“I’ll Be There For You…” (Theme from Friends) The Rembrandts 1994

Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!

Y’all, I had a surprise shower last week! New towels monogrammed with my “new” initials. A black work bag with “LAH” monogrammed in Carolina blue. A bowl that says “Happy Everything!” And of course, some wine to toast the two dear girlfriends who surprised me with this shower in honor of my name change. Do these gals know me or what!? What a thoughtful thing to do.

“Let us be grateful for the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”  Marcel Proust

When we moved to Charlottesville 22 years ago, we knew no one here. Luckily, we moved to a perfect neighborhood with neighbors our age, and children our children’s ages. Since we had no family in town, these neighbors became not only friends, but family. Two of my dearest friends are from that neighborhood. These 2 girlfriends met me at the beach last week for a couple of days of sunshine and girl time. We had a great time catching up, basking in the sun, going out to dinner at all of my favorite restaurants, and enjoying some great wines. Had perfect beach weather. We saw beautiful sunrises and breath-taking sunsets. There was not a quiet moment the whole time we were together (imagine that!). In fact, the first morning, we were sitting on my porch having breakfast and laughing so hard and so loudly that one of my beach neighbors came by to see if everything was ok! It was more than ok… it was Girlfriend time! Same on the beach. Gosh we had so much fun together. Even though we are in contact with each other, we still had a lot to catch up on and celebrate. And celebrate we did. (There were right many empty wine bottles in the recycle bin!) Each night I shared one of my favorite restaurants for dinner – Gulf Stream where we saw a magnificent sunset, Claw House at Murrells Inlet where we walked the marshwalk and listened to live music, and of course, my favorite, Franks. Had breakfast one morning beachside at my favorite breakfast dive on the pier. Spent all day long on the beach talking, laughing, and sharing. Couple of tears here and there, but a perfect couple of days.

“Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.” Eleanor Roosevelt

That Girlfriend Time was just what I needed. These are the kinds of friends who are there for you, who have your back, who know what you have been through, and how you are feeling even if you don’t know yourself. These friends have been my cheerleaders, inspiring and encouraging me. We have each experienced a great loss, all different, but a loss all the same. We have laughed together and cried together, and know that we can always count on each other. An anchor in this crazy life we lead. Speaking of anchors, my girlfriends also gave me a beautiful anchor beach towel monogrammed with my new initials! A reminder of how friendships anchor us in life and how we can be an anchor to one another.

“Life’s roughest storms prove the strength of our anchors.”

Did you watch the sitcom Friends? Maybe easier to ask, did anyone NOT watch Friends? Can you believe it’s been 25 years since the first episode aired? We all loved the friendship between Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Ross, Joey, and Chandler. And of course the hairstyles! The original pitch for the show was: “It’s about sex, love, relationships, careers, a time in your life when everything’s possible. And it’s about friendship because when you’re single and in the city, your friends are your family.” I am so thankful for friends that I consider family.

“Why we need best friends. Because they laugh at the same stupid things we do. Because they give us honest advice. Because they will be there for us, even if they are thousands of miles away. Because they celebrate with us when we’re at our best, but still love us at our worst.”

Do you have friends who anchor you in life? Ones you know you can call on no matter what and they will be there for you? Who lift you up when you are down, and celebrate with you when you succeed? I am blessed with some of the best friends a girl could have. Many different circles – my kids, my sisters, my “trio”, my work friends, my old neighborhood friends, my NC friends, my college friends, my high school friends, church friends, new friends…You can never have too many friends. But true friends will support you and walk with you in good times and bad. Be an anchor for your friends. Treasure and foster your friendships, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.

“The greatest gift of life is friendship and I have received it.” Hubert Humphrey

So true! Those are frozen grapes in the wine to keep it cold!

 Best,

 Leslie 

PS… I know fall has arrived (even though it is still 90 degrees!), because the Hallmark Channel began showing their Fall movies last weekend. I mean, Christmas is only 3 months from today y’all.  AND the Hallmark Christmas movies begin October 26th. Just saying!

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