Never a Plain Jane

She was born with a fancy name, Jane Marie Belongea. Though she entered our world in the usual way, she was in Wisconsin. And if she stayed there, she’d never meet Mother Goose. So after many teenage adventures, Jane learned the trade of fashion design, earned the degree of textile delights and moved to Illinois, where I was already waiting for her but she didn’t know it.

Because we were both living incognito lives at a local grocery store, she as a Salad Bar technician and Mother Goose as a Bake Shop clerk, Jane and I immediately recognized in each other the mysterious presence of the Holy Spirit. There is sometimes a wonderful, knowing look in the eyes of a new friend when you just know this is going to be good.

We shared a back room, behind-the-scenes work space at the grocery store. It was a dark and stormy evening outside, but where we worked the air was filled with the sounds of laughter and camaraderie as I prepared the bread and rolls for baking and she assembled hundreds of chef salads.

Suddenly Jane shrieked in horror — I went running to her side. “What is it, Jane dear? Are you OK?” I asked with much concern.

“I’ve lost my heirloom pearl earring,” she exclaimed with great sadness. “I thought I was wearing it when I got here, but now it’s gone. I’ve looked on the floor, but I just can’t find it. Do you suppose it fell into one of the salads?”

Mother Goose looked at her new friend with amazing compassion. “I will help you find it,” she offered.

Jane smiled gratefully.

Together, the two friends opened and perused the hundreds of pre-made chef salads. With our delicate touch, we carefully dug through the cheese, the turkey and ham strips, the hard-boiled egg halves, the lettuces and carrots. For hours we searched for the lost pearl earring — salad after salad — trying not to disturb the artfully arranged beauties in their clear plastic houses. The pearl, the pearl….where can the pearl earring be?

Of course, we never found it….because it was at Jane’s house, lying on her bedroom floor where she had accidentally dropped it!

And so began our sweet, always interesting friendship which has amazingly lasted nearly twenty years.

She was hysterically present at the birth of one of my babies. She designed and stitched my most recent wedding dress as well as several other fancy dresses for me. She has always been a great source of inspiration and good cheer. She has weathered many storms and tragedies. She has redefined and redesigned herself so many times, I have nearly lost count of her many identities. Oh, but she has always remained a true sister in the Lord.

Here are just a few of her many personas — you may begin to think that she is like poor Sybil with all the fascinating characters she has living inside of her:

Bridal and formal wear designer
Salad bar technician
Personal tailor to a well-known midget gentleman
Loving mother
Faithful wife
Wilderness camp director
Missionary to the children of Cabo San Lucas, Baja, Mexico
Professional stylist to Christian recording star, Virginia Hill
Devoted coach of the high school girl’s track team
Stephen’s Ministry counselor
Avid cross country skier and able canoeist
Licensed real estate professional
Amazing and forgiving friend…

We don’t see each other often because of our crazy schedules, but Mother Goose is all in favor of a good texting session. Just last Saturday we brought each other to tears of joy and incontinence with the following text conversation. The cell phone of Mother Goose sometimes predicts what she wants to say — with hilarious results. By the way, we were attempting to encourage one another with some paraphrased thoughts from God’s Word…

Jane: Hey sweet dear Mother Goose…hope u r doing well! Sorry for the late response…..am working 3 jobs lately…LOTS of hours…coming to an end soon! Luv u!
MG: Oh precious friend…let the joy of the Lord be your strength
Jane: Oh ya! He is sew faithful!!! ๐Ÿ™‚
MG: His mercies r new every morning!
Jane: Shelter in the time of need!
MG: By his grace I can leap over the wall
Jane: Praise the Lord, I heard His call
MG: He rejoices over us, singing love dongs
MG: Ha ha songs
Jane: wat r love dongs?
MG: I’m laughing so hard, tears
Jane: lol!….ouch!
MG: Kum BA yahoo my lord
MG: OMG hilarious
Jane: Tears…!!!!!! Wetting pants now!
MG: Thx for the laughs honey
Jane: U too!
MG: Love u Jane Marie dear
Jane: ๐Ÿ˜€

Overjoyed with Jane.

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bunn
    May 26, 2012 @ 12:17:32

    Oh you 2 r hilarious!!
    And Jane is a precious friend indeed!!

    Reply

    • Natalie
      May 27, 2012 @ 06:39:33

      Bunn, you KNOW how hilarious the predictive texts can be… I hope that Jane reads this little story — she’s so darn busy all the time…

      Reply

  2. Dianna
    May 26, 2012 @ 14:22:11

    What a sweet, precious find you’ve found! I’m glad her pearl earring wasn’t lost forever. Those txt msgs can get intrsting! My son and I txt all the time! Enjoy your weekend, Mother Goose!

    Reply

  3. Dianna
    May 26, 2012 @ 14:22:46

    ***OOOPS!!! Make that “What a sweet, precious FRIEND you’ve found”!! And that wasn’t even auto-correct – that was an out and out data entry error!

    Reply

    • Natalie
      May 27, 2012 @ 06:40:57

      My phone would have probably predicted I’d say “fiend” instead of “friend” — my phone thinks it knows everything… I hope your weekend is all good, Dianna. Thanks for stopping over!

      Reply

  4. Three Well Beings
    May 27, 2012 @ 23:34:31

    Very sweet friendship! I loved this. I know what you mean about meeting someone and knowing that they have the same spiritual language and love of Christ. And yes, auto-correct is not my friend. I actually sent a good friend a very vulgar text not long ago…I was reading it back much later and couldn’t believe what I’d said. Well, it wasn’t really what I said, but the little auto-correct gremlin phonetically said some very disgusting things to my friend. Fortunately she knew better! And may I just say that the best friends make one another nearly pee their pants! That’s a given! Debra

    Reply

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