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Monday, June 1, 2015

Thoughts on Friendships Old and New - Part One

I'm Judith Ashley. I write romantic fiction that honors spiritual traditions that nourish the soul.

I’m one of those people who don’t have lots of friends but the ones I have, I keep. May 2015 was a month about friendships.

My friend of almost 35 years whose name is also Judith lives in Ohio. I’d missed visiting her last year due to some health problems. This year I was determined to make the trip—and I did.

Judith, Gimi, Connie
However, my month of friendships started on May 1 when I spend time with my Intention Sisters, Gimi and Connie. We’d just spent a couple of days in Depoe Bay, Oregon my all-time favorite place on the Oregon coast. Saturday, May 2, they both left for their homes in Texas and Arizona after we shared breakfast at Elmer’s.

Monday, May 4th I traveled from Oregon to Ohio—an exhausting trip in many ways but I did read Paty Jager’s first Shandra Higheagle mystery. If you haven’t read Paty’s books, I highly recommend them.

My friend, Judith was waiting on her front porch for me and the delight at seeing me rejuvenated my tired body. We’ve always talked on the phone in between visits but it had been almost 5 years since we’d seen each other. It is no surprise to people who know me that we were up until 2 a.m. Ohio time talking!

That really set the pattern for my visit—10 to 14 hours of conversation each day, much of it intense, over the next 15 days. Why were there intense conversations? 

Because my best friend of 35 years has significant memory loss and so I answered the same question numerous times during my visit. And, some of the questions were challenging: Did I think she was safe in her home? Did I think she was a bad driver? Did I really think her short term memory loss was that bad? Why did I think she needed to wear a ‘life line’ button?

Sunset just north of Depoe Bay, Oregon
We got out picture albums and revisited our trips to Ireland and the Balkans both during the war and a few years later. We reminisced about other adventures we had. She has fond memories of New Orleans and I don’t. I have fond memories of Seattle and her memories of that last visit are vague. We both love the Oregon Coast and I’d love to have her back for another visit there but she doesn’t think she wants to travel any more.

Because she no longer drives outside her neighborhood, I offered to take her to places further away that have been important in her life and that she continues to talk about missing.

She declined.

We talked about getting our picture taken together but never followed through. We talked about my coming back next year or maybe this fall. Time will tell.


On the left is a picture of me with a lei from Hawaii.

Check back next week to see the story behind this picture.

To learn more about The Sacred Women's Circle series, check out 



June 5th I'll have a post up at Romancing The Genres. June is our "Shout Out For Charity" month. I'm spotlighting "Beading The Odds", a non-profit that is making a difference in the lives of young men who are incarcerated at Oregon's McClaren's School for Boys.

If you are looking for great books to read over the summer, check out the posts from the Genre-istas at RTG as well as at Windtree Press.

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