The third girl needed real friends. She had been dumped by her church friends when she became a cheerleader. And dumped by her cheerleading friends when she quit the team.
And so, girl three tumbled over a hurdle and one of the neighbors had to carry her into the locker room. It was the start of a wonderful friendship – one that has been real and true, surviving relocation, divorce, deaths and long silences.
The other Neighbor girl arrived late to the party. Her family moved into the apartment complex a year later. Before long, she was invited into the tight friendship circle. After all, a circle contains numberless points.
Fast Forward Thirty Years
After many years of separation, the last girl added to the circle reconnected with the other girls. Yes, thank you, Facebook. It started with a lunch. Who knew they had lived so close to each other all this time?
The other lady (yes, none of them are girls any longer) lives in a different state. In this era, that means nothing. But the Internet can only take you so far.
Thus, a girlfriend weekend was planned.
Obviously, this author is one of the three women in this friendship.
The woman from the other state, L1, is a computer geek. Okay, an IT specialist for the county where she lives. Do any of the rest of us really understand what that means? (Do we want to?)
These two women had spent several weekends together, but it had been many years. At the mention of it, the third friend wanted to experience this great method for catching up and relaxing (as well as escape from familial stress for two days).
The third woman, L2, has been struggling to raise her orphaned nephew. She works in transportation. She’s the only one who still has both of her parents (and they are the reason she lives so close to this author).
This was a Friday-Saturday getaway. A central location was agreed upon (more on that later) and a hotel room secured.
“What are we going to do?”
The location was a high desert, so the mid-spring weather promised to be dry. The hotel was located along a river walk.
“We’ll play it by ear.”
That’s part of the adventure anyway, isn’t it?
Besides, this weekend was mainly about reconnecting with old friends. That meant talking. Who needs to be entertained when you have two friends to chat with?
Richland, Washington was chosen for this first get-together. (Yes, first, meaning there will be a second). L1 reserved a room at a Shilo Inn along the river.
Ms. Writer picked up L2 at a shopping mall near her home. They carpooled down the interstate, chattering like squirrels on speed. What better way to make the miles fly?
A nearby baseball tournament filled the motel with teenage boys on Friday night. Which turned out to be an interesting twist since someone brought a shoe box full of old notes (more on that later).
To say the motel was dated is being kind. At least it was clean. The pool was out of service and the weather promised to hit the high 70s. But the river trail was wide and paved and headed past two marinas and some interesting condos and restaurants.
Friday was a late night. No one could believe the collection of notes from 1981-1983. Not even L1, who called herself the keeper of historical documents. Sounds better than pack rat, I suppose.
What to Do
Talk. Walk. Try to shop. Talk. Walk. Eat out. Talk. Walk. Talk.
And before we blinked three times, it was Sunday morning and we were checking out.
Parting felt painful. The goodbyes were stretched through a milkshake at Applebee’s.
“We have to do this again.”
And so, same time next year, the trio will travel to Seattle. Reservations in a nice condo are already made.
The historical records? We hope the maids at the Shilo got as much laughter from reading them as we did.