Friends, Pals, Chums, Amigos . . .

There I was the other afternoon, walking with my friend Gene along the streets of central Philadelphia, both before and after we ate lunch at Black Sheep, a cozy, wood-paneled pub. The skies were massed with clouds pre-lunch, but no rain was falling. After our repast, however, water began to enter the picture.

A few minutes after we left Black Sheep, as a couple of raindrops clunked us on the head, I decided that I’d try to turn the post-lunch segment of our stroll around town into a blog piece. I’d covered Philadelphia from all sorts of angles for the publication that you’re now gazing at, but never from a rainy one. It was a natural! Visions of an impressionistic, watery essay began to float in my head.

The couple of raindrops soon turned into a drizzle. And then the rain’s pace picked up, so that 20 minutes later we were getting noticeably wet. Tough, dauntless guys that we are, though, we smirked at the meteorological conditions, refusing to protect ourselves (Gene didn’t open his umbrella, and I, who was sans umbrella, didn’t raise my coat’s hood). We continued what we’ve always enjoyed doing together: wandering around, casually looking at this and that, and talking about a mishmash of things.

On Chestnut Street we admired the Dolce Carini pizza parlor and Maxamillion’s barber shop, and were about to extend our westward journey along Chestnut when I noticed a bus approaching. It was heading north on 20th Street. “Does that bus go to your neighborhood?” I asked Gene, a Philadelphian. He answered in the affirmative. “Listen,” I then said, “I know that we’re tough and dauntless, but possibly it wouldn’t be a bad idea if you climbed aboard.” He did.

The bus that my friend boarded

My gloves were waterlogged by this time and my hair had become a soggy mess. Yet, I persevered. Strolling around, I snapped a few more pictures with my iPhone and dodged a few puddles. But when my phone’s battery conked out a minute later, I said the following to myself: “F*ck it, this f*cking story will have to wait for another rainy day.” Nicely drenched, I pulled the hood over my head and strode to Suburban Station, from which I caught a train back to the sleepy town in the burbs that I call home.

If you’ve made it this far with me, I’ll now test your patience by changing the subject almost entirely. That’s because, later that night, I decided that a story about friends, not one built around a rainy day, should have been my aim from the start. I came to that conclusion when I realized that the afternoon in Philadelphia with Gene had been my fifth social engagement in December. For me, that’s a lot. Those get-togethers quietly had pushed friendship to the front of my mind. And friendship, as we know, is an important topic, one that — my bad! — I’ve barely if ever written about before. But, let me add, some of my photographic efforts from rainy Philadelphia adorn this story nonetheless. I’m a believer in waste not!

Friends, pals, chums, amigos . . .  Whatever term you employ, they are valuable assets, ones to appreciate and cultivate. Gene and I had had a fine time together earlier in the day, as always has been the case in the 10 years that we’ve known each other. I’m fortunate to have him as a friend. And fortunate because there is a medium-size bunch of others, both female and male, with whom I get along swimmingly and meet on a pretty regular basis, sometimes with my wife Sandy, sometimes by myself. And fortunate because of the several more individuals that I see only very occasionally, due to the thousands of miles separating us, but with whom I’m oh so tight.

It wasn’t always this way. A social butterfly in elementary school, friendships somehow became harder and harder for me to maintain and establish when I hit the age of 12 or so. And high school? Fuhgeddaboudit. I had about 100 times more pimples than good friends during the four years I spent in high school, an institution that I detested.

Fortunately, my friendship situation took a nice upswing while in college, and stayed almost at that level over the next 40 years. I wasn’t awash in friends, but I was doing okay. And during the last 12 years, an era that last year saw me enter the Holy Shit, Am I Really This Old? septuagenarian club, much to my amazement several new friends have come my way. Not exactly a miracle, but pretty damn close to one.

I’m not someone from whose mouth pearls of wisdom flow like a mountain stream. But occasionally I’m able to offer up good advice or insights. Here then is what I’ll say about friends: “You can’t have too many of them.” They help make our lives better, those folks we are on similar wavelengths with, can rely on, and whom we also respect. In fact, having plenty of friends — true friends — is a crucial key to a fulfilling, well-balanced life. (And yes, relatives absolutely can be true friends. But, for the purposes of this article, I’m sticking to the non-relative variety.)

