Wit & Wisdom: Old Friends, New Memories

Mistie Spicer

    Friendships are sometimes difficult to maintain as one gets older. People are busy with work, and family, and often spending time with friends gets put on the backburner. For the past 10 years I have been meeting once a month with some high school friends. Those friends are Carol Bentley, Denise Havens and Pam Boone.
     It all started when we got together to plan our 30-year high school reunion. As we planned the menu, the decorations, the door prizes, we began rebuilding relationships and friendships. Since we all got along so well, we decided to continue to meet each month. Three reunions and 10 years later we decided to celebrate that milestone by doing something special.
    Each one of us had a different idea of what we could do. Trying to figure out what to do was the hard part.
    “Why don’t we go to Chicago for a couple of days or New York?” Carol asked.
    “Maybe, we can take my camper and go camping,” Pam mentioned.
    “What about a cruise?” I suggested. No one seemed to like that idea so, I put it aside and tried to think of another.
    “We could rent a cabin at Hocking Hills,” Denise brought up.
    Denise has a bulldog who doesn’t handle people very well. If we planned to go out of town for several days, she would not be able to go. The whole purpose of the trip was to do something together.
    “Why don’t we just do some kind of day trip,” I suggested. “Each of us can come up with a trip, and instead of one trip or adventure we would go on four different ones.”
    My idea was well received, and each person started planning what they wanted to do. Our adventures last year consisted of a trip to Jenny Wiley State Park to see the outdoor drama "Footloose." This was Pam’s trip. We also visited Sugar Loaf Mountain in Chillicothe to see the outdoor drama "Tecumseh." Both shows were wonderful. We of course combined them with the chance to eat out and try new restaurants. A Pig in A Poke was the restaurant of choice in Prestonsburg, Kentucky. Red Lobster was Carol’s restaurant choice in Chillicothe, Ohio.
    Denise planned a wonderful trip to Hocking Hills. I had only been there once, so I was quite excited to visit the Wind Chime shop and the Christmas store. Denise had also planned lunch at the Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls, a place I’ve been wanting to go for years. It was amazing and I can’t wait to go back. It was cozy and quaint, and the food was fantastic and reasonably priced. Right after lunch we took a hike on the trail at Cedar Falls and Ash Cave. It was wonderful to be out in the woods, but not so wonderful to realize how out of shape I am. I did make it to the end of the trails without collapsing.
    My trip was the last one and I kept it simple. I had always wanted to visit the Christmas Cave. Walking through the cave truly reminds you of what the holiday is all about.
    Last year was the first year for Winterfest in downtown Portsmouth, so I included that as part of my trip. Despite, a high temperature in the low teens that day we bundled up to visit the ice-skating rink, petting zoo and the gift shop.
    We had so much fun on our day trips last year that we have vowed to do it again soon. So far busy schedules and summer vacations have kept us from getting together, but I know we will do so soon, because we know how special and important our friendship is.