Old Friends

new york

I’m just settling in after a two week road trip to New York. There was much cross-country yarn shopping. More on that later. I went back “home” for my twentieth high school reunion (no I didn’t finish the shrug, thankyouverymuch.) My husbands family is relocating and mine has long since left the area, so who knows when my next chance to get back there will be. I felt like I would regret not going back for this reunion.

The reunion was a lot of fun. I caught up with a lot of people, and connected with a few I had little to no contact with in high school. Some of the old cliques remained, and at least one ancient grudge was still being held, but mostly everyone had grown and matured. My friend Janine, who had just had surgery a little over a week before and was still recovering from her subsequent bout of pneumonia, dragged herself out to the reunion to see me!! We hadn’t seen each other since graduation, but it was as if we spoke every day. Then Sunday came and it was all over, but I still had the better part of a week left in New York. My greatest disappointment was that so many people I really wanted to see didn’t come.

Hubby and I tried to meet up with friends on Monday, but messages were missed and we ended up having coffee with just one other friend, the incomparable Brian. Then, on Tuesday morning, things went crazy on Facebook. I feel I should note here that we’re from Northern New York. Farm country. The Thousand Islands. True small town America. There’s not a lot to do here. We started planning a meet up later that night at Denny’s. Suddenly messages were flying from all over the place! Mike, the best man from our wedding was driving up from four hours south. Cathy, my maid of honor was coming. Our entire crew (and, apparently, wedding party) was reuniting!rae dennys

And then I saw a posting from one of my nearest and dearest lifelong best friends, Rae Anne. “Feeling EXTREMELY homesick for my old friends in NY. I even looked up flights from Charleston to Syracuse. I wish I was more of a spontaneous person!” I hadn’t seen her since she was a bridesmaid in my wedding over fifteen years ago, and she was one of the people I had hoped to see the most!

Game on. I quickly responded that she should do it!! I could pick her up, she could stay with us. Then Randal, the best teddy bear anyone could find, added “I’m in Syracuse! I can wait for you and drive you up.” She gave a few weak arguments, but in the end our… ahem… gentle peer pressure worked. She had her plane tickets by noon and was strolling into Denny’s at 11:30pm, just in time to celebrate her birthday with a bunch of crazy old friends.

There’s something amazing about a friend that, after so long, you can pick up and carry on as if you hadn’t missed a single day. We were still able to interpret each others vague hand gestures instead of finishing sentences. It was like we were eighteen again. I don’t think we stopped chattering from 11:30 Tuesday night until I dropped her back at the airport on Friday morning. It was a whirlwind without a single awkward moment.

We met up with friends from school (another that I missed dearly at the reunion) and had lunch. We drove all over Northern New York just remembering all of the fun, stupid things we did growing up. We talked and laughed about young love and heartbreak. We stopped by the technical school we both attended for Graphic Design in high school. We did nothing at all, and yet, there was never a dull moment. It will be one of the best and most memorable trips of my life.

kate & raeThursday night, before Rae had to go home, we decided we needed to see Janine. I had wanted to catch up with her again, and Rae hadn’t seen her in years. We had tried to connect with her for days, but kept missing one another. So I made the decision that we would have to stalk her. I knew what road her farm was on and knew what car she drove. How hard could it be? Conveniently, her husband was standing in the driveway, making our quest a breeze. We chatted for hours, and it was midnight before we knew it.

It truly was the vacation of a lifetime. The reunion was fun, but the post-reunion reunion was even better. It’s true what they say about old friends being the best friends. I refuse to go so long again without quality time with these women!

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