Last year, my high school friends and our significant others picked Presidents’ Day weekend to rent a cabin and spend some time together away from babies, pets, and distractions. We carried on the tradition this year and met up in an impressive two-story cabin in Lake Milton, OH (oh, you’ve never heard of it? neither had we) a month ago. Between the eight of us, we cover four different states, so these sacred weekends mean the world to us.
Our first morning together, we enjoyed a scrumptious breakfast prepared by the inevitable alpha cook of the group and inhaled ample amounts of fluffy pancakes, eggs, crispy bacon, buttery biscuits, and hash browns. As we all lingered in the main foyer with full bellies while everyone took turns using the showers, the standard conversational chatter took place: re-hashing trials and tribulations of work lives, personal lives, family lives, the usual. When it was finally my turn to shower, I felt a little relieved. I am notoriously slow getting ready in situations like these because a) I feel no sense of urgency compounded with b) my introverted qualities demand a few minutes to myself at big weekend gatherings. After my shower, I was diligently tending to my skincare routine to prevent unwelcome visitors when an unusual amount of laughter caught my ear through the bathroom door. I strained to hear what my friends were saying, figuring they were retelling a shared notable youthful moment to a spouse. Oh! Nice job, Cait! Does anyone have the Fritos piece? Yeah, get that corner! As their words of encouragement were peppered with endearing laughs, I could not fathom what they could possibly be doing.
Finally exiting the bathroom, I inhaled the lingering bacon aroma, peaked over the landing to see the sunlight streaming in through the huge windows, and witnessed my friends working together to assemble a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle. A puzzle? I thought. It had been at least 15 years since I last assembled a puzzle. As I stealthily (and unnecessarily) spied on them, cheering each other on with each matched piece, I could not help but enjoy this private, yet shared moment, and beam with joy. With the help of a little 90s music and copious cheering, I joined in and we proudly finished the puzzle before dinner that night.
It is little moments like these that I strive to store in my schema for years to come. Little moments like these that will be eagerly recreated when life no longer feels so fragmented with too many missing corner pieces.