I (try to) subscribe to the notion that the universe gives you exactly what you need when you need it, and this weekend was evidence enough. A few of my close friends gathered at a cabin on Au Train Lake to spend the weekend floating, eating,
I see Anna and Allison pretty regularly--at least bi-weekly for pup walks, dinner and
As you would expect of friendships that bloomed in a small town, our four lives have overlapped in many ways: Allison and I went to kindergarten together and have many memories from 1989 and beyond (including playing with fire on New Year's Eve, 1992, right around the corner from where her parents were playing cards). Anna's sister, who joined us Saturday night, used to babysit Jackie as a child. Jackie and I belonged to the same church (I am a C-, I am a Ch-...) and youth group from kindergarten on. This culminated in an epicly ill-timed attempt at sneaking out at church camp....literally bumping into our Pastor on his nightly walk about 20 yards from the dorms. The only thing more uncomfortable than that moment was the time he brought it up in a sermon.
In high school, we four were all part of a group of two dozen or so girls who all hung out and did awesome things including but not limited to putting underwear over our clothes and doing the macarena, buying sheet-cake-sized Rice Krispie Treats from GFS for each slumber party, and driving to Family Video pre-driver's-license. (Seriously, who chooses Family Video as the destination for an illegal joyride?) Anna and I, along with three other friends, passed a notebook of notes between classes and had regular "dinner" parties consisting of penne, canned sauce and frozen daquiris. Four of us five still have regular email chains to keep in touch with life's milestones and mundanities. Allison and Jackie went on a "fake-ation" to Florida during spring break one year and "came back" with some awesome braids and a killer fake tan. (The rest of us were fooled for about an hour.) When Jackie's family moved after sophomore year, we took a few trips to see her and were able to stay in touch (read: throw an out-of-control party while her parents attended her grandfather's funeral). During college, Jackie, Anna and I interned in New York together. Our lives have weaved together in all sorts of fashions spanning more than 25 years--exhibiting the ebb and flow that friendships naturally embody when they survive from elementary school to college and beyond.
So clearly I think theses ladies are something special, which is why this was the perfect opportunity to cross off one of my 30 goals:
#12: Watch the sun rise and set consecutively with someone special.
While it sounds kind of romantic, when I wrote the list I wasn't setting that kind of goal. (How can you, really?)
The reason I added something so vague (see: "someone") to my list is that it just sounds so darn relaxing, doesn't it? No matter how that was played out, how could it go wrong? It turned out to be exactly what I needed--a little pause button during an over-scheduled summer during which *I* am pushed to the bottom of my to-do list.
As you'd expect from the equation of friends + dogs + food + sunshine, awesomeness ensued. Drinks were mixed, belly laughs were had, ideas were incubated, memory lane was walked, and life was paused, if only for 48 hours or so. There was some 6am sunrise/Olympics watching (GO PETE!), some midnight sauna career strategizing, some ex-boyfriend bashing, some dietary & digestive commiserating and encouragement (Jax: kombucha [comb-boo-cha] and quinoa [keen-wah] -- there's some links for you), some plan-hatching, some analyzing, and some celebrating. Tales of revenge-egging cars, prank-calls, and striking out douche bags at company picnics were recalled. We received a brief history of the global diamond industry, a training on spinal disc bulges and several gluten-free vegan cooking demonstrations.
There was not nearly as much debauchery as you would assume from reading those early memories--we must have matured over the years, though there was fire playing, midnight walks around the grounds and an illegal joyride of sorts. (No egging though.)
It's extremely humbling and grounding to be surrounded by people who knew you when you had braces, who know your family history, who talked you through your first big break-up, who have seen you both fall flat on your face and conquer the thing you never thought you could. Consider this one a big win for the roots.
Big thanks to Anna's generous client and Anna for making this weekend possible.
|Somethings you just know you can count on. Like Verizon wireless and good girlfriends.|
As the final light of the orange and yellow sunset ducked below the tree-lined horizon, I looked around at the happy faces of my three dear friends, reached down to give my tuckered out pup a squeeze, and I realized why I'd set this goal: I wanted at least one day in these busy few years to pass having savored each and every ray of light.