Tag Archives: friendship

Don’t Wait so Long

time flies

The last two days have been filled with mixed emotions. One of our best friend’s mom passed away.  Last night was her wake, and this morning was her funeral. Although she had been ill and it was expected, it is still difficult to lose a mom and I am so sad for all of them.

As I sat in the church, the same church where my mom’s funeral was, I got very weepy.  So many of the songs were sung at my mom’s funeral and although I miss her everyday, it was one of those days that made me miss her even more.

Her death brought many of our old friends together. Good friends. Long time friends. Occasions like this made me realize how long it has been since we all got together.  We always say it won’t be so long next time, but life often gets in the way.  Each time we say the same thing and promise to make it happen.   We try to have an annual Christmas brunch together with this group of friends and with the holidays around the corner, we are hoping to all meet up for a much less somber occasion.

Life really is too precious. Maybe my goal for the new year should be to really put more effort into making these get-togethers happen. It was so good to see all of them. All of us together in the same place. It has been too long since the last time that happened….it may possibly have been my own mom’s funeral almost two years ago.  We need to find a happier reason and make the time.  It just goes so fast!

Girls Night Out

friendship

Twice a year, my town holds a “Girls Night Out”, where the shops in the village stay open late and offer sales, restaurants have specials and friends meet up to shop, eat and mingle.  Tonight, was one of those nights.  A group of my friends had planned to get together and meet at one of the local restaurants.  The town was bursting with ladies this evening.  I am sure that the beautiful weather encouraged even more women to come out.  The group of women that I spent time with this evening included some that I know well, and others that I just met.  Sometimes those are my favorite types of nights out.  Mingling with different groups of people and finding similarities and links that could eventually form new friendships.

I have always loved my town.  I have lived here for almost my entire life.  Events like these, where so many people are out and about, and everyone knows each other, are one of my favorite parts of living here.  Just walking from the restaurant to my car, I stopped five times to talk to different people that I knew.  It makes me think of that old television show, CHEERS, “where everybody knows your name”.  It gives me such a sense of contentment.

It was so nice to see people out together, talking face to face and actually holding conversations.  In a world of social media, where texting, email and Facebook are so prevalent, it was great to see people, not hiding behind their phones, but actually having conversations with one another and enjoying it!  I admit that I am one of those people who always has my phone out.  I even used it tonight – but it was to show photos to the women I was with.  I did not even realize until I was walking to my car, that I had not heard from my husband, kids, dad… or anyone the entire time I was there…and I didn’t even miss it.

There’s Nothing Like a Visit With Old Friends

memories fun

I am sitting on the train for what should be a five hour ride. Plenty of time to think and reminisce about the weekend. What started out as a crazy, long, rainy ride down led to a fun, relaxing…(and exhausting at the same time), weekend!
Jen, her husband JP and their daughter Mary had flown in from a whirlwind vacation around Europe and since they landed in Newark, the kindly offered to let me ride down with them instead of taking the train down alone. The ride took longer than expected which gave Jen and me plenty of time to catch up on life! The insane rain storm made traffic slow down and Jen and JP, (who have witnessed typhoons), said it was some of the worst rain they had seen!
Jen has an exciting job that takes her all over the world for work. She has lived in so many exciting and interesting places. She has always offered an open invitation to visit, yet we’ve never taken advantage of it! Perhaps our next big get together will find us in some exotic, exciting place where she winds up living. That could be so much fun!
We arrived in Alexandria at Brooks’ home several hours later than anticipated, but she and her husband Mike, where both still up and waiting for us, ready to welcome us into their beautiful home. Jen and JP were staying in a hotel but Brooks’ kindly invited me to stay with them so we could spend more time together. We did not stay up too late that first evening. It had been a long day so she set me up in her beautiful guest room.
Brooks has always been quite the entertainer. “my room”, had fresh flowers and photos of us from my wedding in frames on the desktop. She even had our 1988 freshmen directory in there for me to look at! I do not even remember that from college, but of course Brooks had held into it and remembered to bring it out. I just love that about her! If it weren’t for her, I am sure a lot of these little reunions we’ve had wouldn’t have happened.
The next day we met up and headed off for lunch at an adorable restaurant called “Cheesetique”.  Yum! With cheese being my favorite food…what could be better?!? Jen met up with us there and we enjoyed such a delightful lunch! No children pulling on us or needing us to drive them somewhere. No time constraints…just a long leisurely lunch where we could catch up, and learn about what’s been going on. We shared family stories. We all knew each others’ parents and siblings from being together in school so it was really nice to hear what everyone has been up to.
The entire weekend seemed to be focused around eating, (another favorite thing if mine), so while at lunch, we got in touch with Deb and tried to decide where to go later on that evening. At first we decided to go to some of our old “hangout places” and after some discussion, we decided that none of us wanted to go somewhere where we’d have to yell above music or a crowd. Brooks’ husband, graciously offered to cook for all of us back at their home. What a feast he created! It was better than a restaurant. Amazing steaks, potatoes, salad, asparagus, wine and cheese appetizers… We couldn’t have asked for anything more or for better service, as he served us and did all of the dishes as well! Another leisurely spent meal, this time with Deb too, which made it even better. There was so much laughter and happiness, (and lack of responsibility), at the table, I almost felt like I was back in college for awhile!
We missed Mary Lynn a lot but knew that she was happily spending her birthday on a beautiful island so hopefully at our next get together she’ll be there.

