Pamela Stricker: A little help from my friends

Pamela Stricker: A little help from my friends

From left, Anita Workman, Dana Cochran and Pamela Stricker.

My mother recently connected with a friend of hers. Not just any friend, but one she had lost contact with for decades.

The two of them roomed together in Dayton where they both worked at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Mom was so excited to discover her long, lost friend. The amazing part of this story to me was how my almost-90-year-old mother found her.

“How did you find her?”

“I Googled her name.” My mother doing searches on the internet. Hmm.

She explained the tedious process of the search. She came up empty several times but was tenacious. She came across an obituary that gave her the clue to her friend’s married name.

Then, on to Facebook. She finally found the daughter on Facebook, sent her a message, and asked if she was the daughter of her friend. Nothing. No reply … until nearly a year later. She got a message from the daughter who confirmed to her that, indeed, it was her mother my mom was seeking. And, yes, she is still living and is now 93 years old. They have been catching up on the phone and having the time of their lives.

Friendships are like that. They come into our lives often for only a season, but remain such precious relationships. There are friends we will cherish for life, even though it may have only been a few years.

I have been blessed with so many sweet friendships. I have lived in so many different locations in my life, and preserving a good friendship has its challenges when geography separates.

Two very special friends, my BFFs, are Dana Cochran and Anita Workman. For nearly 20 years, we met at least monthly. Sometimes for breakfast, sometimes lunch, sometimes pedicures, sometimes a weekend at Dana’s lake house. I cannot tell you how important their friendship has been to me. We have wept, laughed, celebrated, prayed and shared life together. The encouragement and life support is priceless.

Since moving to Lima nearly a year ago, I have been lonely for my familiar friends — my tribe. I am working on new relationships, but it takes a while.

Here are a few necessary ingredients it takes to have a good friendship:

• Stay in touch. Don’t wait for someone else to call or write or text. Just do it.

• Be honest. Don’t be afraid to share who you really are. Share your struggles, your challenges, and they will feel free to do the same.

• Be intentional. Plan your “girlfriend” time into your busy schedule. Make it a priority.

• Support each other. Be there for each other when there is despair or when there is an event to celebrate.

Proverbs 27:9 says, “Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight, a sweet friendship refreshes the soul.” I love that! And it’s so true!

I have another dear friend, Kathy Plummer, who used to come and help me keep my house clean. Every time Kathy visited, she would come bearing the gift of her remarkable banana bread. I loved coming home to a clean house and a slice of banana bread.

Here’s Kathy’s Banana Bread recipe:


1 1/2 cups sugar

1 stick butter, softened

2 dollops sour cream

3 bananas, overly ripe (the blacker the better)

4 tablespoons any type of milk or buttermilk (I use half and half)

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (almond is also good)

3/4 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Using electric mixer, mix together sugar, butter and sour cream. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mash bananas and milk. Mix well with sour cream mixture.

Mix flour and baking soda and add to other mixture. Mix well. Add extract. Blend in walnuts, if you want.

Fill either 2 regular size loaf pans or 5 mini loaf pans, after greasing them with oil or baking spray. Foil pans work great, too.

Bake the larger pans 60-75 minutes, bake the smaller pans 40-50 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

Option: Right before putting pans in the oven, sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top of batter.

Now, go call that friend and make some plans together. And in the meantime … please pass the Salt!

Pamela Stricker


[email protected]

“I get by with a little help from my friends.”

— John Lennon

Salt Magazine

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