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Thursday, December 8, 2016


Anticipation was high.  I was sitting in the breakfast room reading and was also watching the front door of the motel as people came in to register.  I was waiting for a friend I had not see in 46 years.

I had gone to a 10-grade church school. For my junior year of high school I registered for the local senior high school in Rhode Island.  Every year I had gone through the first 10 grades with the same 12 friends. Now I was full of in trepidation of going to a high school with 500 students in my grade.  I was riding the school bus home at the end of the first day of school.  There was a girl sitting on the bus across the seat from me.  About a mile from my house she got off the bus and headed into her house.  Right after the bus started on it's way...I noticed a purse where she had  been sitting. So I grabbed her purse and got off at the next stop and walked back to her house. She had just noticed that she had lost her purse and was happy to see it!   We became great friends.  She was God-sent to me to help me get through my first year of public school.   We did everything together at school...and in our senior year we took nearly all the same classes except for Spanish and French! 


When we graduated from high school her dad retired and took her family to live in Maine. I went to a small college in Massachusetts.  We completely lost touch.  One October night I couldn't sleep and got to thinking about Darla!  I grabbed my I-Pad and googled her first and maiden name and got an address, email and phone number!  So I emailed her in hopes it was the same Darla that I knew in high school.   In the morning I had heard from her and it was the same person!  How thrilled we both were.  We spent the next 8 months emailing and catching up!  She was married and lived in New Hampshire.  

I had to go to a wedding in Rhode Island in June. So we decided to get together up in Maine at LL Bean in Freeport.  So here I was at the motel waiting to see someone I had not seen in years and  years!  The motel door opened this lady walked in....I knew it was her! She walked over to the desk to register...she said her name to the clerk...I was right behind her and said ..."Hi Darla" !  She turned and we hugged and then sat down there in the breakfast room and for the next 3 hours we looked at year books, laughed and cried as we caught up with each other.  The next day we went hiking for 3 miles in the Maine woods. Darla had prepared a vegetarian lunch. We found a picnic table in the middle of a meadow and ate.  The day was pure bliss!  How sweet and treasured are old friends.

Fall in New England brings back so many memories.  I lived in a small house right next door to a huge house and lots of land.  There were children around  my age that lived there.  Every fall our families would rake up the leaves and put them in a pile and burn them. But before they did this.... we children would rake the leaves into different piles all over this huge yard.  When the sun would set at night we'd put on just the garage light...which cast an eerie glow over the yard.  We then play a game we made up called "Spook" !  It was a game of person would be it...and the rest of us would go and hide under different piles of leaves.  Then the person who was it would came looking for us and try to tag us before we got back to "base" !   We would yell and scream with laughter as we played this game.  It was chilly out and when we'd finally finish we would come into my house for hot cocoa and marshmallows!

"Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain,  and feel the wind. Live life to the fullest potential."   Ashley Smith

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