St. Augustine educated me in more ways than history during our five days there. Our experiences caused me to reflect and appreciate the natural ebb and flow of friendships. In Part 1, I shared how enriched our visit became when we reconnected with a former customer and industry friend.
So here’s Part 2, which was made possible because of Facebook. So for any of you who aren’t on Facebook, I urge you to reconsider. My husband is one of those, by the way. I hope he will change his mind, because being on Facebook is like using the rising tide to get through the shallow waters. Life’s journey is shared quickly and easily, and connects us with those whom we would not otherwise think to call or email to say: “Hey, we’re going to be in St. Augustine. How about you?” Here’s an example…
Part 2: On Saturday evening December 12, after St. Augustine’s annual boat parade, I posted a few photos of the lighted boats from our front row seats in the mooring field. I almost delayed my post by a day because I had to download photos from my other camera and that would take some time. So glad I did post that night, because I soon saw a reply to my post, from my friend Laura: “How long are you in St. Augustine? Be great to see you!!”
Laura and I go back many, many years. Our friendship has ebbed and flowed, in an organic way with the natural rhythms of life. We first met when I was teaching interior design at a community college in the 80s, and she was my top student. That of course led to a job offer as soon as she was willing.
We worked together for a few years, then apart, then back together again in the late 90s. She’s one of those women whom I’ve always respected because she knows what she wants, and she advocates for herself with a conviction that I have always admired.
So when I saw her response to my FB post, and saw that she was nearby in Crescent Beach, just south of us, I jumped at the chance to get together. If I have learned anything on this water adventure, it has been to remain flexible and open to what may come next, be it weather, wind, tides, or Facebook posts.
Laura and I were both free the next morning, so with no vocal words exchanged (love technology when it works), we made arrangements to have her pick us up in her car at the Fort. Dudley had a list of items to get at West Marine, so we dropped him there and kept going. I had suggested The Blue Hen for brunch, since I had enjoyed lunch there with Maury, and so we went. Laura’s daughter Melanie was with her, relaxing at the beach after completing finals week as a pre-med sophomore at University of South Carolina. The three of us chatted and caught up, since it had been ten years or so since we had seen one another. Melanie was very young when I last saw her! I really love when friends can reunite after a long separation and just pick right up where the conversation left off. It was like that with Laura. What fun!
Unfortunately, neither of us thought to take a photo of this grand reunion. Ugh! It had crossed my mind briefly during our lunch chat, and while we waited outside the café for our table to be called. We even took a photo for another group leaving the café, and still I didn’t think to ask them to return the favor and take our picture. Totally a blonde moment!
But I wouldn’t let it go. About an hour after she drove me back to the marina, I texted Laura my disappointment about not getting a picture. But we both agreed to another plan for a photo op. The next morning, Dudley and I would be coming south down the ICW and right past her condo in Crescent Beach. She sent me her address, we found it on Google Maps, compared water shapes on our charts, and guessed at the buoy numbers that would be nearby. She confirmed that Red 72 was just south of her condo.
And I let her know the approximate time we would be there, based on a 7:30 am opening at the Bridge of Lions near our mooring ball.
So the next morning, we were through the Bridge of Lions as per plan, and heading south. There were a couple of tight areas to watch, but the tightest would be just passed Laura. So that meant that I could take a few photos of Laura on shore, but then my attention would have to be on our navigational priorities. I would also have a chance to alert Laura to our approach because we would be radioing the Crescent Beach Bridge for an opening just a brief distance before seeing her. I have since suggested to Laura that she ask for a VHF radio from Santa, since listening would provide entertainment as well as information as to when the bridge would be going up, and therefore delaying her commute. Ha!
Finally, we rounded a slight corner on the ICW and could see her, across from red buoy #72. She was standing on a bench, snapping away and waving. And I was on our port side, snapping away and waving. How silly that this was so much fun! And how special that silliness was, and is.
So we were able to take photos to show that we reconnected in St. Augustine. And Crescent Beach. What fun!
Now that I know that Laura has a place in Crescent Beach, we’ll make a plan to get together on our way north next spring. And because of FB, I’m sure our friendship will flow a bit more. And even when it ebbs, it’s okay. We’ll just pick back up where we left off. As we always have.
And that’s the big lesson from our visit to St. Augustine. Friendships, like tides, ebb and flow. And that’s okay. Enjoy the flooding when it rolls in, and allow the ebbs to happen. The ebbs just make the high waters more enjoyable.