Thursday, December 23, 2010

It Takes a Long Time to Grow An Old Friend...

If you have read this blog for any amount of time, you know that I love teaching. But I will have to admit, I also love the two weeks off at Christmas that allow me to spend time with lots and lots of friends I don't get to see as often as I like during teaching season.

Yesterday, Married Daughter and I drove north to meet some of our oldest friends. P (far left) and I (far right) are playing bookends to much of what we have accomplished over the past 25 years. We met as young mothers when we only had one toddler each. Since then, we have amassed 7 (now adult) children (and 3 in-law children) among us. The picture then tips toward her side because she now has 2 grandchildren ages (almost) 4 years old and 6 weeks. (No rush K & C, but we do need to do our share here eventually...)

We met at a Mexican food restaurant for chips, salsa and queso (because that's how we socialize in Texas), and continued the conversations at Starbucks. I am so very grateful for my friend, P. We've walked through a lot of life together, and I've been thankful every step of the way to have her near my side. Having her now-adult children as my friends, too? Icing. Just icing.

(An aside: My daughter asked me why all the children of the clan ended up as good friends. I told her she probably wouldn't want to hear my answer, but she assured me she did. It is because (lean in here, people, because I'm whispering): These children of ours? They have grown up to be an awful lot like us. And somehow? That revelation did not horrify her as it would have during teen aged years. She smiled, took it in calmly, and agreed. Oh, life: you are one perfect full circle at times.)

Today? Another small trip north to a breakfast meeting among high school friends I've know for over 35 years. There is nothing better in the world than someone who carries the stories of your life with them. I am blessed beyond compare looking at these smiling faces around me. I know that I have done nothing to deserve such wonderful companions on this road of life. This circle that has surrounded me is just a grace gift from the hand of God. (We missed you, Pat!)

We hogged a table for far too long, and caught up on life. (And I may have mentioned a time or a million that A (left front)'s son and my daughter are MARRIED. It still gives me such joy to say/type/IM/text and remind people continually of that fact.)

After a great visit, we may or may not have shopped at Cracker Barrel's gift shop (NO CLOTHES PURCHASES, however, so don't you be thinking we are Memaws...) and made plans for a future get together. Thank you friends for finding time among family plans for a visit.

Loyal Sister and I spent the rest of the afternoon perusing antique stores and generally having a wonderful time. I ran into someone who recognized me from this blog, and I got to visit with her and her sweet daughter. What a blessing that the world is so full of every type of friend.

Something I am not friends with on December 25th?
That's just wrong.

But, let's end on a positive note: I hope your holidays are being spent with lots and lots of family and friends. Take the time to appreciate what you have, because this life can be far too short.

Merry Christmas, bloggy friends.

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