I’ve talked about my three best friends, Kathy, Carla, and Kim. I have friends where I live, but these three – who are all still close to our hometown – are my best friends. They really are like my sisters – and we’ve been friends for so long that we finish each other’s sentences, love to talk and laugh, and are totally okay with just sitting and being together. Comfortable silence is a rarity. If you have that kind of relationship with someone, you know your friendship was meant to be. I’ve been friends with them for 41 years, 39 years, and 30 years respectively. That’s a really long time to stick together, but we have.
Carla’s daughter Carley is eighteen and just started college this month. She’s doing that whole “bird leaving the nest” thing which is beautiful, rewarding, and heart-wrenching. Spending nearly two decades being completely absorbed in your offspring’s entire being makes letting go very nearly impossible. I do not envy Bill and Carla’s empty nest heartbreak and depression right now. And I know it will be here for us before we know it.
I truly love this precious family.
Carley is fun and vivacious and gorgeous. She has always loved being with my kids even though they are a lot younger than she is. And my kids ADORE her. “When can we see Carley?” “Mama, I miss Carley!” One of Christopher’s friends saw a picture of Carley on Christopher’s phone and asked who she was. Christopher told him that she is his cousin. When I asked why he said that, he said, “Well, she may as well be.”
We were so excited last year when Carley’s high school played one of our local teams so we were able to go to the game and see Carley cheer. Elizabeth was in awe. Christopher wouldn’t sit with us because we were sitting with Carla and Bill on the visitors’ side. He found some friends on the home side and I texted him every ten minutes to be sure he was where he was supposed to be. Hey, I’m his mom. That’s my job. It was amazing to just spend an evening watching a game (Not really. We talked the whole time.) and being together. Michael had to work so he didn’t get to come, but we had a great time.
I really wish we lived closer together so that we had more of those memories. But we make the most of the ones we have.
Today, when I had a break between classes, I was happy to see a text notification pop up from Carley: Hey, I need a quick, easy, salty snack/appetizer that I can make this afternoon for a Bible study I’m going to. Any suggestions?
Carley is a great cook, so I knew I could pretty much give her any recipe and she’d be good with it. I gave her a recipe that is very close to my heart. You know I love cream cheese. Well, I love bacon eight times more than that. And this recipe has both of them! It’s one of those recipes that, once you make it, you’ll make it again and again and again. Once you take it somewhere, people will ask you to bring it again and again and again.
It’s one of the most popular recipes from my cookbook. People who have made it send me emails telling me how much they loved it. Friends come by my classroom or stop me at church to talk about what a huge hit it was when they took it to a party.
It’s that good.
Hot Bacon Dip
- 1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup of shredded cheddar
- 2 chopped green onions (more, if you’d like)
- ½ cup of mayonnaise
- 1 2.8-ounce bag of bacon pieces – NOT bits
- 1 sleeve of Ritz crackers, crumbled
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the first five ingredients together in pour into an 8×8 baking dish. Top with cracker crumbs. Bake for 15 minutes or until bubbly. Serve warm with corn chips or crackers.
Well Duh #1: Wheat Thins are my cracker of choice with this dip.
Well Duh #2: This dip freezes well, but DON’T top with the cracker crumbs before freezing. Let it thaw in the refrigerator and top with the crumbs just before baking.
You know, it only makes sense that I would love Carley the way that I do. After all, I’ve loved her mama since we were in second grade. I don’t have a whole lot of “growing up” memories that don’t involve her.
Excuse the quality of this picture of a picture. The quality of our friendship more than makes up for it!
Some people go through their whole lives without finding a best friend. I’m so blessed that I found three! Carla, Kathy, and Kim are my forever friends!