One of our coffee clubbers, my dear friend Linda, retired in May from a wonderful career as a Shenandoah Elementary teacher.
With all the hoopla at the end of the school year, our coffee friends held off our celebration with Linda for about a month and declared June 27, 2018 as "Linda Day."
This group of precious friends meets nearly every week for a coffee/conversation time...usually at our local diner, The Iron Kettle.
We've laughed together until we've cried, cried together until we've laughed, and shared every imaginable emotion in between. As we reminisced on Linda Day, we tried to remember when our group first began meeting. Our earliest coffee notes (yes, our unofficial secretary Peggy has been known to keep notes and email to missing members) date back to 2008, but we all agree we were meeting at least a couple of years even before we had the brilliant idea of taking notes. (Those notes, by the way, have included instructions to be destroyed after reading lest the rights of an "innocent" be violated. Some emails, however, have miraculously survived the purging....)
This is, to my recollection (of course I could be wrong...I have slept a few times since then...) our first outing together, in February 2008.
Just a few days after this photo was taken, our group suffered its first major loss together as we grieved with Linda after her husband died very unexpectedly from a massive heart attack on Valentine's Day 2008. Since then, we've prayed each other through deaths of 4 parents, lots of scary emergency moments, a few life-threatening illnesses, and celebrated 7 weddings of our children and shared each others' joy as 12 grandbabies have been born with more to come!
These girls are always only a phone call or a text away (we had no idea what texting even was when we first began meeting together), and we'd do anything for each other.
This photo was taken in June 2008 at my daughter Emily's wedding.
Countless memories of time spent with these girls over the past 12-or-so years...working together at Mothers' Club carnivals and Dollars for Scholars events, teaching Vacation Bible School together (where we learned of Linda's strong dislike for glitter), and generally doing life together which nearly every week includes our beloved coffee time.
June 2011...a lake getaway at Brenda's lake house. Amy was in the middle of her kids' teenage years and couldn't join us.
I'm sure I've got several more photos from years past, but I can't quickly put my finger on them right now. But suffice it to say, these girls are lifers!
So on Linda Day, we thought it was quite fitting to see the film "Book Club," which is about 4 long-time friends like us.
Okay, maybe not EXACTLY like us...but in the same age category and going through the same season of life. Our lives are not nearly as exciting as the movie's characters' lives....
Can you even guess where we went after the movie???
Cheesecake Factory and coffeee....of course!
We stopped by the park for a few photos together.
Rumor has it that Linda has been looking at lake homes in northern Indiana, where she grew up. Nothing definite yet, but she is considering moving up there to be closer to her family.
Which will make her farther away from us. But like I said, we're only a text or phone call away...
And we do like lake girlfriend getaways!
Remembering special times with special friends...
...and celebrating Linda as she begins a new chapter in her life!