We didn’t mean to lose touch. And yet it happened. We got caught up in our family routine and put “old” (read established cuze none of us are old, certainly) friendships on hold.
But old friends are the best friends. And they are the ones you can suddenly catch up with after several years and talk and giggle and talk some more as if no time had passed. And convince at least one of them that perhaps she should slide into the hollow of a tree for a photo opp just like both of you would have done in high school.
And so the past three days we had the opportunity to play catch up. For me, the journey actually began on Thursday night, when I met my dear old friend Carissa for a girls’ night out. We began by reminiscing about days gone by, from high school antics to family adventures. On Friday morning, we braved the gale force winds and made new memories along the trails at Odiorne Point State Park in Rye, New Hampshire, where autumn colors enhanced the experience.
It was at this point where Witch Creek flows into the Atlantic that Pannaway Plantation was established in 1623. The plantation was New Hampshire’s first settlement, colonized by English fishermen. Though I’m thankful they found this place because I love living in New England, I’m at odds with the invasion of white men. Couldn’t they have taken a different approach?
Interestingly, we weren’t the only invasive species. While the color of the Norway maple leaves attracted my eye, I soon realized that they represent one of many intrusive forms of non-natives that flourish here. Attempts are being made to rid the park of such. Hmmm.
We climbed along the rocky coast and embraced the view of the entrance to Little Harbor. Because of the location, the land eventually became a defense fortification.
As we wound our way along the trails, sometimes doubling back, we suddenly came upon Silent Greatness. Indeed. Certainly a bird bath. Certainly a moment of reflection–both in water and mind, an offering.
Then the footpath led us to Campbell Road, a standing tribute to those first “settlers.”
For us, it framed the day as leaves floated to the ground. Though our time together was a similar fleeting moment, we trusted that our friendship will continue to endure, much as this road has.
And then I met up with my guy and we continued on down a different road–making our way to Cape Cod for a family wedding. We spent the afternoon and evening catching up with cousins–reveling in the obvious love of the newlyweds and the renewed connections. The next morning we explored our surroundings, including the Sandwich Plank Walk.
We learned that a hurricane destroyed the boardwalk several times, most recently during the Blizzard of 2013.
The townspeople banned together and purchased new boards, many of which represent family names and messages of good tidings.
The Plank Walk’s 1,350-foot span crosses Mill Creek and marsh, leading to the town beach on Cape Cod Bay.
Beside one end of the boardwalk, a herring gull pondered the message below.
Apparently, the sign’s upside-down meaning:”Pause Here and Stretch a Wing.”
Crossing back over, I followed my guy–a familiar look, I know, but he is my favorite guy to follow.
On the Sandwich Beach, crashing waves and color reflected the day’s wind and sky.
From there, we drove to the Cape Cod Canal, where we stretched our legs for another hour or so.
As we walked along, the boat traffic was non-existent, but we still had plenty of opportunities for reflection–from short . . .
to longer . . .
And most humorous. Think cormorant meets narrow balance beam.
This is a place where all of life convened–from rails to power to footpath to canal to bridge.
At last it was time to catch up with my college friend, Dianne, and her husband, Tom. We dined at Fishermen’s View on the canal–and a barge did me the pleasure of passing by. And again, we talked non-stop for a couple of hours as the years between visits melted away.
On the road again, we spent the late afternoon catching up with my childhood neighbor and school friend, Bill and Eileen. More memories were shared. And then we joined my guy’s uncle and family for dinner. Once more, constant story telling. Uncle Chuck gave us the use of a timeshare condo for the night. It was an unexpected opportunity that we were most thankful to be offered. We slept like babies and awoke to a gorgeous sunrise overlooking the Atlantic.
The sky swirled . . .
as the sun rose.
Sanderlings held a convention.
And entertained us as they skittered along beside the waves.
Occasionally, they took a dip, as is their custom.
But always they searched.
A herring gull also paused . . .
considered . . .
and posed. Such a handsome specimen.
At last, our mini-vaca had come to an end, but we still had one more visit to make–we surprised my guy’s friend Dave and his family on our way home. It was a quick stop, though stories continued to flow along with promises for the future.
We were thankful for a weekend to reconnect with family and friends. For a chance to once again walk side by side as we reflected on the past and made new memories. Here’s hoping we won’t wait so long to meet again.