I haven’t been back in the water in a few weeks as I wait for the jelly population to recede. I have tried the pool a few times and even connected with a local masters swim group. But intimidation got the best of me. They all appear so much stronger in the water than I feel. So no posting about swimming today.
However, I did have the chance to spend time with some friends this past week. Alex, dear companion and founding member of the Fardle’s Bear Philosophical Society & Drinking Club, visited for the 4th of July as is our tradition. We paddled the same blue canoe that has championed that particular race more than any other boat, albeit at a much more leisurely pace this year. Micki’s brother Jeff was in town as well and paddling his first kayak. He needed watching, or that is how we explained our slower start to ourselves. We hunted geoducks, made chowder for a community clam bake, bbq’d in the Northwest sun. It was a splendid time. Best of all were the few hours, rare as we get older, spent talking together. We text occasionally, and phone calls when teaching is stressful are common. But the late night discussions that forged our friendship happen only this one weekend a year. We chatted about many of the same topics I imagine we covered as college roommates. Perhaps less about girls and more about family, but comfortable territory.
A few days later we were visited by Ravi, his wife Kavitha, two sons, and family. Ravi is someone I see perhaps once every 5 years. The reunions are always short. He typically drops by on his way between destinations while traveling. This time it was a family trip, and they were driving from Doe Bay on Orcas Island to Cannon Beach in Oregon. We spent about an hour together, catching up while Micki played the proper host and actually spoke to the other guests. We covered raising oysters and self watering planters, friends we have talked to recently and those we fell out of contact with, and the need for the Hinds and Odell family to visit his home in Hyderabad.
Both friends I met at university. Alex and I shared many interests and beliefs, Ravi and I almost none. I lived with both for periods of time. Alex and I were great housemates, Ravi and I would go through periods trying to avoid each other. We have all had a variety of career interests. Alex and I moved through performing arts, into ‘regular’ work, and are now both educators. Ravi worked in finance and investment, is now a published author, and operates a working farm on his property. Both men somehow managed to transcend the ‘college roommate’ syndrome of nostalgia, binge drinking bad beer, and later wondering whatever happened to that guy I liked in college. I look at the very different lives these two men have built and I admire the common grounds which allow us to still connect. The shared moments as young men forged a stronger bond than any of of the friendships I have made as an adult.