Friends move in and out of our lives. Maybe we move away. Sometimes they move away. We fight and fail to reconcile. Lives and interests diverge, and we no longer have much in common. If lucky a few special friends remain in our lives over the years. We may not communicate for weeks or months or years, but eventually reconnect once more. Thanks to social media it is easier nowadays to stay connected.
Four couples initially bonded decades ago when our kids were infants. The babies are now in their thirties. These four couples will experience a major life event in 2015 - six members will retire. The other two already enjoy retirement.
We are an unusual group of married duos – statistically speaking - each couple remains together since getting married decades ago.
We are thinking about a joint retirement celebration, but have yet to work out the details.
The celebration would go something like this:
We will meet in a convenient central location; we live spread over 600 miles. Summer is the ideal time. Long hours of daylight are conducive to driving lengthy distances. Retirement allows for leisurely travel, with ample time for pee stops, refilling coffee mugs, breaks to stretch legs and backs, and any other intermissions necessitated by aging but still moving bodies.
The place chosen for our celebration will provide comfortable accommodations with private bathrooms. Everything will be close and convenient and lighted by night-lights. Otherwise, up in the middle of the night, we might forget where we are. Who knows what accidents might occur...
Tired from sitting in a car for hours, we will rendezvous for an early dinner, then adjourn to the hotel bar for a nightcap. At least one of us will turn in by 9:00 p.m., the rest lasting a lot longer - maybe until 10:00 p.m.
Talk will revolve around the following topics of conversation endlessly discussed among members of our generation:
Aches and pains, crossing over into Medicare territory, and the frustration of dealing with insurance companies,
Kids, grandkids, weddings and funerals,
Where we live, where we used to live, where we want to live, and
Recent trips, imminent travel plans, and where we want to travel.
The second day's activities begin with breakfast, a choice of palette-pleasing dishes along with an assortment of pills downed for a variety of ailments.
We linger over coffee. Conversation concludes with a discussion of a morning walk and appropriate footgear, considering members' bunions, flat feet, broken toe, weak knees, and bad back. Who can go...how far each one of us can or wants to walk...
We stroll outside, but only if relatively flat and the weather perfect - sunny, not too cold, not too hot. Some of us will walk a few yards, others continue for a mile or longer, and the heartiest will complete five or six miles.
We meet again for lunch. Then sightseeing may be on the agenda, whether a local market, craft fair, museum, shopping, or simply wandering around town.
We return and decide on evening plans. We are not a late-night crowd, so clubbing (the music kind, not the caveman hitting each other kind) is out.
Dancing might be fun, but only to the oldies.
Oldie music for oldie minds and bodies, enjoyed with old friends.
An oldies reunion.
A good friend is a connection to life –
a tie to the past, a road to the future,
the key to insanity in a totally insane world.
- Lois Wyse