Wednesday, August 12, 2015

I'm Going On A Cruise!!

So maybe you know I'm going on a cruise. And you're probably not shocked. But this will be a different cruise than any I've gone on. It's going to be with three friends that I haven't seen in  30+ years. Here's the story ...

A long, long time ago, I grew up in the town of Starkville, Mississippi. It's the home of Mississippi State University. I grew up on a dairy farm outside the city limits (at least for awhile). There were two public elementary schools in town. There were several churches, and our family attended First Baptist Church.

During these years, you usually had two sets of friends - the friends you hung out in school with, and the friends you hung out at church with (going to church at least three times a week facilitated that). And while sometimes those groups overlapped, often they didn't. And so here's where these friends come in.

Pam, Elizabeth, Laura, and I were more church friends than school friends. For one thing, we attended different schools. For another, we were in different activities. But at church we were all together in all things. Of course we had other friends too at church, but we also had each other as a group.

Pam got married first and the other three of us were in her wedding (the photo is cut and pasted because there was a fourth bridesmaid but she was a distant cousin and not a part of this friend equation). Anyhow, this happened during our early college years. I got married later that year (no bridemaids except my sister) and Elizabeth went away to college (although she had moved away during our senior year in high school) and Laura went away to nursing school. Through the years, we all moved away and didn't get together. We kept in touch by sending Christmas cards (some were better about it than others) and the occasional sighting every now and then.

Fast forward to last summer, when Pam contacted me about registering for the Princess Half Marathon. I gave her my advice, and she got entered. She and her husband Gregg came for the weekend at Disney World, and we spent some time catching up. After that, Pam came up with the idea that she wanted her bridesmaids to get together for a reunion.

So we started emailing back and forth. The first task was to locate Elizabeth. We had some faulty information, but I managed to locate a phone number and called her. And left a probably crazy message. But she got in touch and the planning began in earnest. With kids grown and getting married and jobs and retirement, it was tricky to find a time to get together. And decide on a venue. But once I mentioned "cruise," they were all in. And decided on a week-long one. And of course, it had to be Disney.

Laura had cruised before, but not on Disney. Pam and Elizabeth were cruise virgins. So it looked like the perfect plan. And so it has been. We have been emailing back and forth for months, and if nothing else, the emails have been a pure delight. I have laughed more than I have in awhile. Pam even collated the emails and put them in a document - that's about 50 pages long!

I have no idea what it's going to be like. I mean, after 30+ years, will we have anything in common? It's going to be interesting, and if the emails are any indication, it's going to be fun. And it's happening this weekend!!
Today is a gift because:  Lindley time; Massage Envy with Nikki

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