Friday, March 11, 2011

New Old Friends

There are seven of us, sitting on the beach, well after dark, huddled against the wind behind upturned picnic tables, enjoying a campfire.

We're laughing a lot. Someone asks if anyone knows the lyrics to the song the Cowardly Lion sings in "The Wizard of Oz." He growls a few lines:

"But I could show my prowess,

Be a lion not a mouse, ..."

Another cuts him off with, "Hey, whatever happened to Kumbaya."

We continue to laugh. Belly laugh. Unencumbered laughs. No twittering or chuckles or respectful tittering.
We laugh with the confidence of old friends, like we've known each other for years. Even though our friendships began just hours ago.

We already know we have a lot in common: We're all living in RVs at the seashore in southeastern Texas. We're in our 50s and 60s. And all of us possess the desires and the means to wait out the winter away from the northern snows.

We share stories from the road (places we've seen, places we hope to see) and pass around a bag of potato chips.
Then the guy who sang the lion song mentions something most profound. He says when he and his wife plowed through their vacation photos recently, they found a million pictures of rocks and a zillion pictures of trees. But no pictures of friends. Like us. People you meet along the way. Who laugh with you. Who enjoy a campfire at the beach.

So, he says, he wished he'd brought his camera.

Me, too.

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