Snippets of conversation,
diners tucked into tiny booths.
Bright lights overhead countering gloomy skies outside.
Words flowed as the four of us found our places, eyes skimming a menu we knew so well; we hadn't been here in months, maybe even a year. But, we knew it well this place, eating here before PTO meetings, springtime concerts, and more.
We passed around the Iphones, sharing photos of new grandchildren, growing grandchildren, and a condo with a wealth of boxes waiting to be unpacked.
Challenges of caring for aging parents,
memories of former students,
and each of us missing the teaching, the kids,
but not missing the paperwork, lesson planning, and grading.
Four women, reconnecting with each others' lives, and laughing, laughing, laughing.
One, a former nuclear physics engineer and instructor at the naval academy, then moving onto teaching middle school science, and now happily creating gorgeous jewelry and doing tech work at local theaters.
Another, finishing up her last year of teaching, and looking forward to her new job at a rectory, keeping the assigned pastor organized.
The third with her doctorate in special education and a wealth of years as a learning specialist, now cherishing grandchildren scattered across the world.
And, one of us, having left the world of math and ancient history, moving on to writing, journaling, photography, grandkids, and more.
Some of us gray, some of us helped by Miss Clairol.
Some of us trim, others needing to lose a few pounds.
Some of us single; some of us married for a good many years.
All of us in transition, finding our places in this second half of our lives.
The worlds' problems and politics got left by the wayside; it was the reconnecting and catching up with personal lives that mattered. We seemed to hop, skip, and jump among our different lives. I suspect our conversation made very little sense to anyone listening, but we could follow the jumbled varied strings seamlessly.
Each time we meet, we chat less about the school and the students that brought us together. That part of our lives will forever remain important, but it's fading. There's simply too much else happening, too much else to be shared.
There's laughter and hugs...so much laughter and so many hugs.
This time together is important; the realities and losses in our lives remind us that we won't always have this time.
So, we make the best of it.
We savor the food, but we savor the conversation more.
Four women in the second half of their lives...wise crones, each of us, knowing what's important - our friendship, our connections, both old and new. It's the husbands, the grandbabies, the new careers, the nieces and nephews, the aging parents demanding our care.
It's love, hugs, and laughter.
It's letting go of old hurts, of jobs that defined us for so long, and simply delighting in what's here now, and what's to come.
It's exploring new things and places.
So, we talk.
We laugh...oh, do we laugh!