In order to tell you how it is that I ended up making my first trip across the Canadian border I need to back up a bit to the beginning of the story.

It all started when I was in middle school when I met…

Whoa, maybe not that far back.

 

In December after Sandy Hook I got a beautiful message from my old friend Nicole.  She told me that though years and miles had separated us our friendship had and always would hold a special place for her.  I shared that I felt the same.

Then in February, we did the High School Throwback series and I shared my story about the importance of friendship, namely my friendships with Nicole and Carolyn (previously referred to often here as BFF).  After the post Nicole and Carolyn talked and discussed the idea that Carolyn and I should drive north to Montreal to see Nicole where she and her family have been living for the last 10 years.  I talked it over with Honey and the trip was a go.  Flash forward a few months to this:

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Photo credit: Nicole’s 9yo daughter

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Photo credit: C. Farrlley

We stayed at Nicole’s lake house on Lac de L’Achigan in the town of Saint Hippolyte (sounds like Ee-po-lee NOT Hippo-light) about an hour north of Montreal.  Can I just say amazing?  Actually, I think the word is beautiful.  Nicole welcomed us into her beautiful home with her beautiful family and friends for what was truly a beautiful weekend with old friends.  I felt like no time had passed since the last time we all got together and just chilled which in reality was about 10 years ago, before any of us had kids.  The weekend was restorative of my relationships with Carolyn and Nicole, and also of my relationship with myself.  You see, this was also the first trip I have taken without my children since before Kitten was born.  It was also the longest I’d ever been apart from Kitten.  It was a much-needed respite.

In between the catching up and the winding down there was plenty of time sitting on the dock watching the water,

photo 2

Photo credit C. Fuss

boat trips around the lake,

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Photo credit N. Mansour

lingering over home-cooked meals with wine (there was lots of wine) and  just genuinely enjoying each others’ company.

photo 1

Photo credit: C. Fuss

This trip was timed just right for Nicole and her family as shortly after our rendezvous was planned they made the decision to embark on a life changing adventure of their own.  I won’t share her story here, because it’s not mine to tell, but I will say that as you read this on Wednesday night or Thursday, there is a good chance that my dear friend is on a plane somewhere.

Over the weekend I did walk away with some bits of wisdom, some universal truths if you will, that I felt compelled to share with you.

  • All husbands (spouses) and children are exactly the same.  The strengths, weaknesses, challenges, love and pride you have with and for your family are the same we all have for ours.
  • As adults, we all struggle with finding a way to a healthy adult relationship with our parents, but it’s worth the work.
  • Mothers at some point will reach their breaking point of discovering their new identity as woman who mother.  You might feel your only identity is as the women who wipes the butts and forgot that she is the same woman with an advanced degree from a prestigious institution.  If you are there right now, keep pushing through.  There is strength and power on the other side.  I promise.
  • Some friendships are meant to stand the test of time.  Nurture them.
  • Sixto Rodriguez.  Search him on iTunes.
  • Life is short, get the burger.  And the fries.  While we’re at it, pour another glass of wine.

After twenty hours in the car, two hours waiting for customs, 792 miles, pit stops in Glens Falls, NY (the Georgia O’Keefe exhibit at the Hyde Collection was great) and Burlington, VT, and four days, Carolyn and I finally made it home; although going to bed last night I was sad that it was over.  We had an incredible time, one that only further links the three of us and one we won’t soon forget.

Girls, I love you.  Same time next year?

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