You came to mind yesterday. Again. I can’t even begin to tell you how often I think of the times we shared in that little town. I’ll never forget the day you moved in … across the street on the other corner … kitty corner to our house. Your kids found our kids outside and they played together while you unpacked. I remember inviting you into the house when you came to collect Chris and Alicia. I fondly recall Alicia introducing you to Brittany as her “best friend”.
You’d been unpacking for hours. I thought you were probably hungry. I asked if you wanted to stay for pizza. Dwayne responded, “What kind is it?” Initially, Mr. Hill, I was a bit thrown by your unapologetic transparency. If the shoe had been on the other foot, I would have forced myself to be polite to the strangers and eat the pizza … even if it had mushrooms and peppers on it … but not you. As I so fondly recall the moment, you said you really liked peppers but they didn’t like you. And, I remember we laughed at your candor. It was the beginning of a very honest, authentic and true friendship. It was such a gift to us … you both were such a gift to us. We’ve shared so much over the years.
John and Dwayne even shared a birthday! I’ll never forget the year that Cheryl very patiently put my perfectionist self in place when we were preparing a nice birthday supper for the birthday boys. She had arranged the cheese on the plate … which I re-arranged … just slightly. When I told her the peas were done, she nodded her head and then kindly double checked with me about whether I had ensured each of those peas were strategically placed and symmetrically arranged into the serving dish. Bam. I know I blushed. And we laughed. And Cheryl has the most contagious laugh. We spent a lot of time laughing. Thanks for tolerating my most unbecoming foibles Cheryl. ❤
Speaking of birthdays … remember we had a surprise party for John’s 40th birthday? Everyone came dressed as old people … so he could feel young. Dwayne was camouflaged perfectly into the couch!! I had filled balloons with water to enhance the look of my sagging bossom … and of course … someone popped them. We all howled with laughter. I was a wet mess. It was such a fun night. Look at you two old farts!!! Ha ha.
Yes, we shared some very fun shenanigans/parties over the years. I found some pics of our New Years Eve Beach Bash in 1990. I think it was frightfully cold outside … but we were all sporting our summer finest! Yep. Lots of laughs as we fantasized about playing in the sunshine while welcoming the New Year!
Oh gosh … and remember all the fun we had on a real beach! Well … not actually a five star kind of beach … but the best beach we could find on the prairies in Southern Alberta Canada!! We did have loads of fun during our impromptu days at Lake Newell! When the weather was perfect, we’d gather everyone who could come … throw together a pot-luck of food and drink … and off we would go. We always liked to be away from the resort area in a more remote and secluded spot. Remember getting stuck in the sand … ??
That’s you Dwayne … on the bottom right walking away from the water … in the pink hat!
And Cheryl, remember the years we attended “Stitch and Bitch” together … on Wednesday mornings if memory serves me right. Didn’t we crochet Easter baskets using left over margarine containers? I might even still have one of those kicking around the crawl space! 🙂 And … I’ll never forget the year that you were laid up and made oodles of plastic mesh Christmas ornaments. I think I stole a few off your tree. You made me some of my own when you noticed they were missing!! It was hilarious! My heart still smiles in fondest recollection when I place them on our tree each year.
And that reminds me of the years we attended Ladies Time Out. Remember the Christmas Cookie Exchange we did every year with that wonderful bunch of women? I found a pic of us getting together at my house for Christmas … our hair had no grey in it.
There you are Cheryl … on the end … looking beautiful in black and white!
Oh … and what about all the fun we shared on the ball diamond!! We spent a lot of time catching balls and swinging bats and running the bases! We played both the Mixed League on Friday nights … and … Cheryl and I played on our ladies team. Three cheers for Hayden’s Hosettes … aren’t we looking stylish in our pink and mint green uniforms. Tee Hee.
And, oh my goodness, Dwayne … remember our ongoing hockey rivalry? You being a staunch Calgary Flames fan and us all about the Edmonton Oilers!!! I remember awakening one morning to find a gigantic sign that you had stapled to our fence … you were unabashedly and blatantly mocking our team!! We couldn’t let that go unanswered … so we retaliated by ‘changing’ the sign slightly and placing the strategically re-worded sign right uptown on the community bulletin board. Oh gosh … what good-natured banter we always had with you!!!!!
And, of course … some of my very fondest memories are of the multiple years we went house-boating together as families. Remember our first year out on the lake together? I will never forget the look on Chris’s face when he arrived on board and noticed our bin of beer!! Ha. Ha. Still makes me laugh. To date it is still one of the best family holidays we have ever taken. It inspired years of ‘let’s do that again’.
Yes, we had so many good times on both the water and on the shores of those Shuswap Lakes!! Remember when the girls were playing Scattegories on the upper deck and some part of their game blew off? It all happened so fast … but I remember the shock on all of our faces as Chris instantaneously performed the most magnificent dive off the top deck and most chivalrously retrieved the missing piece before it sunk out of sight! Yes he did! Chris was the lone boy (aside from the dads) on a boat loaded with estrogen. He certainly was the hero that day!
Oh … and remember when we limped our way back to the main dock in a storm … because our toilet system was firmly plugged? We were holding both our bladders and our tempers in those delicate moments! Didn’t we hear on the radio that someone’s TV had fallen off the wall on another boat because it was so rough out there? And … we were also worried about the well-being of a couple of our kids who had gone off on a jet ski before the storm suddenly hit! Yikes!! Fortunately, they found their way to shore … and eventually … we found our way to them.
Oh yeah … and then there was the year that we refused to stay on the party beach! We’d endured enough sleepless nights with our rowdy teenagers and we needed a good night’s sleep so we docked across the lake. A couple of our teenagers (who shall remain nameless here) were determined to get over there … was it a Canada Day Celebration or something? I don’t recall for sure … but they threatened to swim across once the rest of us were asleep. Dwayne and John figured they could scare them into staying put … so they hid in the bushes … in the pitch dark waiting to intercept them. They growled so fiercely as those teenagers unwittingly passed before them!! And boy oh boy … they really believed it was a bear! Those two bolted like a couple of terrified deer! We were just lucky they didn’t get hurt in their panicked flight of escape. Ultimately, though, they opted to stay on shore with us. Well done Dads!
Oh gosh … and I remember every once in a blue moon (while on a houseboat or in our little home town), Dwayne would get a twinkle in his eye and say “I can feel a run-a-way coming on.” Yep … we enjoyed, endured, experienced and even escaped just a few of those over the years. I remember the worst of which never involved Dwayne! Remember the fondue?? Poor John – yes, that is one that sure did get away on him! We knew he was in deep trouble when he headed west on foot from your house on his way home. The problem was that we lived just south east from you. Yes … it was a really rough ending for him.
Somehow, though, he still enjoys his scotch! Just recently he indulged himself with a pricey specialty bottle called “Battle of the Glen.” Apparently it is one of only 4500 bottles. Me thinks … in honor of your mutual love of scotch … he should wait until he can crack it open and share it with the two of you!! I, on the other hand, will be happy sipping my vino.
I could say so much more … but let me end with this: I think of you both so often!! I can even remember your phone number. And it saddens my heart that our paths just don’t cross anymore. I miss sharing time with your special souls. I miss the shenanigans. I miss the inappropriate hee haws. I miss so many of those moments. I hope that perhaps 2017 will welcome an opportunity for us to reconnect. The years have flown by and I’m sure we have so much to catch up on!! 🙂
In the meantime … I just wanted you to know that so many moments of my life were infinitely better because of you!!! Thank you for enriching my minutes, days, weeks and years. I love all our memories and I love you.
With so much gratitude for who you are and all you have meant to me, Karen