This past week, I attended the annual slumber party with two of my friends from school. We’ve been doing this since reconnecting three years ago here at Our Little House.
I’ve known Shelly since Kindergarten. My dad was good friends with her grandfather where they both worked on the railroad. When my dad passed away, it was her grandpa who brought my mother money collected from all of the co-workers to see us through until her survivor benefits kicked in. He was also a pallbearer at the funeral.
Shelly and I met Lora when our grade schools merged into junior high in 7th grade. My photo albums from that time always have Shelly and Lora in the picture.
Every year, we’ve had our reunion slumber parties in a different place since we all live in different states. This year, we were back in Arkansas and we stayed at the fabulous 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa in Eureka Springs.
We wanted to get a little spa action in, as well as ghost hunting.
The spa was great, we didn’t encounter any ghosts (but it was fun trying!). But what makes our slumber parties so special for me is catching up with old friends again and literally laughing for two days straight.
That first year, I was a little anxious; particularly after a neighbor friend from here pointed out that 27 years since we were all last together was a long time and that we may not really enjoy each other’s company anymore.
We still very much do. All of us have said it is one of the main events we each look forward to all year.
We do know that we’re here for each other throughout the year should we need to be. A recent health scare with one of us prompted phone calls and another prompted Shelly to write on my Facebook wall loving sentiments, a touching reminder that we can lose nearly 30 years and still be true, lifelong friends.
Still, we rarely communicate during the year. We might send B-day and Christmas cards and email, but distance in miles and our busy lives are the excuses we have for not doing much more.
Once a year, we are able to get together with friends who once shared in common our youth. We had few worries then aside from what we were wearing, who we liked and who liked us and I think the worst thing that happened in our lives at that time were the spats we had with our parents and heartache over a boy. For the most part, though, we were young and we were having a lot of fun.
In the present, we still talk about what’s going on in the “hallway” among our school friends who are on Facebook and we spend the first few hours catching up on the happenings over the course of the past year in our own lives (typically over a few drinks since we’re way beyond legal now). The drama has changed, become much more serious in nature and the heartaches we face now are usually deep and permanent.
But largely, when we are together it is as if we were still school girls without those responsibilities, worries and losses adult life brings on.
We laugh a lot.
While in Dr. Baker’s Bistro, the hotel bar, Lora asked me if there was something wrong as we were laughing so hard tears were streaming down my face. In all seriousness, I told them that I don’t think I laugh as much all year as I do when I am with them for two days.
The saying is true: Laughter is good for the soul. I came home to Our Little House refreshed and ready for the real life present-day adult dramas again.
Although it is always anticipated for too long a period throughout the year and then too short of a time when we get together, it is beyond a blessing to have friends who are there when you need them and who can come together for those two magical days a year when we can laugh like kids again.
I love you guys, too.
Do you still have connections from school? Do you ever get together?