By 8am I was ready for my cross-country drive to Jennifer's Hunting and Fishing store in Richmond, just an hour away. I had the gps set, a full tank of gas, and a few bottles of water. I was ready for some fun!
I met up with Jennifer and got a tour of her store - guns, bows, camouflage clothes, and all the paraphernalia that goes with hunting. It was an unlikely sight - in high school Jenn was more interested in plush animals than dead ones. It is a testament to the depth of her love for her husband Rob. I am happy to see her thriving.
I transferred my stuff (including my camera which never made it out if its bag - dooh) from the car to her funky truck, wrapped in hunting images - and we headed off to meet June. We gabbed the whole way making the hour long drive seem like minutes. We had a lot of catching up to do!
When we got to the allotted meeting spot we sat down to wait... and wait... at one point I joked that June was probably at the other end of the building... we waited some more... and finally there was June, looking just like herself and not a moment older than she was 8 years ago. And as you may have already guessed - she WAS waiting at the other end of the building!!!
We laughed the first of many laughs and the afternoon passed all too quickly. We shopped for a bit, had lunch and copious glasses of lemonade (it was 30+C), walked to the lake and watched boats go through the locks, and talked and talked.
June's father set me on my career path in 1981 (I wrote about him in "Important People", one of my WYL musings) - he was there for a moment and I was happy to have a chance to say hello.
Many years have passed since our high school days, but we are essentially the same people as we were back then. Our values haven't changed, and the issues that we each struggle with are the same, however, we are wiser and don't stress about our imperfections as much. We have always accepted each other for who we are, but now I feel that we also accept ourselves. I guess age will do that to you!
To say we haven't changed isn't to say we haven't grown. I can't speak for Jennifer and June, but I am more self aware and understand better what is important in life. However, the value I put on honesty, kindness, open-mindedness and tolerance are much the same as when I was a teenager.
You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes. ~A.A. Milne