Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Lifetime's Not Too Long

A little town along the interstate kept calling my name. It kept beckoning me. I kept seeing the signs. I read, "Harlan 11 miles". That wasn't so far off my path. It has been many years. I needed to get some "Candi". I made the call, and we visited, just as we often do. She was home. My hand made the turn of the wheel and I was on my way.

I am SURE there were those who thought I was a stalker, but it was just me, a crazy woman who stops and takes pictures of signs. I wasn't sure if I remembered how to find my way.

Not so different from ordinary towns.....a nice car wash.....

A Subway....

I even asked a nice couple for directions. They must have believed me when I was able to produce the name of someone I was searching for, and I could go so far as to tell them the address of this person, and that, in my memory, the house in question was very "near downtown".

There is was, exactly the address I remembered. Exactly where I remembered it...sort of....but, as I said, it was very near "downtown".

I parked across the street, tiptoed to the door, knocked and hid, just like a neighborhood child. No one answered. I knocked again and assumed my position behind a tree. When I grew tired of this game, I entered the porch and knocked on the inside door. Someone opened the door, and in my surprise and my attempt to hide behind the nearest coat rack, I missed the perfect photo opportunity. Laughter, shock, shrieks, more laughter.... "Carol, what are you doing here?"

Meet Candi...my college roommate. That would be 30 some years ago in 308 East Bonebreak. We ate a lot of popcorn, yelled out the window as our friends were making the diagonal path to and from the Commons, ran out together in the fire drills in the middle of the night, danced for dystrophy, ate some greasy sandwiches at the truck stop, had late night ice cream at the Student Union, tried to have a Christmas tree that shed nearly ALL its needles in our room, made it through several unrequited romances, shed many tears together, danced at some dance place downtown that I can't remember the name of, and had some infamous "Herb's" Hotdogs. We went to Thoren, to Dubs,to Weidler, Wernli, Centennial, Memorial, the Commons, did our laundry in a tiny little campus laundrymat, sang and went to lectures in Kime, Candi worked at the library, I worked at the food service for Fawzy. We sang the Westmar Fight Song..."We sing the glory or Westmar College, the school that stood for loyalty. And now we praise thee, all honor to thee, that all the world can plainly see. We stand beside thee with one accord, we all now say: Three cheers for the blue and white. For thee we'll always fight! Live on our college for aye!"

Westmar revisited, 1988 in front of "Westy"

Probably the last time we were all together, Candi, Yvonne, Peg, Pat, Beth and I. Peggy and Jeff were married on campus on our Graduation Day in 1980.

Candi...I can still smell the Windsong, hear "Freebird", and see her trudging to the showers with her slippers and her shower pail. 30 years and I can still call and talk to her. She has shared my joys and my sorrows. She shared in my wedding and I in hers. She has been with me as my children were born, my grandchildren were born, and as I said goodbye to my mama. They even made the trip for our son's wedding 6 years ago.

Candi and Rich became parents in 1984 when Nicholas was born EXACTLY one year to the day after we had our first son, Brandon.

During another visit in 1990, the boys got to drive Nick and Ashley's car.
Candi and I remembered that visit and I was able to find the pictures to prove it!

Candi and Rich

I am so, so, so happy I took the time and the extra miles to visit this friend. I got lots of laughs, lots of hugs, and I want to thank you, Candi, for your friendship for all of these years. I am so blessed to call you my friend.

Until we meet again, always remember, "A lifetime's not to long to live as friends"!


Anonymous said...

Okay Carol, now you got me crying. It was so wonderful to see you last week. I am glad you made that 11 mile detour. You are such an amazing person and I am glad that you are my friend!! Here's to 30 more. Love you!!!!!:)

Cherie said...

Wow... that was just plain FUN to read!! Thanks so much for sharing that!

cwcad said...

I certainly am in total accord with Cherie on the just plain fun. I was never able to attain a friendship through college that lasted for years. Can one be jealous of someone in a good way? Twoud be the way in this instance...M'Lady.

Diane said...

College friends are the best... you can pick up like the years haven't passed at all. They will always be there through weddings, births, graduations, parents funerals,...
I get together with a group of friends from college each summer. We meet somewhere in between our current homes and spend the weekend remembering, making new memories and end up anxiously awaiting next years get together.
Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Carol & Candi together again! What a wonderful story!