I met some of my fellow Deer Park "expats" for dinner Sunday afternoon in Houston ...well, Houston's Restaurant in Austin. Our excuse this time was to celebrate Donna B.V.'s birthday, which was actually last month, but we don't let little details like that get in the way of our celebrations. Here we are, Donna and Leslie in the back, Darla and me sitting down.
We share a time and place that link us. I'm not sure what it is about our class of '77, but from talking to other people, I know we have a unique bond. It's not that we live in the past, but our past connects us...it serves as a safety net, much like an extended family. Our shared past is a springboard for our friendships, rather than holding us in the past.
We remarked about this over lunch. None of us were close friends during high school; it has been the reunions that have drawn us together: Leslie and I worked on the five-year reunion together; Darla joined us on the tenth; we discovered just before our thirtieth reunion last year that Donna was living in Austin and we immediately pulled her into the vortex. It's been so much fun hearing her memories of high school, but even more so hearing about her life since then (especially the part about being Matthew McConaughey's high school tennis coach! Actually, we just found out about that Sunday.)
Leslie's great about sending me photos from her I-phone and giving me ideas for my blog (see the one about Craig's List - that was her idea.) We talk about her latest business trips, her boyfriend Clive, and her Siamese kitty, Rod.
Darla, the first to make the break from the Houston flatlands to the Austin hills, is the organizer, master chef and hostess, and single mom extraordinaire of two girls. We became mothers at about the same time - her (gorgeous) oldest daughter Kassi and Tommy are just months apart; we have many conjoined memories of them growing up. Her youngest, Madison, is still in elementary school - it makes me tired to think of it!
Whenever we get together, I'm always struck by two thoughts: I wish I had spent more time with these girls in high school... and...I'm so glad we're friends now.
(I can't resist because they're so cute - here's Tommy and Kassi in 1989.)