27 June 2011

Feeding Clinic=Finding My Best Friend Again

Before my first year in college, I was given a job at the Christian camp, Pine Cove, which I grew up going to as a teenager.  Since I hadn't finished my first year of college, I couldn't be a full fledged counselor.  But I was given the job of "Chaos Coordinator" (aka assistant counselor and kitchen duty).  It was my greatest surprise to find out when I got there that one other person had been given this same job.  A girl my same age named Ashley.  (Pine Cove has a fun tradition of giving all of their counselors nicknames.  These nicknames are what the children call their counselors throughout the week until the counselors' real name is revealed at the end of the week.  Ashley's nickname was "FoPa"- pronounced Faux Pas - and mine was "Sparkler."  It's funny that it took us both SO long to finally get used to calling each other by our given names.  I often refer to Ashley as "Ashley FoPa" because "FoPa" is all I called her when we first became friends.)

Long hours in the kitchen + running the camp store together (seen in this picture) + living in the same cabin + young adult angst + the need for a sweet friend during our 6 weeks there = a friendship that will last forever.  

...But believe it or not, until recently, we had not seen each other in more than 10 years!  

When I realized we were going to be at the Feeding Clinic in Dallas, which is not too far from where Ashley and her husband lived, I contacted Ashley to see if she wanted to hook up!  Thankfully, she did and she brought her wonderful husband and beautiful girls with her.

Brian and I truly enjoyed every minute of their company when they came and brought us dinner at the Clinic.  Brian later mentioned that they are the kind of friends whom you feel like you've always known and people who would do anything for us or anyone else.  I couldn't agree more.  Ashley and her husband Ben are in love with the Lord and this exudes through their hospitality, genuine interest in others and graciousness.  Not one thing has changed about Ashley.  This is who she was then.  And this is who she is now - except now she has a counterpart who is the same way!

Ashley's little girls are ADORABLE!  Rachel is on the left and Anna is on the right.  They are incredibly well behaved and would be wonderful daughter-in-laws! :) I'm just sayin'.

Ashley was so kind as to bring her scrapbook along with her to visit us.  I loved going back and seeing pictures from that time.  The memories flood back to a time when we were just trying to figure ourselves out.  I was going through a period of rebellion and Ashley was my "Jiminy Cricket."  This picture was taken next to the "Sign Language" sign at camp.  Ashley and I taught Sign Language to the elementary campers during "Activity" time each day.

Being goofy as we were back then, we decided to make a "redo picture".  I think it's hilarious that not only have we matured since our last picture together (in addition of having combined welcomed 4 children in the world), Ashley is now pregnant with #3 and my #2 is hanging on my leg (Bennett decided he wanted to "say cheese" for the picture too).  It's amazing what can happen in 10 years.  

This is a picture and experience neither of us will forget.  One of the benefits of working in the kitchen was the access to goodies the rest of the camp didn't have access to...such as leftover chocolate pies.  Man, this was good!  We'd sneak in when our camp boss wasn't around.  This picture is just an example of the mess the two of us got ourselves into that summer.  Good times!

Although our official title was "Chaos Coordinators", we called ourselves the "Kitchen Kuties."  We thought we were pretty cute.

Another redo picture: It's obvious that in ten years, my hair color has changed, my socks have grown 3 inches shorter but my love for my dear friend Ashley has not changed a bit.

Thank you for your friendship, Ashley!  It's wonderful to reconnect again and yet feel like we never even left each others' side.  We're in our own kitchens now, but we'll forever be Kitchen Kuties! :)

P.S. See what Ashley had to say about our time together on her family blog:


  1. you are such an awesome writer! I am so jealous of how well you keep up with your blog! I enjoy reading about your life!!

  2. So funny! I too worked at camp (and in the kitchen). Hi Sparkler, I'm Franque (pronounced Franc), nice to meet you! :)

  3. Lol, it's amazing how socks shrink over the years hu? LOL!

  4. OK, you made me cry! LOVED every minute we were together and I already get excited about meeting up again...with your packed days and my baby due in Sept. not sure when it will happen, but it WILL happen!
    Thought you would like to read T-hawk's comment on my blog post about us (who just had a new baby boy TODAY): "Loved reading this post, especially when it includes illegal eating in the freezer. You must have had the best boss ever that summer! Great to hear how God is at work in both your lives.
    Miss you friend...thank you for your sweet words...I feel the same way about you!

  5. What a fun post! And too funny to read "T-Hawk's" response, too! How'd you get around him? :) We're headed to the Towers on Sunday...taking both girls. Wanna go? Should be fun! I'm glad you got to see your special friend...and that your socks are shorter these days! Too funny!!! Love you!


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