“Hey,” I hear one or two smartasses say, “all of that is a big DUH. It’s obvious!

And so it is. Still, I for one never really began thinking about the importance of friendships until fairly recent years. I wish that someone had taken me aside decades ago, when I was in my early 20s, say, and laid out the friendship gospel for me. Maybe I’d have paid attention. Maybe I’d have made an effort to learn how to make friends more easily and to add even a few more of them to my little world. More is better.

I’ve heard Baby Boomers, of which I of course am one, say that making new friends at their age is kind of difficult. But I tend to think that this is true for millions upon millions at any age. Hell, life’s a challenge, and forging good friendships is part of the challenge. It takes effort. It takes discipline. And it decidedly might take big strokes of luck. When the mission is accomplished though, the payoff is sweet. Friends, along with some other key ingredients (strong family ties; open-mindedness; a charitable heart), are where it’s at.

(As I always say, please don’t be shy about adding your comments or about sharing this essay.)

(If you click on any photo, a larger image will open in a separate window.)

114 thoughts on “Friends, Pals, Chums, Amigos . . .

  1. George December 28, 2018 / 12:44 am

    The importance of friendships can never be overstated. That sense of connection reminds us we’re not alone.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Lynette d'Arty-Cross December 28, 2018 / 1:55 am

    Well said! 🙂
    I have four good friends – three I’ve known for many years, the fourth has been a lovely, unexpected, recent surprise.
    I am not very gregarious and have never been much of a partier, but my friends are extremely important, like family, really.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2018 / 11:37 am

      I agree. Good friends definitely can be like family. It’s great to have friends that are on that level.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Paddy Tobin December 28, 2018 / 4:28 am

    Now, you make me think. It is the end of another year, a traditional time for reappraisal, reassessment and forward planning – what will we change (or like to change – we are not always successful so let’s not be too positive!) for the New Year. Re friendships: I have something of a Teflon quality about my personality – are you familiar with Teflon, that non-stick coating on cooking pots and pans? I have passed through life being friendly with people, with the people with whom I have worked and those I have met in various groups where i was involved. However, they moved on or I moved on and that was the end of it. Relationships with family, cousins etc, is similar: distance does not make my heart grow fonder, simply forgetful and disinterested. With passing years I am less and less inclined to get involved in social occasions. Mind you, I get on very well with myself and am perfectly comfortable in my own company.

    I have enjoyed reading your article and think it is wonderful that you have such good friendships. It obviously adds to your life as I imagine you add to the lives of your friends. On the other hand, I don’t recommend getting wet in the rain!

    Many thanks for your blogs over the past while and I look forward to many more – and a Happy New Year to you and yours.

    P. S. You might add “A chairde” to your title greetings, if you wished.

    Slán agus beannacht, Athbhlian faoi shéan ‘s faoi mhaise dhuitse ‘s dod’ theaghlach uilig. Go mbeirimid beo ag an am seo arís!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2018 / 11:41 am

      Paddy, many thanks for expanding the conversation. It sounds as if you are very happy within your own skin, and ultimately that’s what counts. I return the Happy New Year wishes to you and your family. See ya —

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Mahvish (towhomitmayconcern) December 28, 2018 / 8:06 am

    I have always had a difficult time connecting with people. As you said, making friends can be hard at any age. I can make acquaintances pretty quick but I’m wary of getting to close to new people. However, I realize now that I have kids that it’s important to have a few close friends to lean on.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. greenpete58 December 28, 2018 / 8:06 am

    Great essay, Neil. I agree that “more is better,” but only as long as they’re true. I’m a loner by choice and only have a few “true” friends, but they tolerate my warts, and I theirs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2018 / 11:48 am

      A few true friends are all that’s needed! Have a great day and a happy new year, Pete. Be seeing you —

      Liked by 1 person

  6. joyce hamilton December 28, 2018 / 8:22 am

    Beautiful article ! I agree that it is important to have friends l appreciate all of my friends and acquaintances.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2018 / 11:48 am

      Joyce, you have many more friends than most people. Very admirable!


