The best kind of friend

The back porch of the Nocking Point, my parents' lakefront cabin, in May 2003

The back porch of the Nocking Point, my parents’ lakefront cabin, in May 2003

“The best kind of friend is the one you could sit on a porch with, never saying a word, and walk away feeling like that was the best conversation you’ve had.” — Author Unknown

As much as I enjoy talking (OK, no wisecracks here) I have to admit that an amiable silence is also one of the benefits of close friendship and love.  With the people we feel closest to, we never need to force conversation.  Often we know, or can make a good guess, what the other person is thinking.  Sometimes we even say the same thing at the same time.  But when we are comfortable with someone, just being with them is enough.

During late childhood and early adolescence, my friend Beth and I used to read different books silently together for hours, especially in summertime.  We’d go to the library and check out our maximum number of books, then just sit, read, and swap books when we finished.  When Beth’s friend Joyce would visit from Ohio in the summer, she would join us for the book reading and swapping.   Although we often discussed books with enthusiasm, that wasn’t always necessary.  The shared enjoyment of being lost in a book was enough.

During the hottest days of the year, I hope you will find time to be a bit lazy and enjoy sitting on a porch some cool evening with someone you like or love.  Iced tea, books, magazines or conversation are optional extras.  May your summer included at least a few of these memorable moments of silent conversation!


  1. Ryan

    Great photo! We were just there for the 4th. I love living only 5 hours from the cabin.
    We pray for yall constantly, Gia.

    • Thanks, Ryan. We really need and appreciate the prayers. I’m so happy you live close enough to the Nocking Point to be able to visit often! Something tells me your kids will become great fans of the jet skis!

  2. oh yes, those are the best kind of friends. on sunday i picked coffee cherries with two friends, and we enjoyed basking in the solitude of nature and exchanged few words.

    like old times, your post arrived just as i was heading for slumber. good night for me, and good morning for you!


    • Picking coffee cherries sounds like fun, especially with friends. Thanks so much for being here!

  3. That comfortable silence together is a treasure!

    • Yes, it is. Sometimes I think our world would be so much calmer and healthier if we had more places of silence. They are few and far between anymore.

  4. Carolyn

    I’m waiting for the cool days to return so I can use my porch again. We have had some very hot days. I got my report on my marker yesterday and it was great news. I went from a 13 down to 1 and they will see me again in 3 months. Right now my problem is my eyes, will it ever stop, I have double vision again. Dr. doesn’t think it is the Graves, I will have a CTscan tomorrow and then he wants me to see the Dr. that did surgery on my eye in 1998. They put in a new prism to take out most of the double vision. I can do okay with it. Now, how are you all doing? I hope that Jeff is better each day. Better close. Hugs and love to all.

    • Carolyn, I am so thrilled about your test results! I have been asking the doctors to test Jeff’s again; I am getting nervous that his treatment has been postponed so long due to all the complications (I’ll send you an email with details, but he does seem to be getting better.) We’ve had a rough day here today; spent most of it in the ER due to me having very severe attack of something (doctor thinks maybe e coli or salmonella). I’m home now and on meds, hopefully will be OK soon. Re: your message and mine, as Roseanna Roseanadana used to say, “It’s always something!” Thanks for keeping us posted! 🙂

  5. Fran Kettren

    Just reading your words made me long to relax on my porch. Chores will get accomplished quickly today so Ladd and I can enjoy our porch and books later. Thank you for always providing comforting words.

    • You’re welcome Fran, I’m so glad you enjoy the blog!

  6. merry

    Ahhh, Julia, my kind of friend!! :}

  7. What a beautiful porch!! Wish I was there. I miss my time to read. I hardly make time for it anymore. I almost let my library card lapse but Stephen encouraged me to renew so I did do that. Hoping we can be silent together soon. Love you all.

    • Hey Amy I’d better bring a book otherwise I’d never manage to stay silent with you, especially with all the catching up we have to do! If you decide to try audiobooks again they have a lot more in Apple format now. I’d get very little reading done if not for unabridged audiobooks!

      • I have decided to start going to the library on my lunch. I need the break from the office. I hope I don’t forget to go back to work. 🙂

        • Great idea! I used to do that myself sometimes during the days I was working full time. I have a PWC library card among my vast collection, and the branches I’ve been to are impressive. I hope you are near a good one, although you are right about needing a time limit. I always stay too long in the library. It’s a great getaway though, my mind so loves flitting from one interesting world to another as I browse the stacks.

  8. Many enjoyable times were spent at the “Nocking Point” with the Captain, Eric, and Al. Wonderful memories, enjoying a special camaraderie only hunters know. I have been privileged to be an “extended” part of your family and I have always cherished that blessing.

    • Don, I will always be grateful for your being part of our family also. You and Al brightened so many days for my friends and me with your zany humor. I used to tell people, “who needs Wayne and Garth when you have Al and Don?” Thanks so much for visiting here and staying in touch!

    • Capt. Donbuck – Bowhunt with me this Fall, just for old time’s sake.

      • Remember how Daddy’s 4-runner used to have a car tag that said “Bowhunter?” Drew was a little kid at the time and he thought that was the car’s name. He used to talk about wanting to ride in the Bowhunter. 🙂

  9. Sheila

    Julia, that tranquil setting looks so conducive to saying nothing and listening, if only to nature’s sounds. I’m so sorry that you’re sick. I hope and pray those meds kick in quickly and that you’ll feel better tomorrow. I can imagine that you said, ” But I can’t be sick!”
    I so enjoyed your blog today. I continue to pray for y’all. Feel better….Sheila

    • Thanks so much, Sheila, I am feeling WAY better than I was yesterday at this time! Eric and his family own The Nocking Point now that Mama and Daddy are no longer able to go there. That’s where his family does their camping, similar to the special spot you and Bill enjoy. We are all blessed to have places to get away from it all! We really appreciate your prayers.

  10. Beth

    I remember those times of talking, reading and silence as if it were yesterday. I wouldn’t be surprised to discover a few scars on my elbows are actually dents from the yellow shag carpet in your room. A truly wonderful time to recall and treasure. Thanks for this post. I’m off to my reading place. 🙂

    • Beth, that’s hilarious about the shag carpet. That room was so GROOVY, wasn’t it? Seriously, it would LIGHT UP every morning when the sun shone in, and I needed the brightness to help me get going. I wish I had taken more pictures in there. But what’s even funnier is that when I picture those times, I mostly remember your home on Barrow Place. Wonderful memories indeed. Happy reading!

      • Beth

        Your room made such an impression on me! It was bright and cheerful and I loved it. Our guest room is a bright green with yellow accents 🙂 GROOVY is making a come back! 🍄

        • I love it! Now if I could just find that old Peter Max poster…


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