After another great night sleep in that comfy, quiet bedroom, I woke up and had breakfast prepared for me by Mike!  It was really like I was on a mini-vacation for a few days.  A morning of shopping in quaint Old Town Alexandria with the girls, ended with lunch at The Chart House before heading to the train.

I needed this weekend away.  It was quick, but it was great and I appreciate them all so much for making my weekend away so much fun.  Love you girls!!!

Surprise!

surprise

Earlier this week, my best friend Kelly sent me a text message, inviting Dave and myself to dinner on Friday night to celebrate my birthday.  The four of us rarely go out on Friday nights.  Mostly because of work and family commitments.  So at first, I was surprised, but when she told me we had to wait till 8:00, to give Andrew time to get home from work, and their babysitter time to get there, I didn’t think about it again.  I was looking forward to it all week.

Dave and I are known for being early to everything.  I despise being late and would rather sit outside and wait till the right time than show up late for something.  Kelly sent me a text and said they were actually running early…and that they’d be there closer to 7:45. “ Better for us”, I thought.

We got to the restaurant, a great little place that Dave had never been to, and walked in.  It was quite crowded and I told that hostess that we were meeting another couple, and would be four for dinner.   Then I heard, “SURPRISE”, looked over and a table, filled with friends was there, waiting for me.  Dave smiled sheepishly and giggled.  I was completely surprised.  Surprised to the point of tears.  Truly, overcome with emotion.  It wasn’t my 40th, or 45th, birthday, not a “big one” to celebrate but they all told me, that after the months I have been through recently, it was a good reason to celebrate.

Kelly had thought of friends from all different phases of my life.  My best friends from childhood, JoyLynn and Tricia who have been through their own emotional few months, (with their mom suffering a severe heart attack and going through extensive rehabilitation) were there.  Tracy and Nicole, wives of Dave’s friends since childhood, who are now some of my closest friends, were too.  My former next door neighbor Lisa, who I love and wish I saw more often, my cousins Jody and Lisa who I am so incredibly close with and Maureen and Lynn, teacher friends, neighborhood friends and simply just two of my closest friends were there as well.  My sister, who I know was a big part of this, could not be there, as she was still out of state attending the funeral of her father-in-law.

I don’t think I have ever been as completely surprised as I was last night.  Even at my bridal and baby showers, there was an inkling of something that was going to happen.  Some people might wonder if surprises are overrated.  Not me!! Walking into the restaurant and seeing all of these friends was just amazing.  I was speechless at the incredible outpouring of love from these women that I love so much, many who I see all of the time, who went to the trouble to plan and keep this secret from me, just to offer me a night that was finally just about me.  A night where I could focus on nothing else, but the love that they all have for me!  It was truly a night I will not forget and I thank them all with all of my heart.

Breakfast with Friends

old friends

Spring Break – with little to do!  This kind of opportunity rarely presents itself!!  This morning I had the chance to meet two good friends for breakfast.  A luxury!!  This is something I never get the chance to do and the three of us spent a few hours just catching up.  I talk to them often, but usually other things are going on, distractions that keep us from focusing on each other; kids are needing us, pets need to be walked, work to be done…never just the three of us alone.  It was great.  I almost felt guilty sitting there leisurely for two hours!  I felt like there was something else that I should have been doing!!  The three of us took notice of how many other people were out for breakfast that day.  Some of them dressed in tennis skirts and workout clothes, a few having breakfast meetings and others, like us, just enjoying a nice breakfast out.  Made me a little envious of “the stay at home mom”.  The three of us talked about everything from family, exercising, upcoming vacations, new recipes – everything.

The three of us have been friends for years.  Long before having kids, jobs and “adult stresses”.  We used to be able to get together much more often.  This week, my boys are off from school but old enough to be on their own. Their children are all in school.  If they weren’t, this breakfast could never have happened.  This was a breakfast, where none of us had any other commitments.  There was no one else to tend to other than ourselves.  Just three close friends catching up, as if not even a day had gone by.  We just fell right back into our old conversations, sharing what has been going on and reconnecting with each other.

I know as our children get older,  we will be find a way to balance their schedules and we will fall back into some of our old routines and get the chance to socialize more.  Maybe not for a long leisurely breakfast like today, with the constraints of our jobs, but after work for dinner or happy hour.  Until then though, we will grab the opportunities when we can and appreciate the times that we do get with each other, no matter how few and far between they might be.