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NO MATTER how
This was underscored recently when I joined a group of college friends for a weekend on the Potomac River.
We didn't do anything particularly wild, crazy or untoward. We simply enjoyed reconnecting, fondly remembering the days before work, family and other responsibilities kicked in.
The three-day reunion of sorts began the same way it always does for this group that now gathers regularly on
Is it because we
Who cares? The important thing is that we feel that way by just getting together.
Yes, a small part of that might come from the food, drink and slate of water-related fun that's part of a river weekend.
But that doesn't explain the crazy conversations with everyone from waiters to boaters to neighbors we encounter on these weekends.
I couldn't remember the last time I said something patently silly to a waitress, even one at a creek-side restaurant frequented by boaters. But one our first stop on a boat crawl of several different eateries, watering holes and marinas in Maryland, there was no comment too silly or childish to share with our server.
And this was well before any sort of beverage that might have explained that mirth.
It was that same contagious and, yes, juvenile silliness that arose when you were with a bunch of buddies in the back of a high school class or in the hall of a college dorm. One goofy question and comment led to another, with the oh-so-patient and sweet waitress even joining in, bless her heart.
Throughout the day, the giddiness continued to the point where the owners of one riverside restaurant recognized it by giving one of our party a plastic restaurant display to wear around his neck on the way home.
None of this is to say that we haven't all aged, or that we didn't spend much of our time talking about how our jobs are going, what all our children are doing with their lives, or even the challenges our parents are all facing.
Yes, real life did intrude.
But whether it happened riding bikes, pulling out water skis or putting away burgers and dogs, everything was also painted with that rosy glow of youth.
Or at least, what we remember of it.
Maybe that's because several of us in the group have no problem embracing our inner child.
And maybe it's because we don't see each other that often, so the moments are all special.
But I think it's more. When I think of getting together with Janie and Timmy, and Lynn and Tim, I just smile.
And I remember laughs over microwaved chocolate chip cookies in Florida, dropped fish in South Carolina or a uniquely inspired "nettle dance" at Sandy Point in Westmoreland County.
Old friends. Good friends. Good times.
Reconnecting this way through the years is a tonic to top any other.
Rob Hedelt: 540/374-5415