November 20-21, 1969
Very soon my apartment was going to become our official first home as a married couple. Although Nate and I had accumulated several cast-off furniture items, most of the space remained empty. After 4 bridal showers, we had lots of china, crystal, and silver but no place to put it. For the most part, it was still in boxes.
My long-term friend Lynn offered to come and help make things home-ier for us. She and I had met at Moody Church when we were both in junior high school, when her parents had come to run the music ministry.
Lynn and I clicked right away, but our homes were separated by two suburbs – which meant we didn’t see each other during the week. Since phoning friends was frowned upon, we did most of our talking in the back rows during Sunday school and church.
When the weekends came, we pleaded for sleep-overs until our mothers finally chose a gas station half-way between our two homes where we made the girl-transfers. Our friendship grew quickly after that. (Left: pea-shooting at cars.)
We tried cigarettes together, had our first taste of alcohol together, dated brothers together, and snuck out of our homes during the night together. We got into trouble at camp together, dyed our hair orange together, hosted parties together when our parents were out of town…. and also taught Sunday school together. Our shared history was rich.
Lynn was full of artistic ideas. Over the years she taught me to knit sweaters, sometimes with such complicated patterns we’d be using five different colored yarns at once. She could also sew up a storm and taught me to make simple skirts and jumpers. Lynn was a whiz in the kitchen, too, and showed me how to make teriyaki chicken, among other things.
I knew that if she put her creative touches on our apartment, it would take on the warmth it lacked.
When she arrived, she’d brought a gizmo that made flowers out of yarn or string, and went to work using our 3 colors: orange, yellow, and kiwi green. Nate and I both loved the results. She also showed me how to arrange books and knick-knacks on our shelves in artistic ways and even initiated washing windows and hanging curtains.
Lynn was going to be one of my bridesmaids and was doing more than her fair share by sewing 3 of the gowns. But she was a pro at multi-tasking and was managing well, despite a full school schedule and a job. I was appreciative beyond words.
Our time working at the apartment was full of laughter and love – two old friends who had been through a decade of adventures together that had moved them from middle school to marriage. (Lynn’s wedding would be the following year.)
All this reminded me of how much I’d missed girl-time with her and other buddies back home. But stepping into marriage meant stepping out of that old life. Walking down the aisle was saying yes to radical change in every area. Was I ready?
As Nate and I stood holding hands while waving goodbye to one of my dearest friends, I had the feeling everything was going to turn out just fine.
“If anything is excellent or praiseworthy…. think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)