One of my best friends in high school was named Carol. We had so much in common it was uncanny.
We lived in the same neighborhood, each of us had family-owned businesses that we worked in — my family owned shoe stores and her family owned shoe repair shops — and we were both cheerleaders.
But after high school, we lost touch. I tried so many times to locate Carol that I lost count.
Even my friend Debbie, who has kept up with EVERYONE since high school, didn’t know where Carol lived — only that she had a great job with the power company.
You know, many people think Facebook is bad news, but now I disagree.
In fact, that’s how Carol and I reconnected.
I now say that TGIF stands for “Thank goodness it’s Facebook!”
Let me explain: I got a mysterious message on FB nearly a year ago — from a girl named Carol that looked totally UNfamiliar — asking me if I’d graduated from Jacksonville High School.
I wrote her back, having no clue who she was, and asked for her maiden name.
She then confirmed her identity and I literally jumped up and down, saying I couldn’t believe that SHE had finally found ME!
The rest of the story just blows my mind!
It turns out they own a home less than a half-mile from us, and I’ve walked past it many times over the past five years.
Of course, most of that time, they weren’t there, either.
She and her husband, Frank, also have a home in Alabama (where his corporate office is) and one in Florida.
We sent many messages back and forth on Facebook, getting reacquainted.
Finally, she said she’d be coming to Wilmington and we MUST visit each other.
I was so excited!
I made a note of her phone number and started counting the days.
Well, one night at dusk, I was sitting at the kitchen table finishing up supper, when I caught a glimpse of someone at the end of my sidewalk: a crazy lady on a bicycle that was waving her arms up and down.
I cautiously moved towards the front door. OMG! It was Carol!
I ran outside and we hugged each other like it had been forty years — because, you see, it had been!
What happened next is a blur of activity, but she came inside and we talked for what seemed like hours.
I begged her to let me drive her AND her bicycle home, but she laughed that famous Carol-laugh that I remember so well, saying no, she’s a big girl now.
I apologized, telling her it was my motherly instincts kicking in.
Ever since that fateful day we’ve been catching up: I’ve met most of her family and she’s met all of mine.
And it turns out we still have a ton of stuff in common: junking, as she calls it (yard sales, auctions, antiques — you name it), gardening, cooking, SHOE shopping — heck, I should say, SHOE collecting, etc. Carol is even helping me plan Katie’s wedding and reception — she’s quite the event planner.
The sad part is she travels so much that we don’t get to spend enough time together.
I tell her I have Carol-itis and that she needs to settle down and live here full-time.
Though she did retire from the power company, she helps Frank with his business and they often visit family living away.
Best of all, Carol and Frank recently invited us to vacation with them at their home in Destin, Florida for a week.
It was even better than high school, though similar in many ways: staying up late, gossiping, playing “remember when …,” comparing our lives present-day and way-back-when, dining, shopping, cooking and of course, sitting on the beach.
The powdery white sand and clear/turquoise water were breath-taking.
And Russell and Frank played golf, so you KNOW hub-Russ was happy!
While we were there, I even met a celebrity: Steven Trotter, a good friend of theirs.
He was the guy who went over Niagara Falls in a barrel back in 1985 and was interviewed by Johnny Carson.
It turns out he’s still a stunt man, but now he also shucks oysters at Acme Oyster House in Destin.
I thought being a native of eastern N.C., I’d had oysters served every way you can dream of, but no, it turns out I haven’t.
In Destin, they char grill them over an open flame and serve them on the half-shell, with butter and a light dusting of bread crumbs and secret spices.
Steven posed for a photo with me and I gave him my most recent book.
The morning we left for home, Carol packed our lunch and supper and she and Frank walked us to the car.
We hugged and promised to visit again soon.
Within an hour, she called and asked us where we were, saying she was just checking on us.
I know it’ll take the rest of our lives to catch up on what we’ve missed: but thanks to Facebook, we’re off to a good start!
Ann Ipock “Life is Short, I Wish I Was Taller” firstname.lastname@example.org www.annipock.com
Notice about comments:
- Most Viewed
- Child drowns in Andrews
- Georgetown woman wins Wheel of Fortune
- Response to Scoville
- POLICE BLOTTER: Suspicious man in Maryville
- POLICE BLOTTER Sampit man high on cocaine said he flew up to the roof
- Tropical Storm Andrea update
- Woman escapes severe injury after grill explosion
- Aviation manufacturer investing $5.5 million in Andrews
- Response to Swatzel ad
- Police Blotter: Inmate attacked at GCDC