Monday, March 18, 2013

Takeaways

A recap of the gathering of my high school girlfriends:

As some of you who regularly read my blog know, my high school buddies and I gather every three months for a get together.  This time, I was the hostess.  It was the first real party at my new home.  I was so excited to have my girls properly "warm" my new home with their presence.  

Whenever we gather, we spend nearly entire Saturday together.  We have our routine.  The hostess selects the theme and prepares the main dish.  The others bring the rest of the food.  We begin to gather around 11:00 and start off by catching up with each other while we munch on the appetizers.  In the past, margaritas were prepared in a blender so we can toast each other and remember those of our group whom have passed on.  This time, Ginger made that job easier.  Why didn't someone think of bringing already prepared mixed drinks before?  

All we had to do this time was make the "virgin" drinks.  I got out my new Vitamix to make those "unleaded" drinks.  Since I didn't have on my glasses, I pushed the "hot soup" button instead of "frozen desserts."  Oh well, it all worked out.  Someone saved the day by catching my mistake and the virgin drinks were mixed correctly.  Toasts were made, and we remembered our dear classmates who are no longer with us.  

Now we could get on with the party.  Pam set up the staging area for our group photo.  We have to do that before we eat so we don't forget to take that all important photo for the scrapbook.  Also, we must take the photo while we still have our lipstick on! 

After the official photos are taken, it is time to get the food on the table and eat.
Pam cuts up the corned beef

We had plenty of wonderful food

Val serves up her green jello
When my husband and I were looking for our home, I had several criteria that I said must be met.  First of all, I wanted a kitchen where friends and family could gather around a kitchen table, and yet there would be room for those who are cooking to have room to cook.  This house fits that bill perfectly.

Next, I needed a formal dining room that was big enough for me to use when entertaining my high school girl friends.  That was a priority when it came to selecting the perfect house.  With each house I visited on the house hunt, I would ask myself, "Could I seat everyone in close proximity to each other for luncheon gatherings?"  Check that off the list.  This house works perfectly for that too.   

Takeaways from our time together
Takeaways definition from Dictionary.com:
"conclusions, impressions, or action points resulting from a meeting, discussion, roundtable or the like"


As a teacher, I often asked my students to record takeaways after a roundtable discussion about a book we were reading.  As a teacher, I often recorded my own takeaways after a conference I attended.  And so, as I reflected on the time I spent with my dear high school girlfriends this past week, it is no wonder that it seemed appropriate to record the takeaways I want to remember about not only this group, but also about our most recent gathering.  

  • It takes a long time to grow an old friend.  ~ John Leonard  Friendships as deep and rich as those in this group do not happen overnight.  They were first formed when we were young girls, but they have been nurtured and treated with great care for decades.


    • Of all the secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood the most divine was humor. ~ Rebecca Wells The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.  Carol showed up in her outrageous St. Patrick's Day hat.  I teased that she would get me kicked out of the HOA if she walked down the street in the hat.  One of the things we do best as a group is laugh.  We have many deep belly laughs when we are together.  Sometimes, my stomach will actually hurt from laughing so much when we are together.  It is just great to laugh with your girl friends.  What a blast we all still have.  



    • A good friend is a connection to life - a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.  ~Lois Wyse
    Since our  70th birthdays are not that far down the road, we decided we should start to plan for a weekend get away to celebrate reaching that important milestone in life.  We will have sleepover of sorts by getting away to a bed and breakfast for the weekend.  I remember those sleepovers when we were 16 and 17.  I wonder if the guys will try to crash our 70th birthday party sleepover.  I doubt it.  One of the girls asked if we'd noticed how the guys in our class seem like old men.  

    • I have a lot of fun.  If something isn't fun, I don't do it.  ~ Kathy Eisert Lautaret  Kathy, our Irish princess because she had the most Irish blood in her, said this when we were sharing our updates in our sharing circle after lunch.  I love her attitude.  This is definitely a takeaway I want to remember.  Fun, is must be a part of life.  I am trying to remember to incorporate a bit of it into my life everyday.  Thanks for the reminder Kathy.
    • A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails.  ~Donna Roberts



    • I think about little girls going off to kindergarten holding hands to support each other and now as we face 70 we support each other– symbolically holding hands maybe. ~ Iris Clark  Iris sent out this sentiment via an email after the gathering.  In a nutshell, she summed up the beauty of the group.  We do hold each other in our hearts and by the hand.  We share our latest joys and challenges during our sharing time.  This time, Pam brought a timer.  We only had five minutes!  If we took longer we would be driving home in the dark. 
    And so the greatest takeaway of all is: 
    • Hold a true friend with both your hands.  ~Nigerian Proverb



    I am richly blessed by these beautiful ladies.  I love each one of them so dearly.  What a treasure you all are.  

