What a pleasant weekend I had! On Saturday, I attended a birthday celebration for my friend, Linda. Although Linda’s birthday was in June, several of us were traveling during that time, and this was the first date that worked for most everybody. Most of the gals in our group were workmates at Sylvan Learning Center at one time – Debra, Julie. Karen, Linda and me. Diane, a friend of Julie, joined the group early on, followed by Debbi and most recently Denise, two of my friends formerly of Poughkeepsie, NY. Two of our original members, Michele and Susan, have moved away.
The group began as a monthly book club in 1997 and over the years as some of us pursued new jobs, retired, faced illnesses, or became caretakers for aging parents, we became more of a support group for one another. Life becomes more complicated sometimes and getting everyone together each month was tough, but we continued to get together for coffee and catching up here and there, kept in touch through emails, and at a gathering at my house each Christmas.
We have seen one another through good times – new jobs, new homes, the arrival of grandchildren, and tough times – the loss of parents and spouses, and facing illness. We have had members move away and have welcomed newcomers. We have seen our children grow, begin their careers, leave the nest, get married, start families, and defend our country in military service.
It matters not how frequently we manage to get the group together, for when we do we have good times, filled with good conversation sprinkled with laughter. To quote Proust, “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
Following the party, I returned home to find my grandchildren had arrived to spend the night with us and their father, who celebrated his 37th birthday this weekend. We took him out for pizza, and returned home for an ice cream treat. On Sunday we had a scrambled egg and pancake breakfast and we went outside for a while to enjoy a non-humid, non-nineties day. Bill and I came in from helping their mother get the kids and their stuff in the car, around 4 PM and promptly fell asleep watching the ballgame!