I hardly know where to start so I'll go back to the beginning, which is a very good place to start!
It is 1973 in the summer. Our family moved from Sunnyvale, Ca to Tracy, Ca for my father's work at the PayLess offices in Oakland. We bought a small acreage 15 minutes out of town where we, along with the cattle, had a couple of goats, various dogs, cats and a built in pool!
The minute we met Julie and Jill Campbell at church we were instantly connected. It was crazy then and it is crazy now! Lou Lou and I were pretty shy and always had each other so to have two sisters that "joined" us was so great. We just clicked and were reminded many times in the three years we lived in Tracy that we should let others into our "clique" (a small group of people, with shared interests or other features in common, who spend time together and do not readily allow others to join in).
We spent a lot of time "in town" at Julie and Jill's house. We always felt welcomed and had so many fun times there. Listening to records, singing at the piano, making and eating chocolate chip cookies, tuna sandwiches and drinking Pepsi. We got ready for our monthly and much anticipated stake dances there, talked about boys, shared clothes, went to girl's camp and all church activities, ding dong ditched people, did telephone pranks and just loved being together. We only lived in Tracy for 3 years, but it really does seem like forever. It was hard to leave Julie and Jill. I look back on those years and wonder where I would be or what kind of a person I would have been without them in my life. Shy, with not a lot of confidence. I'm speaking for myself here.
Just so so lucky to have been friends and to be so influenced without really knowing it until all these years later!
This picture was taken at Great America just before we moved to Hawaii.
Side note: As we were looking at all of our pictures this weekend from years past we all had a single phrase that was spoken more than any other. "I loved that shirt". We traded shirts and hadn't really realized it until we were looking through the photos. We also LOVED overalls! Still do!
Fast forward over 35 years. We lost touch when we started getting getting married. The last time we were all together was Christmas 1980 when we spent Christmas at their home in California. I was dating Mark and got engaged two months later and that was the beginning. Jill went on a mission. Julie married in 1982 where Lou Lou was a brides made then Lou-Lou and Jill were married a few years later. We sent occasional Christmas cards in the early years, but just lost touch. Thanks to Facebook earlier this year we decided to just do it. Let's get together and get back to being close friends again. Jill flew from CA to Julie's home in Washington state then they drove up last Friday afternoon.
This picture was taken on our way to the temple in Cardston. We had never been to the temple together, although we did do baptisms at the Oakland Temple when we were teenagers.
Can I just say that the weather was cold and rainy the entire time?
The entire time! We drove up Red Rock in Waterton on Saturday and walked to Blackiston Falls which was really fun. We all have our different cameras with us :)
My self, Julie, Lou Lou and Jill
Gotta switch positions so no one feels bad.
Julie lives in Washington with her husband. She has three children and 4 grandchildren.
Jill lives in California with her husband and they have 5 children with 5 grandkids.
Lou Lou lives in Lethbridge with her husband, have 4 kids and one granddaughter.
I have 3 grandkids...and 5 kids...and a husband ;)
The clouds did part a wee bit. Jill is learning how to use her new camera so she was excited to take some pictures in Waterton. Of course we saw a bear on the Red Rock road, but he was behind the brush and trees so it was difficult to get a clear shot of it. Jill had tons of fun trying, which I was happy to be chauffeur for.
After church on Sunday we decided to quickly take some pictures at the temple.
Fun, super fun! How many pictures does it take for us all to be ready?
Mark was a good sport!
Since we had a few minutes before Mark met us at the Temple we decided to take some (more) selfies. It's a really good thing selfies hadn't been "invented" back in the day cuz it would have been ridiculous with the four of us.
You know, just trying to re create the past. Once a teeth picker, always a teeth picker. You will notice that Lou Lou has changed seats with Julie and in the picture below, let her hair down.
We have to all be satisfied with our own pictures.
And then the "telephone" thing. Talking with our hands has been a thing with us....
In front of the temple pictures now. It didn't take as long for us to get decent pictures this time.
So as you can see, we all wore black on Sunday to church. No texting or phone calls to plan that.
It just happened.
Sunday afternoon Old Chief decided to pop out so Jill quickly took some pictures.
But really. If the weather had been good, we would have done a bit of hiking which means single file a lot of the time which would have resulted in all of us not hearing everything at the same time. No way was that going to happen.
We had one simple rule from the minute we started catching up. If in the event while we were talking and something popped into our minds to bring up, it was ok. Then we went right back to our previous conversation. We had a list...
Favorite family vacations (never got to that one)
Your claim to fame favorite dinner or food
Body ailments (cuz we are over 50)
Kids and Grandkids
Just anything and everything we could think of to catch up on.
We really did talk and talk and talk and talk. Pick a little, talk a little, pick a little, talk a little, pick pick pick, talk a lot, pick a little more.... It was crazy!
Evidently Lou Lou and I have always kind of bickered with each other. Ooops.
Camera time. I'm glad I wasn't the only one who wanted to stop to take pictures on our walk to Blackiston Falls. Lou Lou was feeling a bit under the weather :(
Pretty sure it was most likely from lack of sleep! (don't be mad I posted this picture lou lou. It's all about documenting, right?"
Jill is an ER nurse and it was nice to get her opinions and help at times.
And do not ask me why Lou Lou and I didn't buy a matching socks with Julie and Jill. It certainly was cold enough to wear them. Oh, is that candy in those bowls? Mark was super good to keep us supplied with chocolate!
We all love to sing and songs from back then can take us to many places.
I did up this word search so it would spark memories. Of course I had 70's music playing at the same time. We used to sing at various activities in the ward, but never ever with out laughing during the song. Even during Sacrament meeting. It just happened. No rhyme or reason. If one started losing it then we all did. We had a discussion before going to the temple on Saturday about this very thing. Thankfully we made it through without one little giggle. We have grown up! For the most part.
After our trip to the grocery store to buy Ketchup chips for Julie's husband, we stopped at Dairy Queen to share a poutine and have one last yummy treat together. Georgia Mud Fudge blizzards!
Do you see what's going on here?
No texting or phone calls this time either. It just happened. We are all in Navy blue.
It truly is a phenomenon!
This might look like just a regular picture, but we all took turns singing our "oohs" in harmony. First Julie, then me, then Jill and then Lou Lou. Wasn't Mark so lucky to listen to us as we joined in chorus and then click when we were in full harmony?
A kiss goodbye :(
We have decided to have a yearly get together. Also, the husbands are welcome to join us for a couples get together then it's back to the four of us.
One of our last pictures taken together before we moved to Hawaii in 1976. And if you notice, we are in the same order as the previous picture. Crazy things like this just happen to us.
We so loved our time together the 3 days we had and just wonder why it took so many dog gone years to finally come to our senses!