Peggy....My TFBFF

Think about all the opportunities and adventures that have come your way simply by saying yes.  Going to a progressive dinner and then a youth group production of the famous 70’s church musicals, introduced me to Jesus.  Not so much the musical but the people I was with had something in their life that I desperately wanted too and thought I had.  Saying yes to that also gave me lifelong friends that I treasure.  I said yes to a date with Roy when I really had other plans started the greatest love story of my life.  I am a child of the 70’s and Love Story was a huge hit back in the day.  Fortunately, I didn’t have to die or become preppy, have a clichéd over used saying or go to an Ivy League school to meet my love.  Saying yes to a lunch invite after church, that I would only commit to dessert because I thought it would be a waste of time, introduced me to one of my best and closest friends.  But today I am writing about saying yes when asked if I could go to Camp Houston as a sponsor for 11th grade girls.  By saying yes, I met my partner in crime, myTF (I’ll explain later) and running buddy.  Although, there has been very little running over the years.  Does running to the bathroom because you think you are going to wet your pants count?  Because we have made those type of runs many times during the years of our friendship. . 
I remember hearing about the fun Peggy B from friends who were sponsors at Camp Houston several years before I actually met her.  When I joined choir, repeatedly I was told, I needed to meet Peggy B and that we would be instant friends.  I’m sorry but telling someone that comes with a lot of pressure.  Peggy was recovering from knee surgery, so it was a while before I made her acquaintance.  I finally met her at a Camp meeting when she came up to me and said, “Heard you’re funny.”  I calmly responded, “Can be.”   She then asked me to rewrite the words to a song for Clean Cabin Girls.  Yea, that’s me, calm on the outside but jumping up and down on the inside. On my way home I called Roy from my…car phone…and excitedly told him about rewriting the song and meeting Peggy, finally.  In those weeks before going to Leaky, Texas for camp, at camp and then at middle school camp, those who had told me that I needed to meet Peggy were surprisingly right.  We were instant friends and couldn’t believe our good fortune of friendship, so we called ourselves ‘temporary friends’ or TF for short, you know just in case….She celebrated my birthday at middle school camp by smashing a Twinkie on my knee because she said she hadn’t known me long enough to give me a real gift. 
Peggy makes everything fun.  Like taking a howling hairless cat named Bob to the Dallas area for a friend.  I got to ride along in that adventure.  Or an ordinary trip to the HEB turns into a laugh fest.  Any day that we get together is fun.  We can amuse ourselves with so little.  If you have ever been on a trip with Peggy, you know you’re going to see life a little differently because she is there.   In the summer Peggy runs a camp/bed and breakfast/fun house.  It all starts up in May and comes to an end mid-September.  She will pull you on the Jet Ski until dusk turns to night.  Then she’ll rustle up a milkshake for you afterwards.  I’m relieved that she remembers my name but she mostly calls me Millie so that she can remember that she is Gertrude.  I think it confuses the housekeeper she and I both use.  Many a time we run into people she knows and later she’ll say, I would have introduced you but I don’t remember their name.  We’ve been disruptive in choir and Sunday School, although we are well behaved in CBS.  We used to make Marge Caldwell laugh as we made faces at her from the choir loft.  Peggy can walk into a room and take it over, not even saying a word.  Over the years we have done quite a few M&G but we never want to practice our lines out loud.  Eventually, we do but all the ways we procrastinate opens us up for more laughter.  At Tallowood, right before we went on the stage, I knew there was a God.  I think I will chose not to tell that story.  Every day when you are with Peggy is a party.  The more the merrier. 
                                                                                                                           A rare sight, Peg in Kitchen
I get to see another side of Peggy and that is a wonderful benefit of friendship.  She is one of the most generous people you will ever know but she gives in a non-flashy, doesn’t need to be recognized kind of way.  Peggy is wildly compassionate, no really!  I have heard stories of how she has visited friends late at night in the hospital.  She visits with you when you’re sick.  She takes in friends for the holidays, all major and minor ones, holidays that is, not major or minor friends.  There are only a few people who offer their house for events and parties often and Peggy is one of them.  I love that she prays for you but doesn’t tell you in some slick, holy voice kind of way.  Sometimes one is prone to think that someone like Peggy doesn’t get sad or down or doesn’t understand certain issues and events in life, but she has and she has walked through those times bravely and honestly depending on the Lord. 
Her children and grandchildren rise up early or late morning early and call her blessed, Mops.  I call her Peglitta and Gerti.  Best of all, I get to call her my friend.  My TFBFF.  Not too often, but every once in a while I think about what my life would have been like if we had never met, if I had never said yes to camp.  My life would not have been as fun or as rich.
Reservations are now being taken at Camp Bain for summer of 2020

 Happy Birthday Peggy!  I love you!  I’m so glad we are friends and so joyful that we are neighbors.  Let’s go wrap a house. 

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