Two years ago, family needs found several high school chums back in our hometown of Pryor Creek, Oklahoma. We got together, had some laughs, and said, "We really need to get together sometime."
Last month, I realized it had been two years since that sentiment was shared. And we had done nothing to act upon it.
I secured the family home in the Colorado mountains, sent an email invitation to four high school chums (one of which abhors the word chum, but this is my blog, and I like it.) Within twelve hours, all had RSVP'd with a hearty YES! They would come. Two were to fly in one, lives within the Colorado region, and one wanted to drive up from southern Texas. I would arrive a few days before the weekend, to get the family home in comfy atmosphere - groceries, etc.
Well. As I arrived in Denver, chum Sarah called me: "Have you seen the news?!!"
"No, what's up?"
"There are avalanches closing I-70 between Frisco (our exit) and Vail!"
Uh-oh. I did a quick re-think of the weekend. I opted for unplanned Plan B: Take a VRBO in Denver - specifically, the VRBO we had used two years ago for daughter Gillian's wedding weekend. I knew the house, I knew the neighborhood. Boom! Done deal.
What transpired was the most amazing, fun, and laughter-filled weekend. How did we friends let forty years slip by? True, we were all separated by geography. And Senior '78 came way before PCs, email, and smart phones. (Ouch; I did get a blistering this weekend because I am still carrying a flip phone and do not text.) But the sweet thing was, that we picked up exactly where we had left off, some of us in high school, and some of us kept up through college. Lisa & I backpacked through Europe our last year of college - I from Oklahoma State, and she from Georgetown. Melissa and I kept up through OSU years, and sent a few notes back & forth through my first year at motherhood. Denise is beautiful, and she organizes two beauty pageants in Oklahoma each year. She was diagnosed with Parkinson's this year. What?! But, true to her teen years, her wit and spice only made us laugh when the Parkinson's reared its head that weekend. Sarah and I have kept in touch, year in and year out, for fifty-nine years. Amazing. Sometimes we are each other's ballast for what life has dealt to us.
Each and every one of these chums (sorry, Sarah), are funny, and smart, and worldly. Even though Melissa's family lived across the street from us early on, and we were playmates since forever, I did not know that she was adopted until I was an adult. We caught up sometime after our college years, and I mentioned that to her - that I had no idea she was adopted. "Trish, how could you not have known? I'm Native American. My parents and brother (nine years older) all look Irish!" I countered that I was #5 child in our family, a towhead among dark brunettes. Genetics, apparently, never was a thought process in my head.
What a fun weekend. That's all I can say. We are forty years older. But we still love each other, and celebrate each other. How sweet is that?