Friday, November 3, 2017

Reunited...after 10 years!!!

Wow, was my month made yesterday.  The entirety of the afternoon was spent with one of my dearest longtime friends, Lindsay, and her fiancée, Kim.  The especially noteworthy part?  Lindsay and I haven’t seen one another in person for over a decade.  So this was a special meeting, to be sure.

She texted me about a week ago, informing me of her soon coming flight up to NH at the last minute, asking if I might be around and we could potentially meet?  If this might be something that could work out?  To which I nearly fell out of my seat in enthusiastic “yes!” 

Friends literally since birth, our mothers having worked together before we were even born and then her mother babysitting my brother and me for several years when we were little kids.  We have known one another for the entirety of our lives.  Trick or Treating together, having shared Christmas parties between our families, attending the same middle schools and high schools and having a handful of mutual friends over the years, Lindsay and I were one of each other’s favorite friends, and were one of the people with whom each of us spent the most time.

Both of us featuring prominently in the vast majority of one another’s childhood memories over years and years together.  We have quite literally thousands of memories and moments together.  Ranging from sweet, to adventurous, hilarious and mischievous, to touching.  Seeing and spending time with each other almost every single day of our lives from the age of toddler through until the age of 15, when she moved away to Virginia.  A startling shift that crushed both of us.

However, we remained in close touch over the years even after her move.  I went down to Virginia to visit.  We have emailed, written one another letters by hand, sent gifts in the mail, and talked on Skype regularly.  We spoke on the phone frequently all through college, our phone calls often lasting for hours on end.  Both of us have been emotional supports and respites to one another during several challenging and confusing life periods, mostly taking place during college, but others sprinkled about here and there as well.  We have also been each others cheerleaders, sounding boards, sources of laughter and goofiness over the years.  It didn't take much time for us to break out into our usual zaniness and animated storytelling upon being reunited once again this time around ;-p.  As characteristic of both our personalities, as well as our dynamic with one another.  

Our friendship is one filled with silliness, imagination, creativity, joy, emotional support, openness and love.  She is someone with whom I feel myself, and I believe she feels the same. 

Aside from an upsetting and thankfully brief falling out which lasted roughly two years (after which, we reconnected strongly and resumed our friendship again), we have remained dear friends to one another for going on 32 years now.  She is hands down my longest friendship, and absolutely one of my closest.  Akin to something of a sister to me, we know each other intimately, our connection and friendship persevering and remaining strong.  She is a treasure in my life. 

Spending time with both her and her fiancée was fabulous.  Kim, with whom I haven’t gotten to spend even close to as much time as I would like to over the years, is an insightful, warm, funny, lovely woman.  I was thrilled and honored to spend a handful of hours with the two of them, getting to know her even better.

We spent our day together wandering the downtown area of Concord, essentially where our friendship began.  We had lunch at Willows, a delicious vegan restaurant.  Then we walked Main Street, reminiscing and talking about how it used to look when the two of us got into much mischief and trouble down there, back in the day.  We ducked into Crust and Crumb, snagging something sweet and some hot tea.  This place has, hands down, one of the best flourless chocolate tortes I have ever sampled.  Then we stopped into my mom’s workplace, surprising my mother who stood up, tears running down her cheeks upon seeing Lindsay again after all these years.

The four of us stood and chatted for several minutes before we said goodbye and the three of us went back out onto Main Street for more wandering.  We ducked into Granite State Candy shop, another nostalgic childhood locale for the two of us.  Breathing in deep the smell of mint chocolate, oh man.  I love walking into this place.  Wish I could bottle the scent for my own kitchen ;-).  The three of us bought a few treats and then sat for some water and teas in True Brew, a cute, cozy café in Bicentennial Square.

We told funny stories, lots of reminiscing and gut busting laughter, as well as catching one another up on things regarding our lives at present day.  We hopped in the car and I drove us to see Lindsay’s old house, the one in which she grew up and where the two of us played for hundreds of hours together.  Jumping rope in her driveway for long afternoons, riding bikes up and down the street, playing pretend games inside together. 

Then we hopped back in the car and took a detour over to my old house on Essex Street, chuckling gleefully in recounting our climbing up onto my roof and smoking cigarettes (thankfully, a short lived curiosity) while taking off our shirts and lying about in our pants and bras to get some sun, thinking we were just oh so badass and rebellious.  Remembering sleeping on my balcony a handful of times.  Throwing eggs at the neighborhood boys.  Going frogging and searching for duck eggs in the park pond just next door.  Riding sleds down what had seemed like at the time the huge hill in White Park (which now as we realized looking at it, wasn’t so monstrous after all).
See below for some of said scenes of the just described crimes ;-)

The house in which Lindsay grew up.  Where my brother and I were babysat throughout much of our childhood.  Much hilarity was conjured in this house.  A haunted house assembled by myself and Lindsay in her bathroom (which resulted in lots of screaming and a cousin pooping his pants in the shower), imaginative games, arguments with siblings, much cinnamon toast eaten for snacks throughout the day, movies watched, silly dances choreographed and done in her living room, the list goes on.

The house in which my brother and I grew up (yellow one), from the ages of about 5 through 16.  SO many thousands of memories here.  And yes, that is the very roof at the tip top (see the sole window that sits above the balcony- yup, that's where we climbed out of and sat regularly) where we got up to some interesting antics.

This photo and the next two are White Park, where much frogging commenced, the attempt at snatching a duck egg (failed, and thank god for that), and much more silliness and adventure was embarked upon within, the two of us ever partners in crime.

It was just the best day with her and Kim.  Relaxed, easy, feeling as though we had just seen each other a few months ago.  Falling right back into our connection as though we had barely been apart.  Certainly not for a decade, that’s for sure.  My month was made spending time with these two in person, finally, after such a long time.  What an outstanding, awesome day.

The gorgeous coasters Lindsay gave me yesterday, which she said she had seen and thought of me, getting them 3 years ago :-) and having saved them since to give to me at some point <3.  Whenever I use them, Ill think of both Paris- one of my favorite cities, and her.

Ah yes. We had many moments akin to this...minus the police involvement, of course ;-p

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