I drove over the mountain pass yesterday. I very rarely leave the Puget Sound and venture into the drier half of our state. In fact, I’ve visited Eastern Washington only a handful of times in my whole life. And I grew up in Western Washington, mere hours from Eastern Washington. Anyway, why would I venture three hours from my home? Why, to visit my friends Ann and Shelly, the girls I hung out with in high school.
I last saw Shelly about 15 years ago. I saw Ann ten years ago.
We met at Shelly’s house in Yakima in the early afternoon. We stopped talking long enough to drive to a Mexican restaurant, where we resumed our conversation. Then we drove back to her house where we chatted until 1:00 a.m.
By 9:30 a.m., we were talking again while eating breakfast, then continuing our discussion as we ate lunch at Applebee’s and shopped. (Clearance racks, of course. I bought a pair of black linen pants for $15. They were originally priced $129.) We talked our way through each store until I noticed it was already 4:00 p.m., time to think about going home.
I drove fast, singing along to Chicago’s Greatest Hits some of the time.
Three hours later, back home, I was shocked at the amount of laundry piled up. I can’t stop yawning now.
I rarely see people who knew me when I was growing up, so it was delightful to share stories without having to explain the whole background. These women knew me when I was thirteen years old, when I was fourteen, when I was seventeen and wondering what to do with my life. Picking up the decades-old conversation where we left off was so satisfying. The decades of near silence were nothing more than a comma in the paragraph of our lives. I love that we are all happily married, doing well despite the normal human struggles everyone has. We laughed a lot, nodded a lot, understood deeply.
I told them we’ll have to do it again in fifteen years. Or maybe sooner. (We will be almost 60 then, which blows my mind.)
Meanwhile, laundry beckons.