Y’all Goin’ Ta Lunch?

As my mother will painfully attest, I do not have a great memory. Without reminders or a scheduled party I rarely remember birthdays and other special dates. Unless it’s been immortalized in photos I probably don’t remember that childhood vacation or significant event. I can barely remember what I ate and wore last week. Basically, the lesson is this: write it down or you can forget it… I probably already have.

But every once in a while a random happening burns it’s way into my brain. My first meeting with Sam Doane was this way.

A group of us were leaving our middle school biology class and the new girl – blondish, petite, and quiet – met us at the door and sent out a question to the group, “y’all goin’ ta lunch?”. She had the most amazing southern drawl and I was immediately enamored. We were, in fact, going to lunch and that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

In my mother’s house there is still a framed photo – more than 15 years later – of Sam, Hillary, Jessica and I at the Oregon Coast together. We all have on t-shirts with peace or recycling slogans on the front. We spent our evenings on that trip laughing until our sides and cheeks ached. The one time in the history of slumber parties that I think “light as a feather, stiff as a board” actually worked took place in Sam’s basement. We were friends all the way through high school.

Sadly, I don’t think that after graduation Sam and I ever really saw each other again. Happily, that changed last week when she came to my house for dinner. It’s probably not possible to really say that someone looks exactly the same as they did ten years ago – especially if that ten years ago was your high school graduation – but she really did look the way I remember. Still blondish, still petite, still quiet. I clumsily made pasta for dinner while we caught up and talked about the reunion neither of us had attended and shared stories about our triumphs on the Wii. It was great to see her and it would be great to reconnect. Such a more pleasant way to hold on to memories than having to write it all down.

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