Some friends of ours were visiting for a few days. This is the couple who introduced my husband and me to each other some 40-plus years ago. I’ve known the wife since first grade, and the guys have known each other since working together during summer jobs in high school.
My husband and I got married exactly one year after our friends did, and we were all in each other’s wedding parties. For many years we celebrated our anniversaries together. We often went camping together, even after our kids were born and life got busier and more complicated.
We didn’t see as much of each other after my husband’s job took us from the Chicago area, where we were all born and raised, to Roanoke, Virginia, and then to other parts of the country. We still touched base every once in a while, and included family updates in birthday, anniversary, and Christmas cards. But we saw each other only occasionally during quick trips back home.
It was a special joy for us to have a few days together with no serious plans or commitments – other than to enjoy each other’s company, update each other more thoroughly on family events and activities, and reminisce.
We gave them a driving tour of the area we now call home, and a boating tour of the lake. We introduced them to our new favorite restaurant, and shared leisurely meals at home on our deck. We weathered one nasty thunderstorm, and spent several evenings listening to nature’s music as we watched the trees turn to silhouettes against the nighttime sky.
It’s understandable that many of our conversations eventually wound around to, “How could 40 years have gone by?” Obviously, even asking the question means we’ve all reached a certain age. And when – during our last breakfast together before they hit the road to head back home – we found ourselves comparing notes on what medications and vitamin supplements each of us was taking, we realized we’ve definitely crossed over into the land of “a certain age.”
That’s fine by us, though. When you have friends who have shared a good portion of life’s journey with you, when you can laugh at the milestones and memories, and when you can still finish each other’s sentences and fill in the gaps in each other’s stories, you have a treasure worth savoring.
And we do.
July 28, 2017
©Betty Liedtke, 2017
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