Last week I returned from a wonderful vacation to see my close friend, Sue, in North Carolina. We had never met each others families given we’ve lived on opposite ends of the country much of the time since college. So a few weeks ago, I headed to the East coast. The day before I left for my trip, we spent nearly an hour talking on the phone. Her husband said in the background, “You guys won’t have anything to talk about when she gets here.” We burst out laughing.


That’s one difference between men and women — women don’t run out of things to say! We teased him throughout the trip asking him to give us conversational ideas in case we ran out of things to talk about. But we never needed his ideas. That’s the beauty of our friendship — we pick up right where our last conversation was, or from our last email. When we spend time together, it’s always a reminder to me that miles cannot separate our close friendship. She is a treasure to me. I don’t know what I’d do without her dear friendship.


It was such an absolute joy to be able to meet her family and actually see in front of me her husband and two boys that I’ve grown to know and love by photographs. She has such a delightful family, and a home filled with joy and laughter. I adored them all.


She and I spent a few days by ourselves in Myrtle Beach celebrating her birthday. We spent time on the beach, thoroughly canvassed the outlet malls, spent umpteen hours talking, ate terrific food, and even closed down a seafood restaurant one night as we sat engrossed in our conversations for hours at our table. It was such a great time!


Then we headed back to her house and I spent a few more days spending time with their family. I didn’t realize all the new things I’d experience traveling nearly 2,000 miles away from home. Having just a girl, I discovered playing with boys is much different. Boys make noises — deep and low sounds — or noises that sound like the cars that race down our road at times. I got to crash cars, careen monster trucks over pillows, be a law enforcer in a game of cops and robbers and bring in backup reinforcements from the army men and fire trucks. At one point, her five-year old boy laughed at me … I wasn’t sure if it was because he was shocked I made the noises, or if I did it wrong. Either way, I continued.


The other thing I had forgotten is what a little one-year old can get into. Anything and everything went into her youngest son’s mouth. Plastic hanger? Yummy. Books? Delicious! Paper? What roughage! Then I’d look at his big brown eyes and fantastic smile … and I melted. I also forgot how quickly a small child can scoot on their hands and knees. There should be an Olympic sport for that!


At the beach, I also experienced a few things like the East coast fishermen come to the beach, grab a net and scoop up from the ocean tiny fish for bait, then sink a PVC looking pipe into the sand, plant their pole into the pipe and stand there waiting for it to bend. Fascinating! I discovered the beaches in the fall have biting flies — not really a fun thing. But they also had shopping stores that we don’t have in this part of the country. What a treat!


My time there flew by and before I knew it, I was back on a plane heading home to my family. The endless stories I told my family once I returned has them now asking, “When do we get to meet them?” Soon …


Many people come and go in our lives. Some have a specific purpose in our journey and then move on. Others are woven into the very fabric of our life. Such friendships stand the test of time and the ups and downs of life. A true, treasured dear friend such as this — is priceless!