Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 10, 2007

On a recent Tuesday, I was invited to my friend Patsy’s home for a play date.
You might think ó so what? Girls have play dates all the time. Well, it just so happens that this was the first one we have had since sometime in the 1950s.
Back then, we didn’t have a specific name for getting together to play and have fun. We just visited each other when our parents allowed it and played our little hearts out.
By now you have realized that we are no longer girls ó well, not young ones anyway.
This time around we didn’t play hopscotch, red light or Mother May I. These fun games were replaced with viewing scrapbooks of old photos and doing a lot of reminiscing about friends, old sweethearts, our families, neighbors and former school classmates and teachers. We were surprised and amazed that each of us still had all our report cards from first grade through high school. We laughed about old hairstyles, our spats over boyfriends, tricks we played on people and those that were played on us. We shed sentimental tears over the deaths of our parents, some cousins, a sister and many of our friends and acquaintances. Over coffee and cake, we shared our life’s heartaches as well as the joyful times while we mentally reviewed the past 50 years and wondered how the time had passed by so quickly.
As we talked, I was reminded of a message I had read somewhere: “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.”
I believe this to be true. Not only are some of us not taking the time to stop and smell the roses, but we are living and moving so fast that we don’t even seem to appreciate the beautiful things God has given us to enjoy.
Then and there, Patsy and I decided that hopefully this play date was going to be the first of many more to come. We still have a lot to talk about, recipes to exchange, laughs and hugs to share, world problems to solve, body part pains to compare and great plans for the future of our lives ó God willing.
One thing we won’t be doing is playing hopscotch! Most days it’s hard enough to stand steadily on two feet, much less on one while hopping on the other. Anyway, besides the shortage of neighborhood sidewalks, I still can’t find where I hid my green and yellow chalk.