Laughter is Good for the Soul and so are old Friends

Lora, Kerri and Shelly at the 1886 Crescent Hotel

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?

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22 Responses

  1. Donna Hull says:

    When I lived in Roanoke, I went on yearly “retreats” with several of my women friends. We laughed and laughed. I miss that.

    • Kerri says:

      Before reconnecting with Shelly and Lora, I never really had that. I have to wonder if it is only friends who shared a more carefree time who are like this?

  2. I would love to get together with my HS friends. Finding a friend who knows you that well, it’s so rare.

  3. It’s so great that you do this! I recently had a similar experience – my cousin came to stay with me for a week. When we were young, we used to spend summer weeks with each other. She’d come stay with my family in the country, then I’d go stay with her in the city. It’s been what? 30 years since we’ve done that, and it was so great to get to hang out together again!

  4. It’s so great that you all make the time to nurture your friendship and all its memories!

  5. merr says:

    How fun this sounds. The connections that are long lasting – just terrific!

  6. Alexandra says:

    I am envious. I’ve moved around so much that I have lost touch with many of my friends from high school, let alone elementary. You and your friends are fortunate to have each other. Maybe you should make this get-together a twice-annual event?

  7. Sheryl says:

    There is nothing more uplifting than getting together with old friends, and GOOD friends, for that matter. You are so blessed to have them in your life.

  8. It is so nice that you get to do this. I have lost touch with all of my friends from school.

  9. Heather L. says:

    Thanks to Facebook, I now have some connections from high school. It’s fun to see what they are up to.

  10. Lora Carr says:

    How DOOOO! I love you guys, MAN. I am always so impressed with your writings. I can’t believe how we have become so much closer since we started having our slumber parties. I teared up a bit too. Even my husband said that his heart swelled up when reading this. I had such a great time. I think the best part was when we were all laying in bed, talking and giggling ourselves to sleep. Just like we were still teenagers. Can’t wait til next year. We better get ghosted next year.

  11. Shelly Grauberger says:

    Beautiful story, beautifully written, by a beautiful person. I had goose bumps and tears in my eyes. Thank you for capturing our time together so eloquently. I love you girls, too…….man! (New running joke) I have already been researching locations for next year. Can’t wait.

    • kerri says:

      How-do, Shelly! 🙂 Our slumber parties are on my mind for weeks before and afterward! I cannot wait for next year, either…..although Mom always told me not to wish my life away! 🙂