Summertime was coming to a lethargic close when it came to my attention that an old friend was going through a rough patch and could use a helping hand. Fact was, I had seen my friend at a class reunion a couple years before but, before that, hadn't been in close touch since high school. Oh, we'd emailed and did the social networking stuff, but that's not the same as spending time in the company of someone, heaven knows.
Life had high-jacked us; education, family and professions had waylaid any thoughts of reconnecting with former friends who didn't live within driving distance. And, even though family visits had brought us to within miles of one another, we hadn't known the others' whereabouts at the time.
But here it was, 50 years since high school, and, hey, what about taking some time to reconnect?
So, a few phone calls later, I boarded a plane and headed on down to the southernmost, eastern U.S. state for a singular reunion.
Here we are and above us are some of her flora
First, I had to get acquainted with the pups, as they are fondly referred to.
First was the big guy, Axel
and his smaller friend, Erin.
A Springer Spaniel, Erin loved to play and we played a couple times a day while I was visiting. Mostly toss and fetch kind of stuff, and she was really good at it, too. Axel was more of a walk around and sniff kind of fellow. No playing for him.
We spent a lot of time talking, my friend and I. We also watched a few movies, the first season of Breaking Bad, and went out to eat a few times enjoying the warm, tropical breezes as we did so.
We had appointments to keep, too, since my friend was recovering from a recent total hip replacement. I had brought my crocheting along, so I was never bored. To top the hip replacement, her marriage of 38 years had dissolved in a heap of smoldering ruin, so there was a meeting of a divorce support group that I drove her to and they kindly allowed me to sit in. I'd been through a divorce myself, many years before and got through it with the help of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, my kids and family lending their support. That and a lot of gardening. Nothing renews a damaged soul like digging, hoeing, sewing and weeding will, in my experience.
My week of rekindling the friendship we'd once enjoyed so many years ago couldn't have gone much better. The comrade I'd known was unchanged at heart. We found we enjoyed a lot of the same things, found the same things funny, liked the same actors and actresses, listened to similar music, and shared many opinions about world situations, although we didn't get into current events very much.
We had more to talk about than the world; our lives, our children, our loves, our failures and disappointments and our triumphs. 50 years is a long time to cover in a week, but we managed.
As I write this, a month or so has gone by since the visit and I look forward to the next one. I'm sure there were important things we forgot to mention. Also, I've since finished the entire series of Breaking Bad and we need to discuss that whole thing.