09 January, 2012
Florida Connection - Finis
(Note: Long ago I found a way to change the date on my posts - so instead of being dated when I publish them, I can have them chronologically dated for when the events happened. While keeping things in order, this means that not every entry was posted in a timely fashion. Take this one, for example. In real-time, it's June. I only mention this because I know I haven't been updating regularly - it's been, say... five months or so?? - and I have more entries in queue. Bear with me while I get back to this whole blogging thing, will you? I mean, if the twelve or thirteen of you haven't gone off and abandoned me already since I've neglected your trust in me to provide... something... more frequently than TWICE A YEAR... Ahem.)
We spent our last evening having dinner with family friends I haven't seen for more than 20 years. (It doesn't seem right that I'm old enough to have known someone that long ago.) In a complete coincidence (and thanks to Facebook), we found that Sam and Pam were in Florida for vacation at the same time we were there for Greg's running mania. I'm absolutely amazed, and a bit shocked, that we could be so far from home and hook up with friends from Idaho (of all places), just because a picture from Olive Garden was posted on Facebook. How cool is that?!?
I have to admit that I was a bit nervous - I mean, what am I going to say to these folks after so much time? And what do I call them? I mean, I'm an adult now, but they were adults when I was a child so is using first names acceptable? But Mr. and Mrs. just sounds way too formal... And I also admit to being a little concerned that they wouldn't approve of me in some way. (I choose to think that was a throwback to my childhood days and remembered authority figures, rather than an indication of deep-seated self-doubt.) It didn't help my nerves that we were running behind, went to the wrong pickup spot, then had to backtrack to finally get connected.
As soon as we were together, it was easy as pie. We spent the few hours we had catching up on family goings-on and glossing over the intervening years of separation. Almost like going back in time, only better because now I can more fully enjoy the interaction. They're almost unchanged from what I remember - or else my new memories are superimposed over my old ones - a little grayer around the temples, perhaps, but still the same. Amazing to think of how time has passed, and so totally wonderful that we could get together - I was sad when our time together ended, but glad of the new memories we have. God bless and keep you, Sam and Pam.
And so we're down to the final adventure: the trip home, where I almost lost my wallet, Greg shoplifted from the Disney store, we barely made one of the connecting flights, and I saw another new vending machine (with makeup, a mini boom box, sunglasses, and eye covers for sale).