  7. sniderjerry December 28, 2018 / 8:35 am

    Hello Neil, Great essay. And with the magic of the internet I am so glad to have you as a friend. Have a great day. Jerry

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2018 / 11:50 am

      We’re pals, even though we’ve never met in person. Here’s to an excellent 2019 for you and yours.


  8. Alyson December 28, 2018 / 9:33 am

    So true Neil and like you I have had a fair few social engagements with old friends this month which have been a joy. When you’re having a bit of a tough time, like I was earlier this year, like the old saying goes, you find out who your true friends are. Mine were not found wanting and have been a great help – As for those who weren’t, might reappraise the effort I put into maintaining them as part of the circle, but difficult for some people to know what to say and do when times are tough so will cut them some slack. A lovely essay as ever Neil.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2018 / 11:52 am

      Alyson, I thank you for being a loyal reader. I appreciate that. I’ve probably wished you a happy new year already, but I’m doing it again. Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Alyson December 28, 2018 / 12:14 pm

        Yep – Happy New Year when it comes to you too Neil.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Laurie Graves December 28, 2018 / 9:49 am

    You bet! Wonderful post, and I like the way your piece progressed from walking in the rain with a friend to thoughts about friendship in general. And amen open-mindedness and a charitable heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2018 / 11:55 am

      Thanks, Laurie. I wasn’t sure how smoothly I made the transition within the story, so I’m glad to hear that you thought it went well. Bye till next time.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. David M Davis December 28, 2018 / 9:58 am

    I’m one of them too!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. C C Cedras December 28, 2018 / 10:27 am

    As always, an excellent and thought provoking essay, Neil — thank you. I’ve found that the friendships I’ve formed later in life are deeper and more satisfying — I’m not dedicated to my career anymore, so I’m better at it, honestly.

    The rain this season has been astonishing. I spent four hours and more than six miles of walking at Arlington National Cemetery for wreath laying day in a downpour that ended with nine inches of rain and the Potomac reaching flood levels. I’ve never been so wet outside of a bath or swimming situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2018 / 12:00 pm

      Glad you liked my essay, C C. Thanks for keeping up with my output. As for rain: I can’t remember a rainier year than 2018, here in southeast Pennsylvania. It’s pouring again today.

      Liked by 1 person

      • C C Cedras December 28, 2018 / 1:14 pm

        Here, too, just a few hours southwest of you — the birdbath is overflowing

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Debra December 28, 2018 / 10:37 am

    So glad to count you and Sandy as friends…even though sometimes you’re “all wet” as your blog acknowledges. See, as a friend you put up with my jokes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2018 / 12:01 pm

      Debra, you and Stan are among my pals. And as for your jokes, I like ’em!


  13. Les December 28, 2018 / 11:34 am

    Neil, walking in the streets of Philadelphia, is something I’ve thought of doing a number of times in the past. Since, I live only about a hour drive away here in Reading, I’ve sorta wanted to capture the back streets of Philly, but somewhat fear doing this. Philadelphia is not really the City of Brotherly Love once you get into some bad area’s. South Street is one place that I may get too. This is where some of our Rock & Roll artists of the 60’s came from. I have been to Independence Park 3 times so far. Philadelphia has much to offer. I’ll get there.

    As far as making new friends, I pretty much stay to myself. Not very outgoing. However, if someone new to me strikes up a conversation with me, I will always talk with him/her. I do enjoy making new friends. Never know what you might learn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2018 / 12:38 pm

      Hey there, Les. Much of Philly is worth exploring on foot. You might enjoy the Northern Liberties and Fishtown sections. Here’s another suggestion: Take a long walk northward on Kelly Drive, starting near the so-called Boathouse Row. Kelly Drive borders the Schuylkill River. That long stretch along the river is one of the most beautiful parts of the city. Thanks for dropping by my website. Much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Les December 28, 2018 / 4:57 pm

        I know where Kelly Drive is and the Boathouse Row. Just never stopped to take it all in. The Schyukill Expressway is a very bad road. I hate to travel it!


        • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2018 / 5:36 pm

          Maybe you can take a bus or train into Philadelphia. That would take away the stress of driving.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Les December 29, 2018 / 9:47 am

            Too expensive. driving is much cheaper.

            Liked by 1 person

  14. ckennedyhola December 28, 2018 / 11:59 am

    Thanks for the reminder about friendships. It’s one of my New Year’s resolutions this year–to step out from behind the computer screen and get out and meet new friends. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2018 / 12:40 pm

      It’s a good resolution, one that I’m going to try and keep too. Have a great rest of the week. Happy New Year to you and your family.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. eden baylee December 28, 2018 / 12:56 pm

    I’m fortunate to have many good friends , and they’ve come from different times in my life. It’s important to nurture relationships to keep them alive.

    That’s the simple truth of maintaining friendships.

    Wishing you a great few last days of 2018.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2018 / 1:28 pm

      “It’s important to nurture relationships to keep them alive.
      That’s the simple truth of maintaining friendships.”

      Absolutely true. You are totally right on the money about that.

      A very happy new year to you and yours!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. JT Twissel December 28, 2018 / 2:05 pm

    We don’t get together with friends as much as we used to when the kids were young. Some friends are busy traveling, some taking care of grandkids or elderly parents and some, like me, are pursuing lifelong dreams of writing or painting. But we keep in touch via social media. Happy New Years!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2018 / 3:07 pm

      Hi there, JT. Many thanks for adding your thoughts. A variety of perspectives on this subject have been added by you and other readers. I like that. Take care. Bye till next time —


  17. Glen available December 28, 2018 / 2:07 pm

    This friendship-themed post comes with a lot of good vibes Neil.

    Unfortunately, along with some of your other readers like Alyson, Mahvish, Paddy and Les my experience of friendships has been more mixed. To this extent I’ve come to somewhat reluctantly believe over the years in two adages –

    (1) Friends come and go but enemies last a lifetime
    (2) Keep a watch on your enemies but keep a closer watch on your friends.

    Despite the slightly mafia-sounding ring to these old sayings, there’s no disguising a cynical (or is it just adult realism) viewpoint at the heart of both. To be brutally honest, without even really trying the a great many adults I come into contact begin to grate on the nerves after anything more than a short time in their company. Sad but true (for me) And of the others, if a person who I’m compatible with on a friendship level isn’t prepared to put in at least something approaching a similar amount of effort to keep that friendship going, then whamo, unfortunately up in smoke goes another glorious ‘what might have been’.

    I’ve heard that in order to thrive the one ingredient all friendships need is FORCED, REGULAR CONTACT. Like back in Primary school! Remember those days? Back then friendships for all of us were based on innocent choices centred on the laws of personality attraction? These days work and family occupy the bulk of my time which is not to say I’m not on the lookout for personality types who I think could become friends.

    Sorry for what probably comes across as an anti-friendship tone in this comment Neil but I just wanted to put across the idea that, at least in my experience, despite the best of intentions friendships and the desire for friendship don’t always go according to plan. Which is certainly no great truth bomb on originality count I think it’s safe to say.

    On a completely unrelated note, if I was to think back over 2018 and try to bring to mind the post of yours that succeded in my view at striking the greatest cord, two little words come pretty fast to mind – paw paw! Yep, THAT was a goddam classic!

    Thankyou for providing such wonderful reading throughout the year and may your 2019 be filled with mutally satisfying friendships and the joys of excellent penmanship.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2018 / 3:15 pm

      Hey, thanks for the compliments, Glen. They make me feel good! As for what you have to say about friendship, I know that there’s a lot of truth in it. It’s far from easy to establish and maintain friendships, generally-speaking. But I think there’s no denying that good friendships enhance peoples’ lives. Bye till next time. I wish a Happy New Year to you and your family.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. andrewcferguson December 28, 2018 / 2:12 pm

    I found your essay inspiring on two counts, Neil. Firstly, it should get me off my backside when we’re over in Edinburgh to finally do a photo essay of Edinburgh’s South Side; but more importantly, it made me think about friendships.

