My friend Pam just retired this month. She is my age and I have known her since seventh grade. Let’s see, that would be about (Oh, my God!) 50+ years! Are we really that old? I guess we are. Anyway, retirement is a big deal and requires a celebration of sorts. So Pam and I and another friend Karen and her mother Nancy all decided to go to Karen’s ranch for a “girls’ weekend”.
Karen used to work with Gramps (both are engineering types) so I have known her for probably 20 years. Nancy, I met, naturally, through Karen about 10 years ago. Oddly enough, I was at one time the nurse for Nancy’s husband before he died. (I think we are down to 4 degrees of separation here!) And of course, Karen and Nancy have been related all their lives or at least all of Karen’s life. So all totaled, there are about 100 or more years of history between all of us. Amazing, yes?!
History like this cannot be made up, faked or even rushed. You can’t cram ten years of experience into a ten month old relationship. It just doesn’t work. Longterm relationships, like marriages, require stamina, fortitude and work. They don’t just “happen” or “pop up” like dandelions from the ground.
We four have seen the good, the bad, the ugly and the precious in each other over the long haul. We have celebrated birthdays, anniversaries and graduations; dealt with deaths, disappointments and divorces; planned weddings, housewarmings and christenings all while managing laundry, teenagers, moves and occasional misunderstandings. In other words, we are long time friends and we know how blessed we are.
A weekend spent with women such as these is more than “time off”. It is a true rejuvenation of the spirit, mind and body. How did we accomplish such a miracle of rebirth?
First, we went someplace other than home. That way, nothing “yelled” at anyone to get done. No one felt compelled to clean, fold, vacuum or polish anything. No rules.
We had plenty of free time to do whatever felt good. A couple gals brought sewing machines and projects to work on. Others had hand sewing, books and crafts on hand. We walked, talked, reminisced and laughed by the hour.
One evening was spent in front of a fire watching a funny/sweet chick flick that we had not seen before but thoroughly enjoyed. The following day was filled with more food, fun, sewing, laughing, talking and repeated as needed.
When I returned home three days later, I felt as though I had been gone a week. Things looked and felt different, like the trees were visibly taller or the houses had somehow changed. What a simple, profound weekend it was!
Isn’t it amazing how often the simple things in life become the profound things?