Monday, March 6, 2017

3/6/17 #sol17 Erin

She rode her bike up to my grandma's house and walked the couple of steps up to the porch. I immediately noticed her hat, this sailor's hat with her name embroidered. It was all the rage from Cedar Point that summer. I myself had a quirky sense of style, but even I didn't know anyone who wore a hat. I thought it was a little bit weird, and mostly pretty cool.

Erin Frankenfield lived around the corner from my grandma (and the house my family would later move into) and she and another future classmate were there to officially welcome the granddaughter of their teacher. We became friends instantly. 

I've been blessed with a decades of countless beautiful and amazing friendships, but even now, nearly 30 years later, if you ask me to think about a best friend, Erin pops in my head first. She was the first friend I made after we moved to Ohio the summer before 6th grade. From the time we were 11 to the time we were 15, we were inseparable.

I remember sleepovers at Erin's house when we would wait until her dad left for third shift before we would sneak out of the house, stuffing our sleeping bags with pillows and Cabbage Patch dolls in case anyone checked on us. We'd wander the neighborhood, sometimes TPing the neighbor boy's house, sometimes sneaking into people's pools, often just roaming. I'm astonished by our audacity. We were fearless. 

We would drool over Johnny Depp and Evan Dando. We'd sneak into her teenage sister's room to read her diary (sorry, Gretchen!) and ride our bikes endlessly around the South end of our small town. We would play the Ouija board and scare the hell out of ourselves. We'd camp out in one of our backyards, staying up way too late, playing 7th grade version of Truth or Dare with our boyfriends or telling ghost stories. We had our own secret wave, the way you do when you're young and think you've invented everything. 

As we got older, Erin and I drifted apart the way people do sometimes. Every so often we'd circle back around to each other, but we made new friends and had different circles. I'm so grateful to have had such a strong friendship during those formative years. 

Erin and I recently hung out at our 20th class reunion and it was so fun to laugh and connect with the person who knew me best for so many important years. Everyone should have a friend like Erin once in their life, one who's kind a little bit weird, and mostly pretty cool. 


  1. You're so fortunate to have these memories.. Guard them forever, so glad you memorialized them here.

    Thank you!

  2. So fun to stroll down memory lane. You were much more daring than I was, but I do remember scaring ourselves with ouija boards, sleepovers, and wandering the neighborhood (during daylight hours). Friends made during this middle school time period are lifelong friends. I know because we have our own trio of good friends who met in junior high.

  3. Ang- i have such great memories of this time in our lives too. I can't hear Steve Miller Band The Joker without going through a mini time warp that plops me down at Oilers sitting at the bar stools eating chips and salsa with you circa 11 or 12 years old. Or going through Seventeen magazine and Sassy doing the quizzes together. I remember agonizing over our recent or ongoing crush's together. Thank you for those memories and your blog post. In my mind I'm giving you our secret wave ;).

  4. Love the image of her walking up to your grandmother's house that first time! Erin sounds like a very dear friend - and, yes, we all deserve a bestie like this! Thanks for sharing.