    As someone else said, this time of year is one for reappraisal, and there’s a whole lot of reappraising going on, especially career-wise, right now. But the thing that gets me through the tough times is family, and friends. Tomorrow night I’m going to a gig, and one of the things that I’m really looking forward to about it is that I know four or five other people who are also going. One I count as a good friend from work, others I know through music in various degrees. One I’m in a band with.

    For me, it’s good to have concentric circles of friends of varying degrees of closeness, but when the chips are down, you know who your close friends are, because they’re the ones you call, and they’re the ones who return your call.

    Here’s to a friend-filled 2019!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2018 / 3:19 pm

      Andrew, I can tell from our contacts over the last few years that you’re a good guy and that you have plenty of pals because of that. Good luck with the career reappraising. I think you should buy a sturdy boat and sail around the globe! (or not).

      Liked by 2 people

  19. Pazlo December 28, 2018 / 4:20 pm

    I’m tempted to quote Mark Twain and say “The more I know of people, the more I like dogs.”
    However, you have painted a lovely picture of brotherly love from the city famous for such.

    Instead, I’ll quote Clarence, the wingless angel in “It’s A Wonderful Life”;

    “Remember, George; no man is a failure who has friends.”

    Peace and a prosperous New Year to you, Neil.


    Liked by 4 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2018 / 5:39 pm

      Paz, I thank you for stopping by. I like the way you worded your comments — they are good-hearted. All the best to you and yours.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Janet Sunderland December 28, 2018 / 7:29 pm

    You’ve pleased and inspired many friends – even if online – with this post. That’s a pretty friendly thing in itself. Cheers, Neil.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Steve Higgins December 28, 2018 / 8:29 pm

    Nice read and I’m very envious of the huge amount of comments you have generated. I have always had a nice group of friends but now I’m older I’m feeling the knock on effects of moving around a lot and leaving friends behind. The flip side is that St Anne’s-on-the-Sea is a lovely friendly place. I have a whole lot of acquaintances but friends, that’s another matter.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2018 / 8:47 pm

      Hey there, Steve. My prediction is that some of your acquaintances in your town will, over time, become your friends. If I haven’t already done so, let me wish a Happy New Year to you and your family. Take care —

      Liked by 1 person

      • Steve Higgins December 29, 2018 / 1:12 pm

        Thanks Neil, All the best for the new year to you and your family

        Liked by 1 person

  22. tanjabrittonwriter December 28, 2018 / 8:53 pm

    Long live our friendships, Neil. Contrary to the opinion expressed above, I can’t get enough of the pearls of wisdom gushing forth from your mouth like a raging river. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Gallivanta December 29, 2018 / 8:42 am

    Friendship is a many splendored thing, with many dimensions. And like any relationship it is not fixed. I would be lost without my friends. I like the way you celebrate and acknowledge friendship.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 29, 2018 / 10:47 am

      Hi there. Thanks for adding your thoughts. “I would be lost without my friends” — the same goes for me!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Cindy Frank December 29, 2018 / 9:39 am

    One of your loveliest posts, Neil! Warm wishes to you — and your good friends — for 2019.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 29, 2018 / 10:49 am

      Great to hear from you, Cindy. I hope that all is well. A very happy new year to you and yours. See ya —


  25. alhenry December 29, 2018 / 11:00 am

    Yes, friends are GOOD, and for me no friends are good-er than old friends, the folks who knew you when you could stay up all night and still make sense the next day. I have a handful of these–college chums–though they are halfway across the country. A year ago, in an unexpected but fortuitous google search of something else, I came across someone I believed to be my best bud from late elementary/junior high years, THE best friend of my childhood/adolescence. It turned out to be her, and though she’s on the west coast now and I’m on the east, it’s been a wonderful year of catching up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 29, 2018 / 2:21 pm

      Right, old friends have stood the test of time. I have a few friends from my youth, and I’m very glad for that.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. tylerus December 29, 2018 / 12:15 pm

    A lovely post. Here’s to friendship. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  27. selizabryangmailcom December 29, 2018 / 1:34 pm

    My husband’s father told him the only people he could count on for true friends were his parents and his wife (usually). (Before he met me, of course!) 🙂

    I think I get what he was saying but still think, ultimately, he was being fairly cynical.

