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This last year has been one of many that included meeting up with people from long ago. Except for one, which was a delight for my spouse, all the well-timed surprises were all mine.



The first:



A few years ago, when entertaining the thought of throwing ourselves a 25th wedding anniversary party, I thought about finding the members of the wedding we had lost touch with. I found one! We started e-mailing. It was back to two college friends chatting about nothing in particular, but we were so happy to be back in touch. Last year (almost 2 years of planning later!) my husband and I met with her for dinner. We now get together for a lovely gab session every couple of months. It's fun. Our lives are totally different, but we're still the same co-eds with a lot more common sense, gray hairs and a few wrinkles.



However, the proposed party never did take place-we opted for a romantic cruise for just two and a renewing our vows. Still, we had reconnected with a dear friend.





The second:



Last fall, on a trip back from the ladies room at the Design Center I work at, I passed a lady. As usual for me, I said a cheery "Hi" and continued on. A second later, we both turned around and yelled each other's name! We couldn't believe it-turned out it was my neighbor from a house we lived in nearly 20 years before! We hadn't seen each other in about 18 years! We hugged and did a very quick catching up and exchange of information. Her sister, who was also a neighbor and I also started e-mailing. This past Sunday, after nearly 9 months of planning, we got together for brunch. We brought wedding pictures, graduation pictures, grandchildren pictures. Anyone who watched us yakking probably thought we did this type of thing all the time, not every couple of decades. It was fun and since we still have so much in common, we'll grab the hubbies and grown children and try and have a BBQ. At least that's what we're planning...



The third:



About the time of my 25th high school reunion, a bunch of us got our e-mail addresses and started catching up-one close friend lived in New York City. We've been doing a weekly update ever since. So when my daughter surprised me with a weekend in New York recently, I immediately let my friend know. My daughter and I made brunch with him and a friend our first stop! We hadn't seen each other since we were 18-yet we spotted each other in a holiday crowd without a lick of trouble.

Our gabfest was one of fun familiarity that only people who have known each other this many years could possibly understand.



I have another friend, whom I've known since age 5-1/2, we also e-mail and get together occasionally.



What would we all have done without the power of the internet?



The fourth (and it's all hubby here):



My sister's neighborhood always has a party for July 4th and it's my mom's birthday, so off we went. Now my hubby, who is really quite social, doesn't like parties, especially with a bunch of people he doesn't know. But, since he had no choice, he warned me that he wanted to leave-preferably before the fireworks display! I figured (forgive me dear Bev Mahone) "Whatever".



My dear one went up to the buffet for another bit of food when the guy next to him said "Steve, is that really you?" My husband looked up-it was his best friend from childhood! Turns out he and his wife knew the owner of the backyard we ended up in!

We hadn't seen this couple since they had moved to the northern half of the state-14 years ago!



We're trying our best to set up a much needed double date-it is taking some work though. Four people with widely different work schedules. But we will do it-they live six miles away!



It's fun to re-visit, as well as re-claim the good parts of your past-childhood, college, newlywed and early parenting years. Even better when you find a way to build them into your future.



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