This past weekend was spent with long-time friends from when we lived in Australia. Beryl was a colleague of mine – one of two women on the management team of an aluminum smelter, which in itself was enough to create an instant bond of solidarity as we navigated some challenging times together. The fact that Don and I really liked Beryl and her partner Joe and shared many interests was icing on the cake, and we were soon enjoying many happy times with them and their two children at one of our homes, or at their rustic holiday property in the beautiful Eungella National Park.
We moved home from Australia in 1998, which was the last time we saw Beryl. Joe and their daughter visited us once, but even that was more than 10 years ago. We’ve stayed in touch over all of the intervening years, more recently via Facebook, but we were a bit nervous about how spending several days together would go after so much time had passed.
We shouldn’t have worried. They stepped off the plane, we started talking, and we pretty much didn’t stop for the entire three days they were with us. It was like we had seen each other yesterday. We ate lots of good food (they are now vegan, so that was interesting for us!) and lingered at the table drinking copious amounts of wine. Just like when we were last together no topic was off limits, and we covered health, diet , religion, politics, social issues, climate change and much more.
We have an active social life and enjoy seeing our local friends, but Beryl and Joe’s visit was a reminder of the value of long-time friendships and shared experiences. Now we are looking forward to seeing them again soon as they spend the next year travelling North America in their Earth Cruiser, and maybe in Australia after that.
That old saying that friendships are like wine and get better with age really is true!