    It’s a good way to *protect* yourself, but I do think you miss out on a larger kaleidoscope of the available colors life has to offer.

    Thanks for your uplifting thoughts, and happy new year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 29, 2018 / 2:25 pm

      “It’s a good way to *protect* yourself, but I do think you miss out on a larger kaleidoscope of the available colors life has to offer.”

      I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for widening the discussion. A very happy new year to you and your family, Stacey.


  28. Helen Devries December 29, 2018 / 2:43 pm

    We left the U.K. for France and then, twenty years later, for Costa Rica where we have lived for ten years. The friends we made in Europe are still our friends…but are dropping off their perches at too rapid a rate….and we have new friends here, particularly among young people, who really brighten our lives. I never thought we would have friends again with whom to collapse into laughter over silly jokes…but here they are!
    Happy New Year to you…and enjoy your friendships.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 29, 2018 / 4:48 pm

      That’s great that you’ve bonded with younger people. You’re in a good place, in more ways than one.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Ann Coleman December 29, 2018 / 2:50 pm

    I agree. Friends make life so much better, but making and keeping good friends is work, which is why not everyone is able to have a nice circle of friends. The older I get, the more I value relationships…friendships…over anything material. And although I have made many dear friends in recent years (you’re right about that too: no one is ever too old to make new friends), I find that lifelong friends are especially nice. Those memories are priceless!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 29, 2018 / 4:50 pm

      Hi Ann. Yeah, there’s a lot to be said for friendships that have a long, common history. Those friendships are road-tested!

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Isabelle December 29, 2018 / 6:28 pm

    I fully agree with you Neil. Good frendships are a treasure in our life. I don’t have many but a few good friends who I know I can trust and share whatever I have in my head and heart. I enjoyed your post very much! Isabelle

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 29, 2018 / 9:32 pm

      Thanks, as always, for keeping up with my output, Isabelle.. A very Happy New Year to you and your family.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. jeanleesworld December 30, 2018 / 6:35 am

    HA! I have a friend from college who does the exact same thing with me–we wander the town and talk. It’s the best way to pass a day. The friendships I’ve managed to maintain are almost all college period, a few high school period. I sucked at friend stuff in elementary school. 😦 But that’s okay, because the friends I have now are awesome, and they are worth the upkeep. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 30, 2018 / 10:07 am

      Hey, Jean. Wandering around with a friend (or friends) is definitely a great way to spend time. I’d like to do it more than I do. But often when I get together with people it’s at a restaurant, with no wandering involved!

      Liked by 1 person

      • jeanleesworld December 30, 2018 / 8:57 pm

        And too much eating and developing of the backache in those awful chairs. Gah!

        Liked by 1 person

  32. annika December 31, 2018 / 9:28 am

    Good friends are the best medicine! Happy New Year Neil!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Jacqui Murray December 31, 2018 / 10:40 am

    No one else could turn a rainstorm into opportunity. Not that I will follow your lead but I did enjoy your take on rain in our civilized world.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. pjlazos December 31, 2018 / 1:15 pm

    I have a group of friends from college and we still get together about half a dozen or more times a year plus go camping every Memorial Day even though we all live all over the place. It’s great to have friends. Happy New Year, Neil!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 31, 2018 / 2:38 pm

      A very happy new year to you and your family, Pam. Have fun tonight. My wife and I are going out with another couple tonight to see John Oliver. He’s at The Met (the newly-restored theater) in Philadelphia.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. EuGene Miller December 31, 2018 / 2:27 pm

    Hi folks.

    You should know that Neil and I are friends.
    I buy the drinks, and he borrows the money.

    But seriously folks —

    A friend is someone who helps you move your apartment.
    A good friend is someone who helps you move a body.

