Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Tribute to Friends

This post is a little belated, but it is not too late. It’s a tribute to friends. New friends.

The older we get, the harder it is to make new friends. Busy lifestyles with full-time work, dinners to prepare, children to read to. When do we have time to meet new people and make new friends? If we work outside the home, we may be fortunate to have coworkers we have something in common with, but very rarely do we form the kind of friendships that we did in childhood. We may even somewhere along the path make a new friend who becomes a best friend. I have been blessed with two of those. I met JoAnne almost fifteen year ago in a yoga class, when I was at a truly low point in my life. She has been my prayer warrior, my shoulder to cry on, my support when the winds around me blew too furiously. She’s the older sister I lost when I was seven, I’m her younger sister in place of the older one she has a broken relationship with. Carol and I met more than eight years ago, when we were both pregnant with our first children, due dates one day apart. Over the years, our friendship has changed, like waves on the sea, ebbing and flowing. We’ve gone through a pregnancy together and the deterioration of our marriages together. We have survived our divorces together and been single moms together.

In the last year, I have been blessed with new friends through the Internet. Although I have never met them in person, I feel as if they are true bosom buddies. I sense through the words they write, that they have beautiful hearts, not just the beautiful faces I see on Flickr. They have a passion for what they do and a deep generosity of spirit.

There is Anna-Karin, my sparring partner, my tower of strength, my greatest cheerleader and encourager. Together, the two of us make up the female version of Abbott & Costello. We sling virtual mud cake at each other every chance we get, knowing that there is a deep friendship behind the banter that can handle the friendly abuse. I find it amazing that we have bonded over cyberspace, when it feels like I just sat down for fika with her at a café in Stockholm. Maybe one day I will get to in real life.

Then there is Lotta, a quiet, sweet soul. She pops up every now and then with some amazing new design, seemingly undeterred by what everyone else is doing at the moment. She is the calm in the storm, the whisper when the winds are howling. So sweet, so beautiful.

And then there is Magdalena. What can I say? Magdalena is one of those amazingly creative and talented people you feel blessed to know. She works hard, she has great taste, and she is generous to a fault. She is one of several talented Polish girls—I think it must be something in the water.

What is even more special about these three amazing women, is that they all sent me lovely birthday and Christmas gifts last year. I frequently drool over their creations and beg for pieces to be sent to me, but these gifts were totally unexpected. I am in awe over their generosity and kindness, and I will treasure their gifts for a lifetime. But more than that, I will treasure the gift of their friendship.

The ring is Anna-Karin’s signature style, and a lovely birthday gift to me. No. 1. Long and Dangly Earrings from Lotta. No. 2. Gingembre by Magdalena No. 3. Sterling and Amethyst Earrings from Anna-Karin.


Deb @ Crysallis said...

awwww that's gotta be one of the sweetest blog that I've read in a long time!!!

oh wait... I just started reading blog... hmm... regardless, it's still real sweet of you Katja!! To pimp your friends like this!!!

HUGS!!! guess now I'll need to send you something to bribe you for you to blog about me too then huh??? hmmm....

katja said...

Yup, that's all it takes. Ha ha ha!

Thank you, Deb! You are sweet, too. : )

Anna-Karin Hallström said...

UAAAHHHAAAAA..... *bawling my eyes out* Oh sweetie!! Katja... you MORON!! How about a heads up on blog posts like these?? Hu hu hu...

And we WILL meet. One of these days - you just wait. We have too!! Love ya to bits, dear.

*sniff sniff*

katja said...

*hands Anna-Karin a tissue ... or three*

No, no warnings. They work better this way. Unannounced.

Yes, you are right. We will meet one day. Better be soon!

Pricilla said...

I guess I am never going to appear in your blog as I am merely a goat and can send you only gilded goat poop.
*sigh* Back to the goat barn

But you do have very nice friends...who make gorgeous jewelry. I don't look good in jewelry.

katja said...

Dearest Pricilla,

I think you'd look smashing in something sparkly around your neck. You just talk to your keeper and see what she can round up. OK? OK!

P.S. PLEASE do not send me gilded goat poop. Thank you.

Gemheaven said...

Aww katja :)) Beautiful earrings from beautiful people :)

Her Divaness said...

~ with scalloped lace hanky held to eyes, and a distinct Southern belle accent ~

It's just so beautiful ...

~ with kerchief gone and a slightly, only slightly, more serious tone ~

You're easy to love, Katja :)


katja said...

Jo, true, so true.

Sheela dearest, thank you! Your words warm my heart, as does YOUR friendship.

hugs to you both!

JoJoBell said...

Beautiful Katja, just beautiful! Your posts are alway so easy to relate to. What a wonderful Christmas you had!

katja said...

Joanne, thank you so much! And yes, I did.

Lotta @ Silverknuten said...

Jag funderade på saken och bestämde mig för en kommentar på svenska - eftersom kommentaren i första hand är till dig! Jag är så glad att du hittade mig och tog kontakt, och jag hoppas att vi får chans att träffas på riktigt i framtiden. Det är inte det lättaste att få nya vänner (tycker om engelskans make friends som på något sätt säger det bättre) och då uppskattar man de man hittar desto mer.
Sen tycker jag det är spännande att läsa din beskrivning av mig. Jag vet att jag lätt framstår som väldigt tystlåten, eftersom jag inte känner att jag lyckas med en sån där naturlig hjärtlighet, även om jag känner den. Sen märker jag mer och mer att jag måste försöka hitta inspirationen i och kring mig själv i större utsträckning (som vi redan talat om) eftersom alla andra begåvade bara gör mig låst.

Så tack! min Nya Vän, jag hoppas vi under tidens gång kommer att bli Gamla Vänner.

katja said...

Åh, nu sitter jag ju här och gråter! Äsch då ... ja, jag säger samma sak, jag hoppas vi blir gamla vänner—med unga hjärtan!


Anonymous said...

no wonder why you have so many nice friends around you. you TAKE TIME for your friends even taking time to abuse them and we read them with such joy! I laugh at you and A-K and envy your sense of humor and ability with language!
Katja, you do have a beautiful life, one might be missing but, who got them all?!;)
XOXO, Hee Soon

katja said...

This "list" in no way excludes any of my other Etsy and Flickr friends. I could write much more on the topics, I'm sure, I just was so touched by their actions and chose to focus on them.

Sadly, my friendship with Carol is now suffering and I stand on the threshold of either having to let her go or change the amount of time I spend with her. Something has to change, the question is how drastic will the change have to be.