A tradition in my office was the Xmas party. Mostly we don’t get many keepers among the photos. Alcohol can make your hand shake. But this one is sentimental. This group is my OR nurses and Don. Boy, everyone looked so young. It’s only a few years gone by. Well, more like 15 years. How time passes fast. Just like everyone else, a lot has happened since this picture. Lives, fortune, hopes, and dreams have all changed.
You may let your imagination run wild. This slide would never pass a quality image test. On a ski weekend with our buddies, we frequently rented a place – four couples and our two kids would stay together. This particular house had a hot tub. After a long day on the ski slopes (about a couple hours for the ladies) that hot tub beckoned. Actually, I missed the embarrassing moment. Apparently Kevin knocked and my wife Lisa answered, “Come in.” thinking that it was her husband, (me). Well needless to say there was a bit of shocking surprise/confusion. This image was snapped a bit later. It’s Kevin and Bob. And that’s Susan, she’s with ‘stupid.’ But hey! Everyone’s got a bathing suit.
One of Julia’s best friends is about to be married in a few weeks. They have known each other since kindergarten. This is one of those Bear Mountain trips and both girls ran around the lake and we started a camp fire and everyone had a good ‘ole time. Wow! Time flew by. Laura will be married soon. Everyone’s a grown up now. I can’t say that I’m quite ready. If you’re not sure what I mean, so am I.
For a few years while the kids were in grammar school, we visited Mohonk Mountain House with a bunch of other families. It was an opportunity for the kids to hang out and not be constantly supervised by a hovering parent. It was a fairly relaxed few days where we could hike, cross country ski, skate, snow tube, or just lounge around. The kids had a great time with a little freedom. They weren’t being escorted and watched every moment. And we enjoyed seeing them be kids.
So my friend and colleague Harald asked, “I’m having my 60th birthday. Will you come to my party?” He’s much older than me, really! (wink)
I replied without hesitation and some enthusiasm, “Sure, I’d love to.”
“Great!” he continued, “It will be in September… in Norway.”
I believe that this is/was one of the best set up lines…ever! So here I am in Norway, never having planned to visit, but somewhere thinking it was on the list somewhere below the 50% point that I would visit. I’m not even in a known town. You can’t call it a town even. The entering and leaving message is on the same board. It saved money/firewood I guess. That’s Harald, the big Viking. He did eventually marry Hiromi. The blonde is Kristina who’s related to another rather famous neurosurgeon. Harald has been a true friend and I wish him the best.
Well, that’s how we refer to them. Summer in the Hamptons, it’s a beautiful day at the beach full of friendship. Product placement? Who knew what the future would/will bring. We’ve been friends twenty five plus years. I’m now hanging with a bunch of old people. Yes, but this was one of life’s glorious days when this picture was snapped. Funny, how it’s seldom raining in the pictures we keep in our memories.
This motley group has known each other and remained friends for a quarter century now. I know that there are buddies for much longer. But it’s a record for me. I had that itinerant childhood, remember. And friends come and go, some important and others seen intermittently as the years pass. This group has been geographically dispersed but determined to gather periodically. Things change and recently Bob has dropped from the list. It happens when couples split. One side gets the favorite restaurant, another the friends. It’s a natural selection, not a legal decision. Too bad.