July 19th, 2019

Reiss’s Pieces

When I got the invitation to go to North Litchfield Beach to spend a week with a group of my high school friends, I was unsure about going. First, I had no idea how I was going to get to Boston to fly down. That I couldn’t get a flight from Burlington was a drag (!) and Malcolm said he just couldn’t drive me down and then back, twice. I was also a little nervous about taking a trip like that without Malc. And then the whole thing came together.

My angel grandson, McKinley, offered to drive me down to the airport and then only a week later, came back and picked me up. And then, just to make the whole trip possible, my dearest and best friend for 55 years, Birgit Hardcastle, agreed to come with me. She would take a bus from her home in Augusta, Maine and meet me right at the airport. And when we got back, she would take the bus home. And before I go any further, I want to tell you that every single thing worked perfectly!

We got to the Myrtle Beach airport and there, standing right at the gate, were two of my best friends from high school. Now, I had been worried that I wouldn’t recognize them and that they wouldn’t recognize me, but I was absolutely wrong. As we approached these two wonderful women, they both screamed my name and rushed toward me (and I was in a wheelchair due to the long walk from the gate we came in to). I was shocked to realize that not only did I recognize them but thought that they looked very much the same as they did 57 years ago! After a lot of hugging and kissing and introducing Birgit, we all packed into Jane’s car and went to our rental house on Litchfield Beach.

Well, I was amazed at the gorgeous house we were to spend our week in. It was huge, had a bedroom for each and every one of us and best of all, was right on the most beautiful beach you can imagine. And so began the most terrific week I think I have ever had!

We never did go out for dinner. Instead we all pitched in and made our specialties to eat. We did, however, go out for lunch twice which was fun and made it possible to look around the area.

I guess I haven’t mentioned that the weather was picture perfect the entire week! It was warm, about in the 80’s I think, and the sun was wonderful. And although none of us went into the ocean, we did sit on the gorgeous porch, soaked up the sun, and watched the many pods of dolphins that stopped right in front of the house and entertained us by jumping and leaping and doing whatever it is that dolphins do in order to show off. Some of the “girls” walked on the beach and took advantage of everything that the area had to offer. But I have to tell you that we all became obsessed by a jigsaw puzzle that Jeanne brought. It was the hardest puzzle I have ever seen and truthfully, I thought that we would never be able to finish it. But we did… on the last night we were there!

What I really want to tell you is that the last time we were all together was when we graduated from high school, in 1957. And who would ever have thought that this many years later we would have been able to get together and have such a fantastic time? But we did, and my only regret is that we had to leave as soon as we did. I only hope that we can all get together at least once more! Oh, and Birgit was brought into the group like she had always been one of us.

My advice to all of you is this, if and when we get an opportunity to get together with your old friends, don’t hesitate for even a minute! If you were friends once, you will be amazed that you will be friends, and good friends, when you get together again. I swear to you that when we all got together it was just like we had only been apart for a few days and not 57 years. Life is certainly strange but it is you who needs to take advantage of every single minute.

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