Thursday, April 3, 2008

Getting Away

"The only way to have a friend is to be one. " ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The real test of friendship is: can you literally do nothing with the other person? Can you enjoy those moments of life that are utterly simple?" ~Eugene Kennedy

"Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering. " ~Saint Augustine

Sometimes life presents reasonable alternatives to selling your kids on Ebay. Last weekend was one of those opportunities as three of my college roommates and I came from Georgia, Alabama, and Texas to converge on a Florida beach house. The four husbands were, as my father noted with obvious amazement, very “broadminded” to let us go by ourselves for five days, but I think the conversations were similar in each of the households:

So, what are you girls going to do?
Nothing … absolutely nothing.

Do you think your mom could come to help with the kids?
(answers to this one varied)

Will you be, uh ... coming home?
Umm … I haven’t decided yet.

I took a couple of books to read, but in typical* “girl” fashion, reading was pushed aside as we opted instead to talk and laugh and talk and laugh. We watched a couple movies, played Scrabble, Sudoku, and hearts, walked the beach looking for shells, enjoyed the dolphins dancing by in the water, and relished the perfect weather (by perfect I mean warm sunshine and clear skies, but not so hot that you sweat – not even a drop!) We sat on the beach with sunscreen on and still managed to get sunburned, though not enough to induce misery. We went out to dinner on the waterfront surrounded by seagulls and pelicans. We reminisced about our college days, caught each other up on people we’d stayed in touch with, and took lots of pictures. We shared stories of our lives, including those of the eleven kids we’d birthed (ranging in age from “almost 2” to twelve). We treasured the silence that made conspicuous their absence, but missed them just enough to go home when the weekend was over.

We’re already talking about doing it again next year.

Thank you, husbands, for your love and support and for allowing us to go! Thank you, kids, for not denying us the opportunity to get away from cries of Mooooooooom! and the leg-grasping, tear-spouting, fist-flying, accusation-exchanging, tantrum-throwing, attention-demanding part of life. Thank you, God, for lifelong friends who love and encourage us.

* Lest anyone wonder, none of us are "typical" girls! Case in point, we walked away from college with degrees in Chemical, Electrical, Textile, and Mechanical Engineering.

One of the girls had gone to the chiropractor just before the trip and it came up in conversation. He joked with her about the partying she was about to do, but was taken aback when she said, “One of the girls’ husbands is the worship pastor at their church, one of them is getting ready to go on the mission field …” He cut her off with “BORING!”

It’s all a matter of perspective, of course, but from ours (despite our geeky backgrounds) he couldn’t have been more wrong.

Now, where is that 2009 calendar?


  1. Oh I am sooooooo jealous! What a great idea! I'm so glad you had such a good time.

  2. Glad you had the chance to get away. Thank the Lord for great friendships.

  3. How wonderful! God is so good to bless us w/ friends!

  4. Sounds heavenly. If you don't mind, I'm inviting myself along for next year's trip.

  5. Oh how wonderful is the gift of God loving friends!

  6. I don't envy the friends being subjected to Scrabble with Sharon. Believe it or not, I remember a Thanksgiving trip to Sierra Vista when my somewhat sharp, mid-collegiate mind had no trouble beating her wearied, post-engineering one.

    Best I can tell, she took it as the ultimate challenge, as now she would make a good run at the national Scrabble championships. Best I can tell, she spent the Germany years with her nose buried in the Scrabble Dictionary. I'm sure it hasn't helped that my aforementioned mind has atrophied over the past 8 years!!

    Cool idea, tho. Glad you had fun.


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