Monday, May 28, 2007

Dear Friends-Hello Again!

Holiday weekends can be packed events, with family get-togethers or other celebrations. The past couple Memorial Day weekends have also been layered with out of town visitors, as it's the perfect time to draw those extra days off out into an extended trip. Two years ago T's best friend H and wife D travelled from San Antonio TX to visit, and my childhood friend L came from Ohio (now she lives closer, in Chicago). Here we are, at that time.

This year, we had the college reunion activities, then L came for another visit, staying for part of it with my other closest childhood friend, M. We managed to squeeze in a visit, as they graciously came over to our house.

As I say, M & L are my closest childhood friends, since we were about 8 years old. Started with school, Girl Scouts, church. My dad coached the Park District softball team, and if I was on the same team with one of them, we'd of course play the other's team. In high school we walked to school every day together. Sharing sleepovers, multiple crushes, supporting each others' sporting events (L was very good at field hockey and badminton, M & I played softball), hearing about L's camp adventures (her true passion in life), and OK a little studying. Endless hours sitting watching TV at M's house at the kitchen table, listening to her mom laugh loudly about everything in her endearing way. Rusty the dog barking incessantly! Big Red, L's dog, who so longed to run. I remember the time that I discovered him in my neighborhood (she lived maybe 1/2 mile away. As I recall, it was raining, and I managed to grab hold of his collar. He was SOO strong. I wasn't very comfortable or knowledgeable about dogs, yet miraculously I managed to get him back home (OK, really he dragged me). I was practically in tears by the time I reached her house.

M & I went to St. Olaf, and L went off to the University of Iowa. After that, we went our separate ways, starting, then nurturing, our careers & families, but always staying in touch. L always the furthest away, living in Boston, OH, now Chicago. I lived in Iowa, then MN. M in MN. L is fantastic at keeping up friendships -- these things are very important to her. She's like the glue that binds together her cherished relationships.

The years have FLOWN by.

When M's daughter E graduated from high school a couple years ago and they celebrated with an open house, I was delighted to find that M's parents, aunt, brother and their families were there! What a blast! We took this photo, and I'm so glad that we did, as tragically, M's mom died two years ago. She has her eyes closed, but never mind.

This is my theme of the last few days (see the post about my college reunion), but I'm still thrilled at how fun it is to connect and re-connect. People like L really make an effort to do this. I need to do better...

"The better part of one's life consists of his friendships."
- Abraham Lincoln