the best people never change

Last week some friends of ours spent the night at our house on their way to a wedding in Indiana. We haven't seen W & S since our wedding seven years ago, but we've all known each other since our early college years. We were all in the concert choir, which takes an annual spring break tour. Usually this tour involves busing all fifty singers plus the director around the Midwest to sing at various churches. My freshman year, though, the choir went all the way up the west coast, from southern California all the way up to Seattle. It was way more exciting than (insert small town here) Nebraska/Iowa/Ohio, but it also meant many, many hours on the bus. W and S and Stu and I discovered a mutual love for card playing early on in the tour, and for every long stretch of the trip, we all made sure to sit together so we could play 500. 500 is something between Spades and Bridge. It requires skill and experience, and we weren't about to allow just anyone to play. None of us were paired up yet (though I think probably everyone but us knew it would happen eventually), but we were all fast becoming good friends.

The friendships stuck. We kept playing cards. W and S got together, then Stu and I got together. W and S got married a little more than a year after that fateful choir tour, and Stu and I had the honor of being candle lighters at their wedding. Stuart learned a couple things the hard way at that event: 1) Wax candles don't last long in the glove box of a dark blue station wagon in 95-degree heat and 2) One must never, under any circumstances, wear white socks with a dark suit. In fact, the day W & S came arrived was their 10th anniversary. Stuart somehow remembered this and said "Happy Anniversary!" to which W responded "I couldn't think of a better way to spend it!" and S added "We'll have to do it every year!" (They'd been driving for 9 hours with a 2yo and a baby in the car.)

W and S are farmers in rural South Dakota. The distance between us and our busy lives are responsible for the length of time since we saw them last. We have two kids; they have two kids roughly the same age as ours. When they arrived at our house, it was like nothing had really changed between us, save our growing families. Our boys played together and didn't fight too much (Daniel had some issues with sharing his toys, but he's 2 and 1/2. It's normal.) Our babies stared at each other and grinned. We complained about red states (and oh my is South Dakota red, bleeding red), swapped birth stories, and made each other laugh and laugh. There was no time for 500, alas, but I doubt I'd have remembered how to play.

The best people never really change.


Anonymous said…
"Conservative" is red, and "liberal" is blue; am I right? It is my understanding that in England it is the other way around.


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