Everyday there’s a Facebook post about friendship. Sometimes its about college friends, sometimes high school buddies and there are even ones about ‘un-friending’ people. Seems there’s much to be written in even short bursts about stories of friendships. I’ve been lucky.
Throughout forty years on the planet, there have been people beside me. Some have flitted in and out of life as quickly as a firefly lights up a night’s sky and others have stayed for decades at a time like that comfy sweatshirt you always choose from the back of the cupboard. Each one has had a purpose. This year, I find myself quite pensive. Thoughts of life changes, challenges, growth, choices and friendships have popped into the forefront of my mind more times than I can count. Is this forty? Is it a time when you take stock of people, choices and things in your life? Is it normal? Does it happen to other people? I haven’t taken a poll-but I’ve been taking stock, for certain. It’s been a big year. Read the rest of this entry
“I can’t remember a time I’ve seen you this relaxed”, her husband said to her as soon as they landed. He couldn’t believe it. Her body language eased and her worries diminished. All things were taken care of for her so she could just exist and enjoy. She too couldn’t remember the last time this happened.
This week I spent a wonderful afternoon with a long-time friend and her three precious children. We’ve been friends for thirty years having experienced childhood, young adulthood and life as grown ups together. As we sat having a picnic lunch in the middle of my lounge room floor we tried to hold a conversation near and dear to my heart; one about the gifts of travel. Read the rest of this entry
“Norm”!!! This raucous greeting was given to the character played by George Wendt as he entered the Cheers bar season after season. Day after day, year after year Norm returned to his ‘home’, as he sat atop the same bar stool joining his mates in interesting encounters and endless conversation. I imagine Norm would feel strange if he walked in years later and no one knew his name-but if his peers returned to the same place at the very same time-it would be just another day at Cheers!
Jon Bon Jovi sings “who says you can’t go home- there’s only one place they called me one of their own” and my friends and I are among those who count ourselves lucky that we too, share such a special place. Although not Bon Jovi’s New Jersey, ours is a little spot on the east end of Long Island known to us as, camp (Dorothy P. Flint 4H Camp). To those who have ever experienced the wonder that is sleep-a-way camp, you know the feeling. The place itself holds so many memories and stories of your youth that if those cabins could talk they would divulge the most trusted secrets.
If those walls could talk…Cabin 13 (Edranel-Girl’s Camp)
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It’s the makings of countless best selling fiction novels; four friends from childhood who maintain their relationships through adulthood. Without sounding contrite, my story is real. No fictional characters, no made up locations-just four girls who met before their teens and journeyed through life with the help of summer camp memories and experiences. Last night those same four friends gathered together to share an evening. Four thirty-eight year old women who have been friends for more than half of our lives went to one of our childhood homes and were reminded once again of the meaning of friendship.
It was at Dorothy P. Flint 4H Camp on the Long Island Sound in Riverhead, NY that we all first met. An only child from West Hempstead, a Massapequa girl whose sister had introduced her to camp, a Jewish girl from Plainview trying out sleep-away for the first time and the daughter of the camp manager (from Hicksville) who after being born at the hospital down the road in the summer of ’74 had spent her life’s summers at camp. It was there that we learned about ourselves. It was there that we experienced so many ‘firsts’. And it was there, at camp, in countless cabins every summer that our friendship began and flourished.
For some Long Island children the last week of June meant the beginning of days at the local pool or playing games on their front lawn with the neighborhood kids. For us it was different. As school came to a close we looked forward to eight weeks together in wooden cabins with no electricity and no bathrooms in the bunks. We dreamt of bunk beds, giggle fests, council fires, friendship circles, co-eds, cabin nights, the 209 steps down to the rocky and sea-glass filled beach with the pungent smell of the sea and so many other exciting events. That last Sunday in June saw us all head in busses or cars past the end of the Long Island Expressway, through a round-a-bout and up to the entrance of camp off of Sound Avenue in Riverhead. Once inside the entrance gates, past the larger than life rocks with 4H Camp painted on them and up to the office we found counselors from around the world who greeted us with open arms and ever-present smiles. We weren’t just at camp-we were home.
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