Reunions...that's part of what this past summer was all about for me. I attended not one...but three! Two of the reunions were for family...my mother's side and my dad's side. Yet, before both of those, I met up with three friends from our college years, at a cabin in Cable, WI.
We all shared an apartment our sophomore year, having spent our freshman year living on campus. You can only imagine what that year was like...first year away from the campus food service! None of us were good cooks, having relied too much on mothers who cooked for us. We took turns cooking a meal for each other once a week and endured several disasters...notably my "fried chicken"! Yep, rolling chicken pieces in flour, salt and pepper, then baking the chicken instead of frying it was not particularly tasty! Just a little dry! There was always tried and true hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill...
I remember many late night chats, tears over boyfriend breakups, meals eaten out at the Ground Round and Pannekoeken House (when we had a little money to spare and were sick of our own cooking!), shopping at Rosedale, cheering at football games, commiserating over tough classes, cramming for tests, typing our papers, coffee in the coffee shop and Doc's Corner, and discussing the latest chapel speaker's message...Tony Campolo, Madeline L'engle, Stuart and Jill Briscoe, to name a few.
Sharing life, away from our parents and families, we depended on one another for fun, laughter, encouragement, friendship, and a hug when life was hard. When you live closely like that, sharing an apartment and even a bedroom, you learn to read each other's moods and all pretense falls away. You become like sisters...with a bond of faith and love. One of the huge advantages of attending a smaller college or university like Bethel is the wonderful connections you can make over the four years. Though one of us, Cindy, transferred out after that sophomore year, the rest of us stayed on and graduated together.
Over the years, we lost track of each other once in a while, perhaps due to moving, marriage, and raising kids. Yet, two or three of us always managed to stay in touch...at least by Christmas cards. You gotta remember this was all prior to social media or even email! Somehow, via facebook and texting, we managed to reconnect and plan a time to get together at Barb's cabin in northern Wisconsin near Cable, on Lake Namakagon.
Barb arrived a day ahead of us, and Cheryl drove up from St. Paul to meet her. Cindy flew in from Texas and I flew in from Seattle, and we met up at the airport and drove north for about four hours together. Though Cindy and I had not seen each other in over 35 years, the conversation was easy and genuine...never awkward or strained. We actually got a little lost because we weren't paying enough attention to the signs as we chatted away...limited GPS service in northern Wisconsin! Arriving to a lovely supper waiting for us, we caught up on each others lives and the years faded away.
Over the three days, we swam out to the raft, kayaked, walked the country roads, talked about books and life on the screened porch, ate out at several restaurants, did a little shopping, watched a movie, and had a wonderful time together. Laughing, talking, sharing stories about our kids, getting a little teary eyed over hard seasons remembered, praying together...the bond of friendship grew stronger. We so enjoyed Barb's lovely and spacious cabin...perfect for the north woods of Wisconsin.
The lovely dining room...
Cozy living room...
The screened porch...
We each had our own bedroom, decorated with lovely quilts...I sadly neglected to get any pictures!
We ate breakfast at the Delta Diner...featured once in Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives!
Bethel girls about town...in Cheryl's Beamer convertible!
We were treated to a delicious dinner at the Garmisch Inn by Barb's husband, Tim!
What a wonderful time! I'm reminded of Proverbs 17:17 that says, "A friend loves at all times.." I'm so thankful for the faith and friendship we share, even after all these years. Thanks, Barb, Cindy, and Cheryl, for the memories...I treasure them and you!
How about you? Would love to hear if you stay connected to college friends!
Hope you are enjoying this early fall...or as some say, Indian summer! I'm not quite ready to let summer go :/. Kayaked home last night to a full moon...photo a little fuzzy due to the water! Warmly, Gracia