My wife Steph had company this past weekend. 3 of her best friends in the world for the last 36 years came to Tampa for the weekend. This wasn’t the 1st visit nor will it be the last visit. Over the years Steph has gone north to visit with these friends time and again.
I have known these ladies only slightly less than Steph, but I don’t know them as well as Steph and I could never hope to. Steph could not have gone out and picked 3 finer people to be her best friends. While they all have their little horns, their hearts are made of pure gold, and the friendship and love they share for each other is deeper than the Grand Canyon.
As you look you see Bonnie on the far left, Jean, Linda, and of course Steph. Bonnie is the reserved shy one, Jean is the court Jester and instigator of mucho trouble, Linda is the Matriarch, and Steph (as I choose my words wisely) is the somewhat quiet calming influence and organizer. But for all I know Steph could be hell on wheels when she travels north to be with her friends.
I know I was privileged to be around them. My duties were limited to cooking breakfast and being the sober driver. Both jobs I took quite seriously, and had a lot of interaction with the ladies in that limited capacity LOL. Each day I excused myself to go take a nap, but I am sure being the fly on the wall would have been fun. But this isn’t about me, it’s about them. The friendship they have built over the years and the effort they have gone thru to make sure they didn’t grow apart.
They met through their membership in BPW (Business and Professional Woman) almost 36 years ago. After they left BPW they continue their friendship via a monthly (or so) breakfast club, I think at one time the breakfast club was up to six, but the core was these four lovely ladies. I went a few times, Allison has gone several times, and I am sure there have been others that cycle thru the breakfast club. They met at a variety of local restaurants in the Northern Virginia area.
After Steph and I moved to Florida, she began getting calls from the Club on random Saturday mornings. Smiling over the years many a Saturday morning Steph would get a call from a hysterically insane giggling Jean just to say hi to Steph. I only heard Steph’s side of these conversations, but I know she spoke to everyone in attendance, and I know from time to time she was laughing so hard she almost pee’d her pants. Being on the sidelines and watching this, is and has been hilarious.
The way they share warmth and bond, you would never know that they see each other only occasionally. To an outsider they appear to be quite normal (which they aren’t), and most would think that the four of them together is a common event, it isn’t. It would be hard to fathom that most of Steph’s communications with them comes via Facebook or AOL, except for Bonnie who is about 2 steps behind the technology curve. They are so natural together. They can and do finish each other’s sentences, they laugh at the same parts of movies, and I am sure they share their deepest secrets to each other, knowing that secret will be safe forever.
This was a weekend for relaxing and that is exactly what the ladies did. Breakfast was served around 9 or so. I cooked, and I know I busted some diet plans. Smiling, and they really enjoyed breakfast. After breakfast it was into the pool. The insanity was contagious. As they floated in the pool wine was served or bourbon was served on vodka was consumed. The ladies enjoyed themselves. Light snacks were all afternoon long, it was help yourself to whatever you could find that you wanted. The evenings were spent out to dinner and home for a movie or TV show or a DVD. More wine was consumed, as well as, vodka and bourbon. LMAO this paragraph would imply that the 4 ladies drank, and to be honest they did LOL. But they knew they were in a safe haven, and nobody got stupid, nobody got drunk. They consumed just enough to keep them all giggling. Which is far better than most of the “all guy” golf trips I have been on.
To be honest I toned them out, it was their weekend, I intentionally tried not to listen to conversations I thought to be private. I was the bump on the log. I rarely could add anything of substance to their conversations, because it was about them, their memories, their stories, and their friendship. But bless their hearts they did try to engage me, and I am honored that they trusted me enough that there were not totally reserved around me.
On Tuesday morning Steph and I took them back to the airport. With a great deal of hugs, kisses and promises that I know will be kept they headed home. They took with them great memories of the weekend, and left many a smile on Steph and my face. Steph is blessed to have 3 such friends, friends that will look after her, her entire life, friends who she will watch out and care for, for their lives.
Folks as always if you have any questions or comments please feel free to ask, but be aware this is one time I can’t promise to answer them all. Take care, Bill