Then, there’s my dear friend, Ruth Ann Taylor, who does most of my grocery shopping for me (which is why I ride the van to Walmart only about every fourth week) plus devoting a full half day to me every couple of weeks while I get my nails filled and filed. We manage the financial end of her shopping for me by my writing her a check for $300. We refer to the cash she gets from it as our “Trust Fund.” She keeps my money separated from hers by storing it in a brightly-colored, sturdy envelope. When the envelope goes flat, I realize she doesn’t trust me anymore, so I do a replacement.
There’s Dave and Jodi Jackson who take me to New Bethel church twice on Sundays and on Wednesday evening for mid-week prayer meeting. Jodi is also part of the trio that comes out every other Friday at noon and takes me to lunch, then spends that afternoon playing Skip Bo with me. The others are Pat Henley and Lynda Dixon, all of whom have been my friends for more than 30 years.
If one of my long-term-friends can’t come that day, we draft Rita Roberts or Dee Hutson,
Marilou and Ted Gardner’s friendship also goes back more than 30 years to when we all were employed by the Byng School system, and Marilou and I did lots of traveling together. They are always available if I need them.
A newer friendship is that of the Rev. Dale and Tonya Dunagan and their son, Matt. They stayed many weekends with me before they completed their house in Ada. Tonya lived with me several months while she was a nurse at the veterans’ facility at Sulphur, so the Dunagans moved from friendship to extended family a long time ago. Dale is still undergoing chemotherapy for brain cancer, but he has already exceeded by several months the doctors’ predicted life expectancy for him. The Dunagans do all sorts of things for me — like bringing me a couple of pieces of pizza when they have a feeling that I’m having pizza cravings. Matt has also taken me to doctors’ appointments. I have learned that one can get along without an automobile fairly well if one has friends whose heads nod only in an affirmative direction and who are great at sensing what I need without my having to ask.