A big part of the holidays is going or coming home; we see the crowded airports and roads out of town. I’m lucky. I stay in Riverside or travel all the way to Brookfield. 

But the other night we celebrated with friends at La Barra and it was sort of a coming home or coming together. It is a group that hailed originally from LaGrange Park, Brookfield and Riverside and we have known each other over 50 years, some since grade school, some since high school. All have been married to their original spouses for many years, some it seems longer than ever. 

Over the years, some members of our groups have moved far away while some have stayed close to home, but it’s always great to get together. Kathy and Jerry Kracht are always ready to come in from Wisconsin, and Noreen and Roger Stedronsky are in from either Florida or Lake Geneva. 

Doug and Dee Matook, Judy Tullis and Lee, Val and Bruce Jablonski, Bruce and Judy Johnson are all in the western suburbs. Conversation tends to drift toward who has new knees, who is getting new knees or hips, and other irritations that come along in the course of our years. Dentures! Did I say dentures, or is it implants?

 As I look around at the group, I like to think that none of us has changed over the years. We all still look good. Thanks, Oil of Olay! Of course, we talk about children, grandchildren, retired spouses and what they do or don’t do. We remembering high school friends and antics, since most of the group attended RB. 

They enjoyed Riverside in its holiday splendor, particularly the water tower and remarked on how they were dining where Henninger’s Drug Store, where we would all meet during our teen years, had been.

We shared some gifts, but friendship was most important gift, along with the realization that while time had passed, the feeling of togetherness had not lessened, no matter where we lived.