We were Friends

We were friends once,  young, maybe 10 or 11 years old,  when times seemed easier. Days started early, meeting by the old tree at the school; a natural meeting spot half way between your house and mine.  Our biggest decision of the day may have been, do we go to the taco place or the burger shop  for lunch? Laughing and sharing an afternoon,  a booth at the burger place, the red plastic basket lined with red and white checked paper, filled with hot fresh french fries.

Riding bicycles around the neighborhood, down by the creek, behind the pizza place.  Visiting the library to check out new books.  Home again, only  when the sun started to set.  Youngsters, without a care.   We were friends back then, in those idyllic youthful times.  And then you moved away.

I was saddened when you left, a part of life, at that time, new to me.  You wrote once, I think I did as well, but our lives moved on, we grew up, lost touch.  I heard, a few years later, you returned.  We reconnected, but only briefly as we lived in different parts of town.   We were friends once, but  life changed, we changed, we had moved on.

We caught glimpse of each other again one night, in passing. You inside, behind the big window, me passing by on the street.  Each with our own set of friends, going about our evening.  It had been years, so the glimpse of recognition was coupled with wonder.  Is that who I think it is?  Your smile and slight wave affirmed what we both knew.  The moment was quick, and  I remember thinking you looked well, happy.

Although we were friends once, I wonder if you would recognize me on the street now. Would I, you?  I would hope so.   We shared a portion of childhood, but that was our youth, and we certainly are not those young kids anymore.   Were it not for that earlier connection, would we be friends now?

Maybe it’s different for shy young girls of 10 or 11.  Maybe  that earlier time mattered more to me than to you.   I know I still recall those days with fondness and a smile.

We were friends once, and I still wish you well.

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Make A Plan

“Make a plan”,  my husband tells me that all the time.  I try, I really do, but  he’s so much better at it.  I can get one started but I am so indecisive, and I procrastinate, that he just takes over and finishes the plans.  That isn’t always a bad thing either.  It’s not that he does it all, it really ends up a collaborative effort.

A few years back we were planning a cross-country trip in our RV, talk about a collaborative effort! It took many nights of pouring over maps and searching for places to stop on the way.  The only thing that was a certain, was that we needed to be in Michigan for my husbands parents anniversary/birthday party.  His parents were both turning 90 years old and it was their 65th wedding anniversary.

Coming from California, we have a couple of route choices, each with their own positive and negative aspects.  Not only was it the route to get to Michigan that needed to be decided, but the entire trip.  How long would we go, what else would we see, where would we go? And so the planning began.

We had one month for our trip .We chose to start on what is known as “The Loneliest road”, highway 50.  We would than go to Mt Rushmore, and on to Michigan. After the family party we would head to Niagara Falls, and New York city.  We planned to go to Washington DC, but when we heard our son’s friend was playing baseball that summer for the Cape Cod League, the plan changed, and we went to watch him instead.   A decision that turned out to be a true slice of all American fun.

The route home was a bit more direct, with a stop in Kansas to see the Wizard of Oz museum, than pretty much straight home.  All in all a lot of driving, tons of fun, a couple mishaps, that we fondly recall as “adventures” now.  But to be sure, one of the best trips we have taken to date.

What has become most important for me, for us, is that we had a plan.  Everything seems to come down to having a plan.  When my husband and I got married, we had a plan.  From the music played before, during and after the ceremony, to our vows, we had a plan.  For our life, after that ceremony, we have had a plan.  I admit, some of our plans have gone  awry, but we have adjusted, and are actually ahead of ourself and our plan. Countless nights have been spent pouring over bills and maps and music and  forms, making choices and putting it all into the current plan.

I believe that, as a family, we have made plans, shared our points of view, and though it may seem a bit lopsided at times, we have worked as a team.  While no plan is without its share of pitfalls,  we have weathered those adversities and are still hanging in there.  Each one of us has contributed, and I marvel at all we have accomplished so far.