“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid” Ralph Waldo Emerson

The quality of our lives is increased immeasurably by the simple fact of having a friend. I get the quality of my life boosted every month or so by having lunch with a group of my high school girlfriends. I know—we haven’t been girls for 70 years, but they are still my girlfriends, and I love them all to pieces. I never thought of myself as a “lady who lunches”, but the exchange of stories from years past is exhilarating.

Each of these 6 women have had interesting lives. I have balanced marriage and family with an art career, another woman was a ballet dancer with the San Francisco Ballet. She and I were in the R.O.T.C. together, marching along with the boys and feeling important in our uniforms. Another girl and I often played with the “Ouija Board”, probably moving it about to see which boyfriend we liked at the time. These are good memories worth revisiting now and then if only to have a chuckle or two.

Beth Werson & K.  1944 Beth and Kayti 1944,

Beth was a bridesmaid in my wedding 68 years ago

The simple fun of recounting old high school memories keeps one honest and gives a few laughs as well. I find out a few things I did not know at each meeting, and regret that we don’t see each other more often.

In one’s youth, it’s all about you as an individual, nothing of who you will be when you become part of the bigger picture. Through the years of raising a family, having a career and perhaps living through some bumps in the road, you become polished like a piece of fine silver, until you can finally sit back and say it was all worth it, and I’d do it again in a minute.

Being with old friends and hearing stories of their lives, and recounting memories unique to this group, keeps you in touch with the sun drenched days of your youth. We knew so little of life then. The War was on, and many of our schoolmates were in the service. Some did not return. Some of us rushed to marry as soon as the War was over, as if in waiting something might prevent us getting on with life. Most of us went on to college, had our families, and sometimes moved out of the area, but ultimately, like homing pigeons, we all returned to the place it all began.

Though a few canes are in evidence, we are all vertical and still have a few little grey cells moving about. I am amused when a much younger person seems to think we are an anomaly, but in another group of women I played bridge with this week, three were in their 90’s and are the gutsiest bridge players I know.