Hats Off to Clydell

I had the pleasure and privilege of attending a fabulous 60th birthday celebration today.
The birthday "girl" is my good friend, Clydell Clark.

Clydell and I first met at a women's Bible study in the early fall of 2004. I had lived in Murfreesboro for a year and I was constantly meeting new people. But the day I met Clydell, I remember telling John that evening, "I made a really good friend today. There is something so special about her. We had an immediate connection and I just know that I have made a new lifelong friend." Although I have been blessed to feel that way about more than my share of friends, you don't feel that way about every single person you meet. And it's a unique blessing every time it happens.

Clydell and I became instantly close. And we've been friends now for six years. It feels like I have known her all my life. But some of the guests at her birthday party have known her all her life ~ or since high school. So I was feeling thankful to be a part of her celebration.

Clydell throws a great party. She makes it look easy. So it was only natural that she would host her own 60th birthday celebration. I know it was her party, but it felt more like a party she gave for all of us! If you know her, you know exactly what I mean.

The theme of the party was "Hats Off to Clydell" and the invitation said to wear a hat. I am not a hat person. If I wear a hat very long, it gives me a headache. And it also gives me "hat hair" for the rest of the day. So a few of us passed on wearing hats (not just me). But everyone who did wear a hat looked beautiful. You would have thought we were on our way to the Easter Parade or the Kentucky Derby.

Above: My friends, Susan Moss and Connie Tedder
(I met both Susan and Connie through Clydell.)

After eating and socializing, there were several tributes to Clydell. Old friends and family members told some funny stories and shared their love and affection for my sweet friend. I could definitely tell that any friend of Clydell's would easily be a friend of mine.

I laughed out loud when one "old friend" said that she often does not return Clydell's calls because she knows they will be talking on the phone for two hours. And then the time they agreed to limit their conversation to fifteen minutes, they wound up talking for THREE hours. I told a friend next to me, "That's why I would rather go to lunch than talk on the phone." Clydell is one of those friends that I have three hour lunches with. But that isn't unusual for either of us. In many ways, we are like peas in a pod. We share many similar personality traits. I suppose that is one of the reasons we were instant friends. I just can't imagine my life without Clydell's friendship! I can't imagine my life without any of my Murfreesboro friends!

Not only am I thankful for Clydell's friendship, but I am thankful for the friends God has blessed me with through Clydell. The first day I met her she invited me to go to lunch (after Bible study) with her "lunch bunch" pals. They have been going to lunch on Wednesdays for almost twenty years now. And last fall, Clydell invited me to a new Bible study group where I made even more great friends. I probably have close to fifteen friends that I might not have had the opportunity to know if it hadn't been for my friendship with Clydell.
Above: The Lunch Bunch
(Susan, Martha, Marilyn, Clydell, Katherine and Annette)

Below: More of my Bible study friends
(Suzan, Barbara and Judy)

Even though today was Clydell's day,
I was thinking about how blessed
I WAS to share it!

God is so good.   

Thank you, Clydell, for enriching my life in so many ways. I love you.

Happy 60th, Girlfriend!
You sure don't look 60!    


suezquesteen said…
Couldn't have said a word of it better myself. It's such a pleasure to know you and be your friend, Shari. I do love you.
Shari said…
The feeling is completely mutual, Susan, and I DO love you too! I have since the first time I met you. And you took such great pictures of everyone at the party. Of course, it didn't hurt that we were all having such a great time and it showed!

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