What do you do to hold onto your lifelong friendships?
Just a few days ago we were in Chicago and planning the next leg of our trip when Katie suggested we “go see the girls in North Dakota.” North Dakota was never even on our radar for planning, yet when Katie suggested it, I jumped at the chance. “The Girls” just happen to be me and Katie’s sorority sisters, CoraBeth (CB) in Fargo and Brooke in Bismarck. I quickly hopped on google maps and figured out it would be just a few additional hours to go through North Dakota instead of direct from Chicago to the Black Hills. So after a five second conversation with Joe where I said “Hey, let’s go to North Dakota” and he responded “Sure” – the decision was made. We had once again, said “Yes.”
A little background on both my Dakota girls. CB was raised in Northeastern Colorado on a ranch and was in my pledge class, Brooke is originally from California and is a year younger than me. After college, CB met her husband (Air Force) and lived in various places all over the world while Brooke married an ATO and they relocated to Bismarck for work.
At the University of Wyoming, Pi Phi required you to live in the house Freshmen through Senior year. In my eyes, this gave light and breath to allow for friendships to blossom, it forced all of us to go beyond the surface. It was real and sometimes very raw but it was an honest collegiate-based growing experience. How could it not be?
- You lived with 70 women.
- These women knew the good and the bad of what was happening. You had a huge support system – incredible cheerleaders and vehement defenders (that would also call you out when necessary).
- These women still know me today, whether I talk to them every week or see them once every 10 years.
Needless to say, any opportunity to spend even a millisecond with these girls and I’m all over it!
CoraBeth was up first in Fargo. Around an hour out, we decided to keep driving through to Bismarck as it was already late and didn’t want to deal with getting the kids in and out of the car. So we pulled off the highway and went directly to CB’s house for one of my best hugs in 2017. It was 11:30 at night and CB greeted us in her pajamas in her driveway, which is just SO CB! We sped through the highlights of our life, talked about two of our sisters that had passed away, and Joe and I were back out on the road within 20 minutes.
It was a great, meaningful, loving 20 minutes with CB. I just adore this girl and have so enjoyed watching her flourish, becoming such a strong, independent woman while being a military wife and homeschooling her two daughters. CB was one of those women born to be a mom and I enjoyed being with her, in her space of her home, even for just a few minutes.
The next day in Bismarck Brooke came to pick me up from the hotel, and I had flashbacks of crawling into my Tercel – heading to Lovejoys on a Friday afternoon after class. We zipped through the one-way streets of Bismarck to the local Irish bar, where we spent four hours talking like time had not passed at all. Decidedly, since we knew we only had the short window of that night, the conversation was fairly more substantive than our legendary Friday happy hours. Sure, the former minor college angst stories were now more about minor career/husband/friend concerns however the dialect between us remained the same. Give and take, listen and share. It was awesome, time flew by and I came back to my family a better woman.
These women know me. They are a lifeline for me and I for them.
A midnight knock on the door for a 20 minute conversation and a hug. Sure.
Heck, a trip to Bismarck? Absolutely.
Just say “Yes.”