    23 comments:

    Olga said...

    This is a wonderful tradition. It seems rare that childhood friends should stay so well connected. You have something very special.
    P.S. Your new house looks so nice. like a loved home.

    DJan said...

    A simply beautiful and well written post, Sally. I feel blessed to know you, and to see how much you are loved and cherished by your old school friends. What a great group! I love that last picture especially, but each one is a treasure. :-)

    Betsy Adams said...

    That is truly awesome, Sally... It is so wonderful to get together with old friends. Your home is perfect for entertaining.. I know that you had a wonderful time.. Congrats!!!

    Hugs,
    Betsy

    Arkansas Patti said...

    "A good friend is a connection to life - a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world. ~Lois Wyse"
    This quote really struck a nerve with me and is a keeper. It seems your group practices it to the letter.
    What a marvelous tradition you all have established.

    Jeanie said...

    I love that you and your friends carry on your tradition with so much fun and so many laughs. Your pictures are a priceless record of the fun you are having.

    Dee said...

    Dear Sally, this was a lovely posting--a true tribute to friendship. Your group is so inspiring--all of you together since you were five and in kindergarten.

    Thank you for the quotations about friendship. The last one--the Nigerian one--summed up everything. Peace.

    Jackie said...

    Beautiful group of friends...and I'm glad that you hold each other in your hearts.
    That sleepover sounds like such fun. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with me.
    Hugs and love,
    Jackie

    Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

    How truly special your group remains. I see you all had the theme od March in your dress code for your time to ether :)
    You chose some very wise words in this post.
    Thank you for sharing.

    Chatty Crone said...

    What a great time and what a great group of friends. I wish I was there!!!!!
    sandie

    George said...

    What a wonderful, special group. It's fantastic that you have remained in touch through the years. I hope your sleepover is a big success.

    rosaria williams said...

    What a beautiful group! You ladies are most lucky to have had each other for all these years.

    Linda Myers said...

    Ah, friendships!

    Jeanie said...

    Sally, your house is gorgeous and it looks as though you have lived there forever. What a glorious group of women! It's clear you had a fabulous time! I'm just delighted for you!

    Perpetua said...

    Such a heart-warming post, Sally, and how lucky you are to belong to such a large and devoted group of friends.

    Somehow I can;'t see the same happening in the UK. With no tradition of high school yearbooks, friends soon disconnect when they move out into the world and especially away from their home town to college. I'm only in touch with one friend from high school now, but several from my college days.

    Friko said...

    I can only congratulate you on your good fortune and hope that your friendship will last forever.

    troutbirder said...

    What fun and often! My spouse makes a trip to the Twin Cities once a year for something similar. She attended Our Lady of Peace for high school in St. Paul. OLP as it were. Apparently fondly remembered now by the "girls" as Old Ladies Penetentary....:)

    Keicha Christiansen said...

    What great quotes! I think the last one is my favorite.

    The pictures show more of your house than I've seen before. Seeing all your spring decorations and daffodil plates and cups made me homesick. I can't wait to see and lay my hands on everything when I'm there for Easter. Is that weird? I really feel the need to see your new house, and touch all the familiar markers that signify mom's house to help me connect to this new space.

    Kay said...

    OH WOW! Your kitchen is huge and your house is absolutely gorgeous and perfect for entertaining. How wonderful that you're all able to get together regularly. You are a beautiful group of friends.

    dkzody said...

    May we all look so good as we get to 70. Beautiful women doing beautiful things.

    Barb said...

    Sally, I'm catching up on some of your posts. I haven't been on the computer much lately. I hate missing your news, though! What a great group of gals! Your home looks so inviting, too - you must have gotten all those boxes organized! Reading about your exercising at the Y and that your family will be visiting for Easter makes me think that you're doing well and feeling better. I'm glad! It's been snowing in Breck all week. We need it, of course - its just in time for Spring Break. Some of the family will visit this week to ski. I'm hoping to feel well enough to go out with the grands- have been house-bound with this allergy issue long enough! Happy Easter to you, Sally! Keep smiling and having fun!

    Anonymous said...

    Just stumbled across you blog--your post made me feel (and wish) I were there. God bless you all.

    dkzody said...

    One thing I seemed to have missed: are you now living in the town where you all went to school? or do all these women fly in from all over the country for these reunions?

    dkzody said...

    One thing I seemed to have missed: are you now living in the town where you all went to school? or do all these women fly in from all over the country for these reunions?