Pen Pals

A Tale of Two Friends

Almost two years ago, I ventured off on a last minute trip to Switzerland with a tour group. In an effort to cut the cost, I participated in a shared room (something I highly recommend if you are a single woman traveling on your own in a group). It's a great way to meet new people and not feel isolated if you are solo amongst other parties traveling together. I was paired with an elder British woman in her late 60's/early 70's, not quite sure, and as a polite young lady I didn't inquire. A tiny little thing with a Dutch boy hair cut, and a cane from foot surgery, she said it made her look older than she really was. I didn't press.

I didn't realize then or throughout the duration of the trip that we would become such good friends. I confided the reason I ended up there was because I needed clarity. I had not been ready to get married to a good friend who was about to propose. He would have been a great husband, but in my heart something was missing. Today, I know I why. I'm with The One.

Back in Switzerland, I saw something click with this old woman though when we went out to dinner one night and she dressed in a leopard print shirt and black skirt, with pretty red rouge and lipstick. She was a doll. I knew she had spirit, and I was intrigued about who she was and where she came from.

She never had children, therefore has no grandchildren. I'm honored to have filled this void. She calls me from England every few weeks to tell me about random things such as school starting and seeing the little children walk to school from her window, as the church bell rings. She knows I love this because of my fascination with Europe. She tells me of her drives through the lavendar fields and her visits to France. She tells me she is knitting me a surprise and I send her my copy of The Friday Night Knitting Club. She recommends I read, The Girl with the Pearl Earring. She tells me she pulled out an old bar of soap she picked up on an vacation in Turkey, and then describes the fragrance. She always reminds me of the The Queen of England when she speaks. So proper. And always greets me on the telephone... "Well, hellooo dear!"

I love receiving cards in the mail that are stamped: Royal Mail. I love seeing an incoming call with 001144********* on my cell phone. It makes it high priority. It reminds me every friendship should be treated this way.

All photos by Kim Anderson.

So tell me, I am interested.

Do you have any unique and special relationships?


  1. Oh Colette...what a cool story! A friend for life. How unique that you stepped out of your comfort zone and you were rewarded for it.

    I just love the 'royal mail' detail. I feel like I'm there with you, opening the mailbox.

    Great post...made me all warm inside!

    ~Teri @ GirlMeetsParis

  2. My heart beat so fast as I read this tale of friendship! I love it!

    I too have one of these very special friendships. I met my dearest friend, T, when I worked at a veterinary clinic. She is 20+ years older than I am, but we are kindred spirits. I have the best time with her. We never cease to share every thing with one another. I tell her my deepest secrets and fears, and she listens with no judgment. We describe our little culinary finds in detail, and always send each other little fun things in the mail (even though we only live 10 miles apart). It is the joy of receiving happy mail! We share a love of Europe, animals, love, champagne, food, pretty things. She is like a mother to me, but she is also one of my very best friends. I adore her and couldn't imagine life without my T!

  3. it's great when someone meet true friends. I agree with Teri your post made me all warm inside

    Clelia from London... ( unfortunately I don't speak like the Queen because I am Italian :)


  4. Hi there lovely, I wrote a blog explaining my disappearance, AND thanking you for the sweet blog award, I have some posts coming up that are stacked high and the first one will be participating in award gifting! thanks so much your a doll.

  5. I just loved this story of your friendship with this unique woman. What a great experience for both of you, to be able to bring light into each others lives!

    I've had different types of friendships over the years but none quite like this one.

    I adore the first picture, it really is too cute.

  6. Gosh, what a great story. The two of you must of met by destiny. A person should always cherish these friendships. I lost my best friend to Cancer almost (10) years ago. Not a day goes by that I don't think about the treasured memories!

  7. Such an endearing wonderful story, thank you for sharing about this special friendship with us, honey.

    Wishing you a beautiful Wednesday - big hugs,
    ♥ Jessica

  8. What a fabulous friend! I love unusual friendships - you learn the most from people who are unlike you.

    I have one like this - my dentist. He's a 60-yr old Australian former athlete, and I'm this 20-something lazy American. Regardless, we have a ton of fun together.

  9. Hello, I absolutely adore your site and I just had to leave a note for you to say so !

    Your posts are interesting, creative and original, and your pictures are great too.

    Perfection !

    Thank you for sharing them all and best wishes... Happy September


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