Long, long ago, I spent my first six years of school at a catholic school. Yes, six years. Way back then, kindergarten wasn't mandatory, so mom kept me home with her. I loved that. I also loved catholic school. It was a small school experience that I wouldn't have given up for anything. I made some great friends. We had a great time and made some wonderful memories. This is my sixth grade class.
The problem was, our school only went through sixth grade. I was now going to be forced to go out into the big world of public school. They had more kids in one grade than we had in our whole school. This was going to be scary and it was at first. But, I survived just as the rest of my sixth grade class did.
What I didn't realize at the time was that there were lots of kids out there that felt the same way I did. The public school kids were all coming to the middle school from their own grade schools. Granted, they would probably know more kids than me, but they were still in a new school too. This kind of leveled the playing field, so to speak. Come to find out, it was all good.
I made lots of new friends and my old friends were still there too. I truly loved my new school and my new friends. We had great times together. We all joined Tri Hi Y at the local YMCA. It was a girls club and we had a wonderful time. We did service projects, had meetings, threw dances on Friday nights and had amazing overnights at the Y. There was actually an above ground pool in the basement. Really friends, you can't make stuff like that up. We went to all the sporting events. We just had a great time.
Before we knew it, it was time to move on to high school. Same thing all over again. The school seemed huge to us, but we muddled through. At least this time, we knew more people than we knew before. We weren't in Tri Hi Y anymore, but we were still doing lots of things together. It was in May of my sophomore year that I met my future husband. Little by little, he became my priority and I was seeing less and less of my friends. So much so that I hardly ever spent time with them away from school. This was the beginning of the end of the closeness with a lot of my high school friends. Knowing what I know now, I never would have let that happen, but I was a young woman head over heals in love and that was what I thought was the right thing to do.
Fast forward about 37 or so years. It is the age of social media and Facebook is the greatest thing ever. I can't believe all the people I am reconnecting with. One day, I get a request to join the new page created for the Class of 73 from my old high school. I think about it and I join. This is one of the smartest things I have done in the last five years. We began to have our now famous "meet ups". The first one was at the home of one of the girls from the class. You'll find out later that she is one of the reasons for this post. Here is a picture from that first meet up. We had a wonderful time. The year books came out and we talked and talked.As time went on, we had more and more of our get togethers. They became more and more frequent. Any time a classmate came to town for a visit, we'd get together. Our spouses began to join in the fun. I remembered how much I loved these people and how much I had missed them. The more time went on, the more I found myself becoming closer and closer to two of these very special classmates and they are the real reason for this post. The classmates that I speak of are Jan and Leslie. Oh, you should meet them!
The more we got together and the more we talked, the more we realized how very much we had in common after all these years. We all had long standing marriages. Jan and I with our high school sweethearts. We loved our husbands, children, grandchildren and pets. We shared a love of Lake Michigan and loved to walk down the shoreline hunting for treasures of beach glass and crinoids. We had a love affair with our cameras. We like making things with our hands, but Leslie is the winner in that field. She is so very talented with her sewing, quilting, knitting and crocheting. She makes us very jealous. We are there for each other as sounding boards and shoulders to cry on. We rejoice in each others happiness and our hearts break in each others sadness. The lists goes on and on. It is just the best mix of three people ever. It makes me very happy!
Here we are under the kaleidoscope in Saint Joe, Michigan. We had so much fun that day. It was wonderful. We decided after this picture that we should always take our pictures looking up!
Here they are looking for those treasures along the Lake Michigan shoreline. We found some great treasures that day at Grand Mere.
Here we are with another one of our classmates, Bobbi, at Jan's lake house. We spent the night there and it was just like a high school sleepover all over again. So, so much fun! The only difference was that we didn't have any trouble with the legal age limit to drink. We've got more than double that now.
Leslie and Jan are the best people you will ever meet. They are always thinking of everyone but themselves. They are the first to ask what they can do to help. We keep in touch on Facebook. We text and email. We get together when we can, but it is never often enough. I am proud to call them my friends.
I guess when you think about it, my old friends are my new friends, but they are the same friends, but oh, they are the best of friends.
You are my sunshine, ladies. I love you!