Girls Gone Wild-ly Paddling

I’m not here. I wrote this several days ago. I’m with my Girliepeeps.

How many of you over-20 folks get together with old friends on a regular basis? If you don’t, I’m here to tell you: it’s never too late to start.

My three best friends and I graduated from high school in 1979, ’80, and ’81. We went to college–off and on, some of us–staying in vague touch here and here. We went to a couple of each other’s weddings (only 2 of us 4 had them).

Then we lost touch, pretty much. For 15 years.

In 2002, I commented to my Mate that a friend of mine had annual get-togethers with her childhood friends. Another did the same with friends from college.

“You could do that,” he said.

“Yeah, right. We’re way too scattered. North Carolina, Georgia, Michigan, Washington–where would we all meet? It’d be way too expensive.”

“But worth it,” he said.

I love my husband. He values family and friendship above anything. Is it expensive for us to fly once a year for “nothing more” than 3-4 days catching up with each other? Yes. It’s also priceless.

Reunion #1, Michigan, 2002: we spent 48 solid hours talking, with short breaks for sleep. We all got sore throats.

Massachusetts, 2003 (where one of us has a sister with a home we could borrow): We kayaked on the Deer River, establishing a ¬†tradition of paddling which we’ve stuck with every year since. (OK, that one river in Georgia was too low for paddling, so we tubed…but close enough.)

Rivers, oceans, we're not picky--just give us paddles. And picnic lunch.

Rivers, oceans, we’re not picky–just give us paddles. And picnic lunch.

Washington, 2007: one of us brought recipes she wanted to share, establishing another tradition: cooking for each other. Champagne peach soup, anyone? Sweet  potato gnocchi?

Georgia, 2009: the host gave everyone little tea infusers, establishing the custom of host-gifting. (I already have my idea for next year, but it’s a secret.)

We’ve developed a few other traditions along the way. We try to have one evening with the spouse/partner/family of the host. We try to do something cultural: poetry reading, kangaroo rescue center (no, I am not making that up).

Seriously--a kangaroo sanctuary in north Georgia!

Seriously–a kangaroo sanctuary in north Georgia!

Who knows what new tradition is developing RIGHT NOW, as you are reading this and I am with my girliepeeps on the North Carolina coast?

I’ll get back to you on that.

So, reunions, anybody? Do you have them? With family, or with friends? How often? What are your traditions?