Spent a lot of time in the car last weekend — staring at car bumpers or holding my breath while yet another idiot wove from lane to lane in the parking lot that was I-95. It was possibly the worst traffic, going to and coming home from Rhode Island, that we’d ever seen.
Thank goodness, then, that we had such a fabulous time at our destination. We were off to visit my college friend, Jacquie, and her family — for a girls’ overnight — and our time there served as an important reminder of the power of friendship and love.
Jacquie is the other sister I’m so lucky to have. She accepts me, warts and all; knows the good, bad and ugly of me and loves me in spite of it all; and I love her back. There isn’t anything we wouldn’t do for each other. In fact, for a long time after we met at Pace U I fervently wished I could be like her — beautiful, smart, calm, cool, collected. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her the way my closest family and friends sometimes see me — think Medusa, snakes and all!
Watching Jacquie’s three kids grow up has been a special joy for me, too: They are all teenagers now, accomplished, fun, happy to spend time conversing with grownups. What a difference from the cherubic baby faces that peer out from the family photos that dot the walls throughout their home.
Given the distance, Jacquie and I don’t get to see each other nearly enough. So Saturday night’s outing, to Waterfire in Providence, was a special treat. We and three of our girls walked for 90 minutes, taking in the beauty of the bonfires on the city’s three rivers; seeing some fabulous performing arts presentations; marveling at the human “statues”; people-watching. It was a beautiful night for a stroll. The music and company were just perfect. (And now I can say I’ve seen the Banana-mobile!) Eleven pm found us all joking, giggling and trading stories in the kitchen while spooning our way through ice cream-and-brownie sundaes.
(Special thanks to my youngest niece who took pains to remove the largest Justin Bieber posters in a huge cleanup of her room so I didn’t have to wake to his air-brushed, too-toothy smile.)
The fun continued over breakfast and on our way to my godson’s Boy Scout campground, where we surprised him during his rained-out closing ceremony.
The time was delightful, but went much too quickly — just like all the other best things in life. Before we knew it, we were back in the car staring at the sea of license plates in the teeming rain.
I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.