In my endlessly long autobiographical birthday post I mentioned the fun I had during my first year of university. One of the reasons I enjoyed that year so much was the three girlfriends with whom I shared much of my time. We took classes together, travelled together, ate lunch together, studied together, laughed together and despaired together. We ate countless chocolate chip muffins, listened to each other's music, stayed up talking late into the night, nursed each other's heartbreak, and got each other through that exciting first year of adulthood. I knew then that we would be friends forever, and more than twenty years later we still are. We don't see each other much, but this weekend three of us are making a new memory together.
Julie and Shari and I became friends of the first day of Grade 9, and stuck together through high school and university. We were in each other's weddings, and kept in touch afterward as much as our busy lives would allow. Shari is married to Craig, whom we found for her that first year of university (okay, Shari, I'll let you take some of the credit), and they have two great kids, Morgan and Matthew. Unfortunately, Shari won't be joining us this weekend, but we did have a great visit in Summer 2009 when Julie hosted a joint 40th birthday party for the four of us. Although at one time I would have said Shari and I were the closest, we now keep in touch the least. She is a full-time working mom, and let's face it, keeping up with faraway friends isn't easy, even with today's technology. She is a very important part of a lot of memories that I will always treasure though. Wish you could be here with us this weekend, Shari!
Julie is the best at keeping in touch. She faithfully phones me on a regular basis, and she has taken responsibility for making most of the arrangements for our getaway weekend. She bought the tickets to Wicked, which we saw tonight — it was amazing, as expected. She made the hotel and restaurant reservations. She's the official organizer! She is a very busy girl, making sure her family's construction company runs smoothly, keeping active at the gym, and serving on the boards of various associations. But Julie has always made keeping friendships current a high priority and I appreciate that. She is a faithful reader of my blog, which I also truly appreciate! Thanks for making this weekend happen, Jules!
Denise and I were in the same homeroom throughout three years of high school. But we never met until Frosh Week at UNBSJ. That's what happens when you go to a huge high school! That week we discovered that we were both Arts students, planning to be English Majors. We took at least half of our classes together for four years. We had so much in common, but were in many ways complete opposites. She was my right arm throughout university, and I'm so glad we've been able to keep in touch so well in the years since. We used to write old-fashioned letters on paper (remember those?), and every time I got one in the mail I would hurry to a quiet corner to devour it. Since then, we have evolved. We rely mostly on Facebook and our blogs to stay in touch, and the occasional email. One of my favourite things about NaBloPoMo is that I get to read a new post from Denise every day. She lives on a farm in Eastern Ontario with her husband, Andrew, and their three adorable kids, Erik, Anna and Grace. She writes, of course, and she is an editor and a college professor, and life on her farm seems just idyllic. I love being able to read about it every day. And this weekend I can hear about it in person.
So here we are, in Toronto, eating and shopping and talking and going to the theatre and eating some more and shopping some more and talking some more. Julie flew in yesterday, I planned to take the train from London but ended up on a bus (long story — will fill you in later), and Denise drove down with her kids, whom she dropped off with her father in the suburbs. I've been looking forward to this weekend for about six months, and it's flying by way too fast. Denise and I have just stopped in the business center to update our blogs (and keep our NaBloPoMo commitments). Tomorrow afternoon, I'll be home, ready to write all about my weekend away.