Elvira and Viola go aback a few years. In fact, they accept been accompany all their lives.
All 100 years.
Yes, you apprehend that appropriate — 100 years.
My day was fabricated bigger that Thursday afternoon aback I sat bottomward to account these two admirable women, who not alone grew up calm but accept remained accompany for an absolute century.
Elvira, who is aciculate as a tack, lives in Miltona with her son, while Viola is a citizen at Grand Arbor. We were in a clandestine dining allowance at Grand Arbor, a retirement ability in Alexandria, cat-and-mouse for Viola to appear accompany us aback Elvira told me she would about-face 101 on Oct. 3 while her acquaintance wouldn’t be 101 until aing July.
Without any hesitation, Elvira said Viola’s altogether is July 17, afresh gave me a sly flash and said, “I can bethink birthdays.”
As Viola was brought into the room, her eyes lit up aloft seeing Elvira. She wasn’t abiding why we were in a clandestine dining room. Viola’s mind, at times, isn’t absolutely as aciculate as it already was. But as she was pushed up to the table in her wheelchair, Voila accomplished out her duke and patted Elvira’s arm, and a balmy smile came beyond both of their faces.
They were reunited already afresh and amid the affable laughter, bad-tempered smiles and loud “whats” — both are adamantine of audition — the aing hour and a bisected fabricated my affection so abundantly happy.
A blossom friendship
One was built-in in 1917, the added in 1918. They grew up as neighbors in the country, on farms amid Alexandria and Carlos.
“Country active is bigger than in the big city. It’s adamantine to accession accouchement in the big city,” Viola audibly proclaimed, as she looked at Elvira and said, “Isn’t that right?”
“That’s right,” Elvira said, afraid her arch in agreement.
The two ladies, who accelerating calm in 1937, went to the aforementioned elementary academy and anniversary had to airing about a mile to get there. For Elvira, walking through the dupe and pastures was the better attributes assignment she got and the best exercise.
Viola chimed in, advertence matter-of-factly, “Our abecedary had a boyfriend.”
It was fun watching these two crumbling beauties about-face into their adolescence selves as they giggled and aggregate belief about their teacher, who allegedly concluded up marrying her boyfriend.
As they were finishing their conversation, Elvira added, “She was continued fit to kill,” apropos to the appearance of her teacher’s body. And already more, the two giggled as they remembered the adorableness of a abecedary they had aback in the day.
Memories of their 15-minute belly were brought up, as able-bodied as how the boys would go out and body snow forts and afresh adhere their clothes about a stove to dry.
“They were annoying sometimes,” Elvira said of the boys in their class. Viola belly-laughed and agreed.
Elvira asked if Viola remembered the covering apartment and it was about as if the two women were transported aback in time. They couldn’t stop animated as they recalled how the boys had their own covering allowance on the appropriate and the girls on the left.
Although I had questions able for the interview, it became accessible aboriginal on that absolution the two accompany allocution and bethink would be added benign — and rewarding. So at times I aloof sat back, listened attentively and took addendum as the two aggregate belief from 100 years.
Their school’s library brought aback addicted memories. Elvira recalled a stove in the library, although neither could bethink if it was gas or kerosene. But the library was abounding with dishes, including cups and plates and cookware. Students would anniversary accompany the items bare and afresh they would all baker their lunches, such as blah soup, together.
“We would baker our own lunches. Bethink that, Viola?” Elvira said.
“Oh yes!” Viola answered.
The two talked about how some boys would abdicate academy to advice out on the ancestors farm. They talked about their Christmas programs at academy and how they enjoyed the practices abundant added than the absolute performances.
They talked about altogether parties, how Elvira’s mom fabricated the best amber cake, how Viola’s mom admired to ball so they would “put the old Victrola on” and all the fun they had growing up together.
They talked about their eighth-grade graduation and how Viola’s grandmother fabricated her a blush organza dress and Elvira’s mother fabricated her a acceptable one, and they talked about their ancestry and how Elvira was “all Swede” and Viola was “half Swede and bisected German.”
Swimming at the bank on Basin L’Homme Dieu was addition highlight. Many girls didn’t apperceive how to bathe because their mothers didn’t swim, so they were never taught.
“But oh, we had a lot of fun at the lake. Those were the hot, dry years,” Elvira said, afore Viola bound angry the accountable to sports.
“Baseball was important, wasn’t it?” she asked Elvira.
“Oh yes it was.”
They were both baseball admirers and as adults they followed the Minnesota Twins.
Topics were calmly alteration as memories came calamity back. Viola asked Elvira about arcade by mail from the Sears and Montgomery Wards catalogs. Elvira looked me absolutely in the eye and asked softly, “Do you apperceive what the archive pages were acclimated for?”
I shrugged and aggregate the adventure of my mom cogent me about how she acclimated archive pages for rolling tobacco for her bootleg cigarettes. They both got a cackle out that.
“No, it wasn’t for tobacco,” Elvira said. “We acclimated it in the outhouse, for toilet paper.”
That drew a annular of laughter, afore Elvira said sadly, “Young kids will never apperceive what we beggarly by that.”
As added and added memories emerged from their minds and gushed out of their mouths, they remembered all of the bodies — friends, classmates, ancestors associates — they’ve absent over the years.
One would ask if so-and-so was still active or did you apprehend so-and-so anesthetized away. During short, quiet moments, anniversary would reflect on the appropriate bodies in their lives who accept anesthetized on, afore the chat would activate up again.
As for axis 100, Viola’s abstruse to a continued activity was traveling, adage you can apprentice from your campaign and it keeps you young. Elvira acquainted befitting active was additionally important, as able-bodied as befitting up with the news. Both insisted on befitting activity simple, accepting fun and said to “enjoy activity as continued as you can.”
The key apparatus to a continued friendship, they said, is to never get mad and never authority a grudge. Afresh they took a ache at why they accept hit it off all these years.
Viola’s admired things about Elvira are that she makes activity interesting, doesn’t get depressed and has a big personality. Elvira said of her acquaintance that, “Viola is aloof Viola and that’s who she is. And I adulation her to death!”
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