On Monday night, our little family went to Clinton for an annual holiday dinner hosted by some longtime neighbors of ours. When we were growing up, the Goodmans lived in the house behind us. Our yards abutted, and the Goodmans had two little girls - Rebecca and Courtney - that we played with all the time. (We were the only females in a neighborhood full of boys, so we became fast friends, sticking together pretty much until we all graduated high school.)
Now that all the girls are grown and scattered around (Laura's in Byram, Rebecca is out at the reservoir, Courtney lives in Louisiana, and the Goodmans themselves have moved to a different neighborhood in Clinton), we don't get together much anymore. But every year, we meet to eat and talk, catch up with one another, and break important news.
Our little group has grown. Now, Laura has a 5-year-old, Courtney's daughter Matilda is 2, and Rebecca is pregnant. The kids puttered around, playing with everything and diving into the tupperware cabinet. We all drank Christmas punch and ate copious amounts of Mrs. Goodman's famous cheesy potatoes.
And we laughed. And gossiped about what had happened to everyone from high school and the old neighborhood. And I remembered, again, how nice it is to converse with people who know you well, who share a history with you, and who still like you well enough to invite you over and feed you every once in a while.