After a busy, laughter-filled Thanksgiving week, I sit in a quiet beach house listening to the clock tick, the ceiling fan spin, and the ocean waves rhythmically, consistently roll in over the sand and back out into the water again
Only a few days ago, this house was filled with people busily baking pies, basting turkeys, and tying gold ribbons around napkins for a beautiful holiday table. The house was full of happy people working together to create another memorable Thanksgiving dinner.
After dinner, we lounged around the family room and reminisced.
We remembered the Thanksgiving we spent in a cabin in West Virginia when it snowed and we made makeshift sleds and sped down the hills, hiked back up and did it again.
We remembered our friend, Annette who recently died of cancer. We proposed a toast to her and laughed remembering the year we were cleaning up the Thanksgiving dinner dishes in the kitchen and she pointed at some leftover pie and said, “Who made that wretched pecan pie?”
“I did,” I said.
Her face turned fuchsia and she immediately tried to explain that she was talking about a different pie, a store-bought pie that was the wretched one, not my homemade pie, which, of course, was delicious.
Uh huh. That’s why she pointed at my pie.
What else could she do when she called my homemade pie “wretched” right to my face?
Now it’s an annual joke. “Who’s making the wretched pecan pie?”
Actually, I think we dropped pecan pie from our menu after that.
At least I know I never made it again.
And then there’s the driveway pie.
That’s the creamiest, most delicious coconut cream pie you’ll ever eat. And we only have it once a year.
Tragically, one year, while being carried into the house, it was dropped on the driveway – shattering the glass pie pan and splattering the custard all over the driveway.
We were so disappointed that we could only think of one thing to do – get spoons and eat it off the driveway, carefully picking out the shards of glass before ingesting.
I wish I could say I was kidding about that memory, but truly we found ourselves huddled around the splattered pie spooning out as many tastes as we could before giving up because we started spooning up pieces of glass.
We’ve celebrated Thanksgiving with this same group of friends for about 30 years.
After dinner Thursday, Doug thanked them for being part of every major event of our lives from our dating years to our marriage years, through the births of both of our daughters and every milestone in between and since.
When I moved to the Washington, D.C. area, my boss said one of his favorite things about living here was that friends became like family.
He said since most people in the DC area are transplants from someplace else, it’s like we’re all out on a limb together so we take care of each other.
That’s definitely proven to be true for us, particularly with this group of friends we met after first moving here.
We’ve supported each other through the deaths of parents and siblings, through dating relationships and breakups through marriages and parenting, illnesses and job changes and more.
Through it all, we’ve created memories that cement our friendships; and don’t friendships and relationships sustain our lives?
So as I sit here savoring the silence as the sun goes down on my last evening at the beach, I remember the loyal, true friends I’ve been blessed to know, the ones I don’t see often but the ones I know will always be there for me because they always have been.