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Monday, March 14, 2011

Tow path friendship

butterfly companion on one of our walks
 Gail Caldwell wrote an exceptional book about female friendships called "Let's Take The Long Way Home".Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship
She  intimately describes  her relationship with her close friend Caroline and their dogs. These two women, both writers and dog  lovers, share long walks, phone conversations, vacations and so much more. It is touching to read about an enduring friendship. We live  in a  time where  we are  often rewarded for giving up the fight and not persevering. While reading the book, I was very moved by the story since I have an enduring friendship in my life. My dear friend Marcie and I have been walking on the Delaware and Raritan  tow path for approximately 25 years.The D &R  canal  tow path extends from New Brunswick about 33  miles south to Stockton, NJ.
We originally began walking as young mothers.  We had two toddlers that did not get along at all. Even at that young age, they would antagonize each other by hitting and yelling . Out of pure survival , we opted to walk by ourselves on the weekends  instead  of getting together as a family. This was an awesome decision.

We have walked thousands of miles during these years and seen the seasons change multiple times.We have walked in all kinds of weather although ice does slow as down as we get older.   We  also meet a variety of wildlife including herons, huge snapper and painted  turtles, beavers, turkeys, muskrat and  deer. Frequently, we choose who talks first as we begin our walk and the preference is given to one who has more urgent things to discuss. We have talked about everything from jobs and  child raising to  relationships and fairies. Over the years, I have had dogs that join us on our walking sojourns. Presently Pixie, my 9 year old golden retriever  is our faithful companion. Some days , she will caution   us to avoid walking along the tow path  and we will switch to a walk somewhere else.
Because of  our walks, we have had an enduring friendship that has helped us transcend  personal disagreements, difficult family times, and  health issues. We are blessed to have found a true friendship with each other.
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