There was the sound of a lake boiling over on that day.
Everyone said just to sit still, but the thickening air got in my way.
So the hooks been baited now, yeah, the cheese is on the water.
Yeah, all the water's been cleansed of all impurities, but now it really doesn't matter.
Let's go! Let's go!
Yeah, Wisconsin bound.
~ song by The Mountain Goats
Today I am going to write of friends from my past when I was a young and naive wet behind the ear student in the USA, first time out of Malaysia.
When I was in Steven's Point, Wisconsin, I had some really good friends and many friends my memory now fails me. Today I am just cherishing and being grateful for the families and friends that I remember today. One day, my memory will come back and I will write about the others that I have missed out here.
They were my host parents. The Cooks are just amongst the most wonderful people I have met. They have taken me on trips including to their parents home. They have taught me how to care for a pet. They have taught me how to cook some basic food. They have cared for me and have opened their house and their hearts to me. I love them to bits and miss them a lot as I have not seen them in nearly 20 years now. I have stayed in their house many times and they have taught me many things about the American culture. I have carved pumpkins with them for Halloween and spent Christmas and Thanksgiving with them. I continue to keep in touch with them and thanks to Facebook and Email, do keep in touch more often but still less than I should. I used to call them occasionally and I think it has reached on of those times to call them again. I love them, I miss them, I am eternally grateful.
Cindy was my lecturer and I had the privilege of meeting the whole wonderful family. I worked with Cindy in the counselling center sort of as a career counsellor but more assisting the computer based guidance system. Cindy and her late husband were just wonderful people to have opened up their wonderful home to us. Their children at that time were young but wonderful little kids now all grown up. I am grateful and I will always have a special place in my heart for them. I am still in touch with her through Facebook and some email mostly.
Jim was among my best buddies and we spent a wonderful Thanksgiving together. Jim took me home for Thanksgiving once and I had to most heartwarming fabulous time with his family. We went to church as well as bowling. We went to the greyhound dog races where the mom even gave this poor student some money to bet and loose it all. I even for some time really liked his sister Ann. I am in touch with Jim through Facebook and just am filled with pure gratitude and love for his family and him.
Christy was among my best friends and her family, her father was a Physics professor who had taught in Malaysia. As such, Christy was among the few Caucasian friends I had that actually knew exactly where Malaysia was and where my birthplace Penang was and had actually even been here and studied in high school here. We went out on a few dates but it was just as mutual friends. I really liked her as a wonderful friend and I believe she appreciated me as a wonderful friend too. (OK OK I admit, I had the hots for her but we decided it was best to remain as friends and it was a wonderful friendship). The last I heard, she was married and living somewhere in a small town in Minnesota. I am not in touch with her and unfortunately have lost all contact with her. But would love to say hello if we ever meet as she did fill in a wonderful role as a friend, as someone who understood where I came from, and therefore, understood me.
Paul was among my best friends in Neale Hall. We had a blast for one semester and became really good friends. I also visited his home in Minnesota and also went to his parents cabin for one weekend where we had a Malibu Rum party. Paul was a wonderful guy and I do miss him. Once we got jobs in different halls, our relationship just grew apart and I have also been unable to find him in Facebook. I wish him the best in life and I have only respect for him and his family.
Ms K and Ms Sham
K and Sham were the only Asian friends I had. I coincidentally met K on the 1st day itself. Sham on the other hand I knew of before I went as my cousins friend. K was a shy quiet girl but by golly one of the best friends I had at that time. Sham was a wonderful wonderful person with a wonderful pure heart. Somehow, one way or another, they ended up renting the same house together and I often visited them when I was craving for Indian food. Of course there were times when I did cook for them although the will not remember. Both I love dearly, I wish them the best in US and hope one day I will meet them when I visit the country. I used to be very connected to Sham when she was back in Singapore, then we lost contact, and then now we have found each other on Facebook. I had lost contact with K for the longest time but also recently reconnected, all thanks to Sham for providing me the email address.
I am so grateful for all of you all above. I am sorry that I have not kept in touch all these many years. Some whom I have reconnected back. Please forgive me for my laziness, it is not an excuse. I love you all dearly and you are all so close to my heart. And I eternally thank you. God bless you all.
Take care and be well.