July is a month full of birthdays – both of my brothers, my mom, and numerous friends all have birthdays coming up, but today I must write about a dear friend who made her first appearance in this world 26 years ago today.
I have known Tamren all my life - she is the friend I’ve known the longest, the sister I never had, and the best friend anyone could ask for. I think that we were destined to be best friends from the get-go…my dad went to school with her dad, her parents are good friends with my parents, and her brothers are the same age as mine.
Growing up, we were inseparable; I was always at her house or she was at mine and during the summer, we spent every day at the swimming pool. Throughout our 26 years, we have taken numerous trips, laughed a lot, cruised many country roads, and shared so many memories.
One of the many things that Tamren and I have in common is sports. Now I know what you’re thinking “here she goes with the sports stuff again”, but hey, growing up in Bucklin, sports is one of the only things you have as a kid! Nonetheless, back to the subject at hand – Tamren and I dabbled in just about every sport we could growing up and here are some of my best memories of each.
Swimming: Tamren and I spent every day, all day long, at the pool when we were kids. When we both were old enough we even tried our hand at lifeguarding, but I think in the end, we both realized that wasn’t the perfect job we expected it to be…especially after I crashed Joe’s bike off the diving board that one time.
Tennis: When we weren’t swimming, we often rode our bikes down to the tennis courts and hit a few balls around. We didn’t quite know the details of how the scoring worked in tennis, but from time to time, we would yell out “15-love” and call it good. We have never proclaimed to be Serena Williams or Anna Kournikova.
Cheerleading: Looking at us now, you would have never thought cheerleading would be our thing, but hey it was! I vividly remember us (as little kids) standing up on the far end of the bleachers behind the student section at ballgames doing the cheers right along with the high school cheerleaders. We attended all of the Mini Cheer Camps when we were little and we made the squad in both junior high and high school. What were we thinking?
Gymnastics: I think we both took formal lessons in this subject, but if I do say so myself, we honed our skills on the trampoline that sat in my back yard. We not only practiced our flips and jumps on that trampoline, but sharpened our ninja skills as well. Never did we know when my neighbor would come outside in the middle of the night cussing and waving what we thought to be a gun around. (*Not at us*)
Volleyball: Some of my best volleyball memories include Tamren. She was a setter and I was a hitter…we were the perfect pair on the court and we even had our own secret handshake. I remember attending camp in Salina with her and almost winning Sub-State with her, but one of my favorite memories with her was when we both went on a college visit together. She had already been at Garden one year, looking to make a move and hoping to play somewhere, and I was getting ready to graduate high school, looking to play somewhere as well. We loaded up in the car, headed east, and after touring the campus and meeting with the coach, it was time for us to workout with the team. We had both already determined this really wasn’t the place for either of us so after telling the coach we had no workout gear and that we already had some other plans…we hopped back in the car and made a beeline to the mall!
Basketball: Basketball was Tamren’s sport – she was our point guard and she was good. Like volleyball, I have so many good basketball memories with her, but I can’t help but think back to our MAYB days. We traveled around the state and down in Woodward, playing in super hot gyms throughout the day, and socializing with the boys at night!
Track: I was not much of a track star myself, but I have two good memories of Tamren and I running. The first was I think my freshman year, her sophomore year, and we qualified for Regionals in the 4x4. For some odd reason, we had some cheerleading event the same day. We ended up eating at El Charros after cheering, before running. We were almost late to warm-up and we were completely stuffed. Let's just say we definitely didn’t qualify for State that year. The second story I have of us in our running days was when we got on this workout kick one summer and decided we would run from town to her Grandma’s house, about 3-4 miles of pure sand and hills. By the time we got home it was dark and I don't know about her parents, but mine were worried.
I could go on all day about stories and memories with Tamren – she is a great friend and I’m not sure what I would do without her. We may not live just down the street from each other or see each other every day, but we seem to pick up just where we left off every time we see each other.
Happy Birthday TK! Love ya!!