“Pick a little, talk a little…”

September 21, 2009 | My Jottings

My daughter Sharon called yesterday morning to tell me she’d been asked to be part of a new knitting book which is being written by a famous knitting author, to be published late next year. What an honor this is for her hand-dyed yarn to be recognized like that, and I’m sure I’ll have a post about that in the future. She was tickled about the news, and so was I.

While I was talking to Sharon, she asked me how my visit with my life-long friend Tauni was going, and of course I replied, “Really good! We just talk, talk, talk, talk, talk!” And Sharon said, “Well that’s great! It wouldn’t be very good if you answered,’Tauni flew all the way from California and we’ve been ignoring each other.’ ” And that made us all giggle. I cannot imagine Tauni coming all the way from SoCal and us not talking. And talking. And talking.

This made me think of a Meredith Wilson song from The Music Man — most of the profound and deeply moving lyrics are:

“Pick a little, talk a little, pick a little, talk a little,
Cheep cheep cheep, talk a lot, pick a little more!

Pick a little, talk a little, pick a little, talk a little,
Cheep cheep cheep, talk a lot, pick a little more!”

And that’s the gist of that delightful song. I’ll wait here until you locate a Kleenex.

Now, I don’t think the “pick a little” part of the song applies so much to our visiting. Unless you would call reminiscing about our childhoods, families, friendships, adventures, and heartaches picking. I suppose I could say that we were picking over the details of our past, recounting things to each other and reveling in our memories about how our lives have intersected over the last 45 years.

But talking? Yes, we talked almost non-stop. It was wonderful. Both Tauni and I could be characterized as Word Women, and we both find conversation satisfying.

We sat at the kitchen table over granola, or Muesli and coffee, and talked. We sat out on the back deck while the chickadees landed on the feeder, and talked. We drove up the North Shore of Lake Superior and talked. We picked our way over grass dotted with Canada Goose poops in Two Harbors, MN, so we could find a place to talk. We sat in my bedroom with tea, and talked. We sat in the den in the morning sun, and talked. We sat in the living room right before bed, yawning, and talked. We talked while we put a screen in a window together. We talked while dinners were being prepared. We talked while eating our packed lunches on a picnic table on the shore of Brighton Beach. We talked over a Cobb Salad, a Tuna Steak with vegetables, Blackened Walleye and Cheddar Bay Biscuits. We talked over steak and prime rib with another good friend of mine named Carey. We talked while walking in the wind on the Lake Walk.


Last night before we went up to bed we shared with each other the details of our very different faith journeys, what drew us toward God even at young ages, and we marveled together about how God has seen us through deaths and divorces, lean times and plenty, heartache and happiness. And He has helped us keep our friendship intact all these years.

We both have other good friends, but we’re aware how very few of those friends enjoy the long history we have together.

Tauni and I lived over the fence from each other. We went to the same elementary, junior high and high schools together. We knew each others’ parents. We knew each others’ brothers. We knew each others’ family stuff. And I swam in her pool hundreds of times, which accounts for a large portion of my happier childhood memories.

Over the years we’ve prayed for each others’ children. We’ve exchanged books and recipes, long distance. She has kept some of my old hand-written letters (“Julie, you’re the only one I know who can fill an entire page with only five sentences!” she chuckled) and I have a file full of hers. And now that we’re fifty-somethings, we’re grandmas – although, thanks be to God, neither of us have dentures nor very many gray hairs yet. 🙂

Michael and I just returned from taking Tauni to the airport, and she’s on her way home to her husband as I write this. I wonder when I will see her again. Even if it’s not for many more years, we still have this long and lovely friendship, and this deep and meaningful fellowship in Christ.

I’m counting my blessings today, and one of the best is my friend Tauni…


  1. Dorothy Sooter says:

    Dear Julie,

    You both look beautiful in the picture and no way do you look 50 something. Your skin is beautiful – so was you mom’s. So glad that you had such a great time. Love, Dorothy

  2. Rob Franck says:

    It was nice meeting your friend, even so briefly. I’m glad you had such a nice time. Friends are precious. Recently a friend from college I hadn’t spoken to in probably 25 years found me on the internet and called me up. He is pursuing becoming a pastor. It was nice to chat and get reaquainted.

  3. Deb says:

    How wonderful that you’ve remained close all these years. It’s those tender relationships that are nurtured over time that really bring joy to our hearts! I’m glad you had a wonderful week together to talk….talk…..talk……..

  4. Jessica says:

    Those kinds of friendships are just the best. I have a friend that I grew up with who now lives in Northern California and when I see her for our annual visit, it’s like we’ve never been apart. You can’t beat that.

    And of course, we’re all dying to know….What did she think of your guest suite?????? We already know she loved it, of course. Who wouldn’t?!?

    Glad you had such a nice time. You deserve it.

  5. Just Julie says:

    Okay Tauni – it’s your turn! Enquiring minds would like to know (or at least Jessica’s enquiring mind would)….well, see her comment above. 🙂

  6. Sue Raimo says:

    You both have great teeth!

  7. Tauni says:

    My apologies for not replying sooner, my trip to Minn created a bit of a backlog in my work and I needed to do some catch up!

    My time at the Balmer B&B was simply supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (did I spell that right??)! What a blessing you are dear Jules! I observed that great care and attention was taken at my impending arrival. Not only were the accommodations cozy and comfy, but the little extras warmed my heart and fed my spirit. My room was lovingly prepared with fresh linens, and music playing. I was blessed not with chocolates on my pillow at night, but a bag of dark chocolate covered almonds AND dark chocolate squares ~ not to mention the bottled water, fruit and crackers for snacking, oh, and the cold Starbucks too! I know girls, read it and weep, two whole bags of chocolate! I had to resist the urge to spend each night in a different bed cuz they all looked so inviting. I settled on the bigger bed as it had a reading lamp and I partook of the pleasure of reading from one of the favorites listed in Julie’s reading list.

    Julie, words fail to communicate what you mean to me. I was so blessed by your hospitality, your companionship, and continue to be blessed by the friendship God has so graciously (and divinely) bestowed upon us. Blessings to you my dear, dear friend!

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