A couple of weeks before we left, the Ashcrafts invited us over to have dinner, watch the Fresno/Boise game and just hang out. It was wonderful to be able to spend some time like that with them one more time. I love this shot--Clint reading to the little girls. Kylie, who was so terribly, painfully shy as a baby and young toddler, was always comfortable in this house, with these people. She let Emily hold her. This was the first place, other than at home, that she dared wander from my side; when she was about 10 months old, still crying incessantly when left anywhere without me and clinging constantly to my side any time we left the house, she happily toddled off to play with other kids or sit with Clint and Emily. Maybe the Ashcrafts are magic--it sometimes felt that way. Humble, kind and so very much fun, they are some of my favorite people, too.
I realized after we left that I have no pictures of myself with the Tree girls, and very few pictures of them at all. Angie Meik and Emily Ashcraft are sisters, my closest friends in California these last few years, and I felt like their adopted little sister. They loved me so well, and I love that their husbands were Doug's closest friends, and we were all so at ease in each other's company. I miss them already. I miss that their youngest girls were Kylie's best friends. I miss Morgan's quiet insight in Sunday School. I miss Cotter's enthusiasm and help with the younger kids. You don't find friends like these very often.
The Joseph Smith quote has come back to me quite often lately:
“How good and glorious it has seemed unto me, to find pure and holy friends, who are faithful, just, and true, and whose hearts fail not; and whose knees are confirmed and do not falter… I hope I shall see [my friends] again, that I may toil for them, and administer to their comfort also. They shall not want a friend while I live; my heart shall love those, and my hands shall toil for those, who love and toil for me, and shall ever be found faithful to my friends."
If only I could get them and Montana all rolled together. . .