I consider myself one of the lucky ones, how many of us can say that they have friends from elementary and middle school still to this day? Friends for over 40 years, how lucky am I? When I look back on my life, I have some very long term friendships, 40 years, 30 years, 25 years, 10 years, so I consider us extremely blessed, but today I’m talking about 2 friends that I’ve known for 40 years.
There’s a bit of a back story here so bear with me! About 15 years ago, I reconnected with my 2 best friends from middle school and yes, we were a little wild back in the day but we won’t talk about that right now! By this time, we all had children that had flown the coup (or close to it) so we had some more freedom, both with our time and with our finances which we felt would make it easier to be able to see each other as they still lived in Wyoming and I lived in Canada. These 2 gals made my years growing up the absolute best a kid can ask for. I met them when my parents divorced and my mom took us from Colorado and moved to a little town in Wyoming. This town still has only 400 some people living in it, no stop lights, no Costco, no drug store, no spa…..nodda! However, this town had a soda shop called The Sugar Bowl – best place EVER, hands down! My friends and family knows the drill when I say “guess what this reminds me of?” – they all will say while rolling their eyes “We know, THE SUGAR BOWL”. This statement could be about music, arcade games, clothes, food, you name it, The Sugar Bowl made an impression on me! These 2 girls helped me make it through a tough time; with my parents not so nice divorce, adolescence and moving to a new town and having my whole life turned upside down. I was used to riding my horse day in and day out and that wasn’t going to happen anymore, in the blink of an eye life as I knew it was over. With these 2 girls by my side, we played sports, went to pep rally’s, cheered for the Tigers, cruised up and down the dirt roads of town, played foosball at the Sugar Bowl and basically ruled the town (at least in our minds). We got together at least once a year for a couple of years starting about 6 years ago whenever we were able to. We would meet in Vegas for a basketball tournament (as one of us had a daughter playing basketball for the University of Wyoming) or we would get together if I was traveling to Denver to spend time with my dad. I had been talking to them about coming to see me on the West Coast of Canada but we couldn’t find a time to make that happen, so after a while I just stopped asking them. Fast forward to 2 years ago, when I had a surprise visit from these 2!
My husband and sneaky kids kept yet another secret from me (see my Surprise Wedding post), how dare they? For over 6 months, the girls had been working with my husband (remember my husband, Honest Larry), to try to arrange a surprise visit. They came up with a week that would work and set their plan in motion. Two days before they arrived my husband told me that my son was going to come for a visit. Now, we live on an island and he lives on the mainland so popping in to see mom and dad is never an easy task and requires a lot of coordination. He must get on a ferry for a 2-hour ride and someone needs to drive an hour to pick him up and bring him home. Oh, no my husband said, “he is going to fly home”. If you are a mom, you know what I’m saying, “he can’t afford that” to which my husband said “he came into some money”. What the heck? Did he win the lottery, where did he come into some money? My mind is now coming up with all kinds of stories about why he’s coming for a visit, he’s sick, he’s going to have a baby, he’s moving away and other crazy scenarios, but ok, I love a visit from him whenever we can get one. Then my husband tells me that one of my daughters is going to pick him up at the airport and we were going to meet them for dinner at a local restaurant. We get to the restaurant and I say there will be 5 of us and he says, no we have a reservation and there will be 6 of us. Again, what the heck, I didn’t know he even knew how to make a reservation! I’m so confused but ok. We get to our table and I went to my normal spot across from my husband (which faces the door of the restaurant) and he says, “can you come sit by me, I want to be next to you, we hardly ever get to sit next to each other” (my husband works out of town for 2 weeks at a time so that is possible but it still made me leery)! The plane was late but my daughter called to say they were finally on their way to the restaurant. 5 minutes later there is a tap on my shoulder and I turn around and there is not just 1 of these fabulous ladies but BOTH of them! To say I was shocked was an understatement! This was one of the best surprises I have ever gotten. And no, our son was not coming home – he didn’t win the lottery, he wasn’t sick and he wasn’t having a baby (big sigh of relief)!
We had the most fantastic week – laughing until we cried, we reminisced, we pampered ourselves, we went sight-seeing and had the most incredible time! I am so very thankful every time I get a chance to hang out with these 2, they are 2 of the best friends anyone can ever ask for! Isn’t that what life is about? Making the moments count no matter how far apart you are and how far and few between those moments are. If you have friends like that, be sure to tell them how thankful you are to have them in your life, I know I’m going to!