The older we get the more friendships we have built. Like many of you I struggle to stay close with friends that have moved away. Thankfully, with the use of facebook we can keep up with the happenings in each others lives. However, nothing comes close to that face to face encounter with a friend. Even more priceless is watching our children build a bond that hopefully they will carry on for a lifetime.
My friend Brandie moved out of Huntsville about eight years ago. We promised that we would make time to see one another at least once a year. The first few years were though and we fell short keeping that promise. My twins were just born and one of them had serious health problems. Three years later I found myself getting divorced. Brandie was also home with a baby by then. Needless to say we were both busy with multiple aspects of our lives. When things finally calmed down we were ready to make the first trips.
Our first two reunion trips had us meeting at the family beach condo in Destin. There are so many wonderful things about mature friendships. One of them is that there is no need to impress. Our meetings are always casual, focused on the kids during the day and then having that quality girl time after the kids are in bed. We do not try to occupy our days with too much activity. The kids are happy at the condo, at the pool and on the beach. We kept meals simple and stress free as well.
Then there was the time we had no idea we were meeting. It was purely fate. It had been a while since we talked and our phone conversation one evening left us awaiting a BIG SURPRISE! We were going to be at WALT DISNEY WORLD at the same time! Wow it really is the most magical place on earth! My boys and I were already super excited about the trip but this would make it better than we could ever have imagined. Once again, a seasoned friendship served us well on this trip. With four small children, a niece and a set of grandparents plus Brandie and me Walt Disney World would never be the same.
Most recently we decided on a last-minute trip to Birmingham, AL. We booked two rooms at the Embassy Suites for a Saturday night. We met for lunch that day at Cosmo’s Pizza in trendy Five Points South. From there we spent a fun afternoon at the McWane Science Center. At about 4pm we made our way to the hotel where we spent the rest of the evening swimming and catching up.
For me, it is important to keep these lifetime friendships alive and healthy. As adults, we often find ourselves so busy with life and obligations that our needs to foster friendships fall to the wayside. It is understandable that life’s obstacles and challenges make it difficult to escape to meet that dear friend. For Brandie and me, we had those circumstance in the early years after her move. For now we are both in a phase in our lives where impromptu meetings are a reality. We look forward to these getaways as do our children. If you are reading this I hope it makes you think of your lifetime friend that is overdue for a face to face visit! A word of advice anytime we tried to plan something a long way out it never happened! We have learned to plan no more than a month in advance. This has worked for the two of us with Brandie only 4 hours away. A new chapter is about to begin in her life which puts our distance at about ten hours. That may take a little better planning…our friendship is worth it!
Let me know what your favorite traditions are with your long distance friends. Would love some fun suggestions for our next impromptu adventure!