    But seriously folks —

    I’m very lucky to have Neil for a friend.

    Happy New Year in 2019 to Neil and Sandy,
    and to Neil’s fellow travelers in the world of blogging.

    – – – Gene

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Glen available December 31, 2018 / 3:10 pm

    This post is gonna crack the 100 mark for comments (so many of Neil’s posts do!) so we should all keep the thoughts coming on the subject of friendship. Neil, you have lit another wick and we your readers will indeed keep it burning ’till it can flame no more.

    For someone who writes such interesting, heartfelt posts, we owe you that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 1, 2019 / 7:40 am

      Glen, it’s really good of you to say that. I appreciate it a lot. A very Happy New Year to you and your family!

      Liked by 2 people

  37. Viv@Grief Happens January 1, 2019 / 11:25 am

    Beautiful post, Neil. I wish you the happiest 2019. Your posts are some of my very favorites. I look forward to catching up on them soon. Cheers to the new year. May it be full of friendships, good music, and new adventures. ~ Viv

    Liked by 1 person

  38. aprilswopegreene January 1, 2019 / 8:24 pm

    I couldn’t agree more, Neil! All so well said. Happiest of New Years to you and all your amigos—past, present, & future.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 1, 2019 / 9:20 pm

      Many thanks, April. I wish you and your family a fulfilling new year!


  39. Jina Bazzar January 3, 2019 / 5:14 am

    It’s the big DUH, Neil, but i for one, appreciate being reminded about the things we take for granted most times than not. I enjoyed reading about your stroll with your friend, and although i didn’t have more pimples than friends during high school, i lost contact with every single friend i had at that time, except for one -and that one is thousands upon thousands of miles away.
    Thanks for sharing this and reminding us how precious friendship is. and happy new year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 3, 2019 / 7:45 am

      Hi Jina. Yeah, friends help to improve the way the world goes round. It would be a lesser trip without them. See ya —

      Liked by 1 person

  40. roughwighting January 3, 2019 / 10:25 am

    My life would be black and white without friends. I’m so fortunate that instead, I live in a vivid, colorful world. Each of my friends adds to my rainbow of love. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Imelda January 5, 2019 / 10:37 am

    Your post reminded me of the good people I am fortunate to call friends. How I miss them so.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Imelda January 5, 2019 / 10:38 am

      And oh! Happy new year to you. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, Another Blogger January 5, 2019 / 11:42 am

        Here’s to a friend-filled 2019. Thanks for stopping by, Imelda. Happy New Year to you and yours!


  42. Chris January 6, 2019 / 6:28 am

    Enjoyed your post Neil. Getting out and about making new friends can be exhausting. Especially for someone like me who is introverted. Still It’s worth the effort because as you say friends make life more meaningful. We need people to share the good times and bad times

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 6, 2019 / 10:04 am

      Hello there, Chris. Thanks for stopping by. Like you say, it’s worth the effort to make and keep friends. It doesn’t always work out, but it does often enough.

      Liked by 1 person

  43. Victor Tribunsky January 17, 2019 / 7:10 am

    Some people need friends, some not.
    I know at least one man who don’t have friends, and his life is well balanced.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 17, 2019 / 8:34 am

      Hello Victor. I’d say that most people need friends. Life is lonely without them, for most.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Victor Tribunsky January 17, 2019 / 9:22 am

        Of course.

        Neil, please, correct a mistake in my comment: don’t to doesn’t. Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah, Another Blogger January 17, 2019 / 9:51 am

          I know from reading a few of your essays over the years that your grammer is excellent! See you —

          Liked by 1 person

  44. Stars On Flames January 29, 2019 / 12:24 pm

    Real friends (and I’m not talking about the BFF variety just any variety where they actually talk to and listen to you) seem hard to come by in an age of social media. Social media is supposed to be for communication but the art of talking in person has definitely dwindled. I was born in the 90’s and I’m saying that 👍 Keep the good friends though, always.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 29, 2019 / 3:56 pm

      Hey there. Many thanks for adding your thoughts. Yeah, friends are important to have — at any age.

      Liked by 1 person

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