Ever had one of those occasions with close friends where everything seemed to click and you came away feeling more terrific than you had in days? I e experienced one of those times this past weekend when I had coffee with two friends. One is spending this week on a short cruise with six high school girl friends, and we spent the better part of our time together hearing about her plans. Though she has gone on several cruises, loves them, and just got back from one two weeks ago, this was going to be the first cruise for some of the others in her high school group and she really wanted them to enjoy themselves (Editorial comment: Just avoiding an outbreak of the flu while on board would be a place to start.).
She shared her ideas for two list of questions she was planning as ice breakers to get conversation rolling. One was a list to which they could respond anonymously and the other was more open, like seven females who haven’t seen each other in years need any help getting started reminiscing. Although her discussion ideas were great, we, okay, I, couldn’t help coming up with additional ways to generate conversation. One of my questions was: tell us something none of us know about you. This wasn’t an original thought. Almost every guest interview on other authors’ blogs includes some version of this question. Each time I’ve attempted to answer it, I’ve struggled to find something not only unknown but also interesting. But it was fun to share some of my responses with these two friends, although the fact that I used to enjoy catching nightcrawlers after a recent rain, when the moisture drove them out of their worm holes onto the lawn and they were there for the taking, wasn’t as “earth”- shattering as I thought it might be.
A year and a half ago, I planned a reunion with my own high school friends. I couldn’t help but be reminded of it as I’ve listened to my friend’s current plans. Like her group, ours was comprised of seven. (Magic number? Probably not, just too difficult to coordinate many more than that.) We rented a house at Two Harbors, Minnesota right on Lake Superior in the North Woods. We didn’t need discussion questions to get us going. The first hour when all of us met at one friend’s home in Minneapolis was pure conversational bedlam. Some of us hadn’t seen each other in thirty-five years, and yet, it took no time at all to feel like we’d only been apart a few months. Those few days together were magical. Although we promised each other we’d do something like that again as we parted ways, even if we never do, we had that special time together, to feel young again, to renew connections and examine where we’d all gone with our lives.
Although I’ve made it to most of my actual high school class reunions over the years, this smaller, longer version was much more fun and memorable. I’d highly recommend it as a way of reliving your past.
As a writer, times like these are gold mines for future stories. No, my friends, if you’re reading this, I don’t plan any characters specifically based on any of you per se, but it’s wonderful to have these experiences to draw from when creating other characters and describing their friendships. Reunions can really reenergize.
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