Sunday, March 18, 2012

Treasured Friends ~ Treasured Times

Every three months, my dear high school friends meet for lunch.  This has been going on for over twenty years.  Most of us live scattered along the Front Range of Colorado from the Denver area to Pueblo.  The drive doesn't stop us from getting together.  We have our calendars marked three months in advanced for the next scheduled meeting of the group.  It seems there always a few who can't make it, but we nearly always have at least 12 to 15 girls (ladies) in attendance.  


In 2010, the weekend of a class reunion for the first four classes of our school, we held a special breakfast gathering for all of the girls from our class who were in town for the reunion.  That was our largest gathering ever.
EHS Girls of '63
Summer 2010




Yesterday, we had a very special Saint Patrick's Day gathering.  Originally, we were supposed to meet at my house, but Iris stepped up to the plate as the back-up person and held the party at her house.  Thanks, Iris!  She made sure we would all be decked out in a little green.




There are some great traditions that group continues to hold:

  • The hostess provides the main course or meat dish.  This year since our gathering was held on St. Patrick's Day, two others and I fixed corned beef.  



  • The others always bring the side dishes, appetizers, and desserts.  This time we had wonderful potatoes, boiled cabbage, a dish that combined cooked carrots, parsnips, and parsley, salad, Irish soda bread, and wonderful Irish oatmeal cake.  All of it was simply delicious.
  • The group always makes a toast to those who have passed on and are no longer with us.  The toast started to honor Shirley Boyce, one of the original founders of the group, who passed away from breast cancer a number of years ago.  Now, we also remember our dear Judy who passed on in November of 2010.
Making a toast to those who have passed on.
December 2011



  • Before the margaritas are mixed, we always have to find out who the virgins are.  Or, at least we find out who wants a virgin margarita.


The three virgins
  • We also must take the group photo as soon as we get there.  This is done right away so we don't forget to take it, and so we still look somewhat fresh.
EHS Girls of '63
Spring 2011


EHS Girls of '63
December 2011

  • We try to always have a time when we sit down and go around the circle and update each other on what is happening in each other's lives.  This is where we celebrate the victories or support the hard times.  This group of ladies have all been through some rough things such as cancer, high blood pressure, loss of spouse, illnesses, loss of children, and divorce.  They are truly there for one another, and they have made the commitment to each other to be there when there is a need.  The deep concern, love and support that this group gives is just amazing.
Each time we get together, I am reminded that when my girls give a hug, they mean it.  


A hug from a favorite hugger:
Val
Getting hugs
&
Getting the food set up go together




While no one is celebrated more than any other, we did have a few special attendees and guests yesterday. Dove came all the way from Vermont to attend the gathering which also happened to coincide with her birthday.  


Dove & Sally
March 17, 2012
Back in September of this past year, Dove and I were together at her beautiful home in Vermont on the same day as the girls were meeting back in Colorado.


Dove & Sally
Vermont, September 2011

Dove & Eileen catching up
and reminiscing about days going as far back as kindergarten
A birthday cake was in order since it was Dove's birthday.  I wrote about Dove in this post.  The first date with my husband was when we attended her 16th birthday party. She is the person who lined me up with this wonderful man I married.  Thanks again, Dove!

.

 In 2010, the group met at my home on my birthday.  I remember how thrilled we were that our dear friend Judy was well enough to join us.  She is sitting in the gold chair.  She had been through a really rough spot just before our gathering, but she made sure she joined us.  A few months later, her illness in remission, she looked so well and healthy at our summer reunion gathering.  (She is seated in the front row of that photo and is wearing a turquoise colored pair of slacks.)  Sadly, she would pass away just months after that.  True to the commitment this group has to each other, and true to the love they have for each other, many from the group met at her bedside as she was moved to hospice and just a short few hours before she passed away.  
EHS Girls '63
February 2010


Yesterday, the other special guests who joined us for dessert were Judy's granddaughter Maddie and her husband Ted.  It was so good to see Maddie, who seems to be doing so well.  She totally got into the St. Patrick's Day theme and made sure she was decked out in green from head to toe.  




EHS Girls '63
with Ted & Maddie
March 2012
As Dove drove me back to my house, we talked about how wonderful the gathering had been.  It was the first time Dove had actually been able to attend with us.  Although she had been at the summer reunion in 2010, she had never experienced the small intimate group.  We remarked how wonderful it is to be with the girls we grew up with. I find these times together with the group so affirming and grounding for me.  I think Dove summed it all up best when she wrote on Facebook,  I felt very nourished and energized by spending a few hours with them. Wonderful open hearted hugs and deep caring for one another, the power of women is a beautiful thing to experience.


There is an authenticity to the group that one seldom finds.  We know where we came from, who we are, and what we have been through.  Some of us knew each other's parents and siblings.  We remember the neighborhoods we grew up in together.  We remember our teachers, and we remember how we just never had enough time to talk and got in trouble in class because we couldn't stop talking.  In fact, we shared and talked non-stop from 11:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m yesterday.  Then, sadly the clock said we had to part again, but we will meet again in three months.  
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