Sunrises and catching up…

My mother used to tell me that as you grew older, time went faster. If only she were still here to impart more of her wisdom — because she certainly had that one right! It has not only been one of my busiest seasons of life, this time of my life is literally speeding by.

I had the opportunity to exit the ride for a brief moment a few weeks ago with a group of friends. Friends I’ve had in my life for years (for the most part) but their paths never crossed with one another (again, for the most part). Along for the ride was Rachel, Randi, Jennifer, Alana and Bea. These are ladies I’ve picked up along my journey at work, at church, through Frank, but I speak to them separately. I thought it was about time to merge my life, so to speak, and bring them all together for a weekend at the beach.

We arrived in Hilton Head on Thursday. For months prior, we had all communicated through the Marco Polo app — if you aren’t familiar, download it now. It has been such a great tool for me in keeping in touch, and even growing my relationships since my move to the South…I don’t always have a lot of time these days to use it — but for the first three years, it was literally a life-line.

Having formed a video group through Marco, everyone had a chance to introduce themselves and to make connections prior to our arrival, so on the day we all met up, the awkward question of “so you are…?” was long behind us and we could just get the party started.

Friday was a beach day — we started with a sunrise photo shoot because I had rented a camera and lens for the trip and wanted to take it out for a ride. It’s been two years since I sold my camera and lenses. Two years since I’ve heard the click of a shutter in my ears. Crazy how it all came flooding back to me.

Being at the beach is so good for the soul. The feeling of sand in my toes and salt water on my skin. We swapped stories and laughed all day long. I cooked dinner for us that night, though it didn’t turn out as good as I hoped, it was passible…we tried to enjoy the “hot” tub, but that didn’t work out so well– never did get hot — no matter how many calls Bea and I made to the management company…big bummer.

Saturday was by far the best day of the stay. Another 1/2 beach day, followed by dinner, followed by a very big event.

A few weeks before our trip, I received a message on LinkedIn from Jennifer’s man, Joe. She and Joe have been together for around a year and things have been getting progressively more serious.

Joe reached out because he was ready to propose and wanted it to come as a surprise so he thought he would come on down to Hilton Head, ask for her hand and run off. Not so fast there buddy. This is your only chance to do this right, let’s scheme together. So that’s what we did.

We planned for Joe to be on the beach after dinner while we tried to get some sunset photos to bookend our time together. I lined the girls up and started snapping pictures — at the same time, and without anyone the wiser — Joe photobombed our picture. When I turned the camera around to show the girls what I’d captured, Jennifer could see him in the viewfinder but couldn’t really wrap her head around what her eyes were seeing. Was that Joe? How could that be Joe?

Yes, friend, it is Joe — and he’s right over there at the water’s edge.

I led Jennifer to Joe and the rest is history! The man of her dreams is now going to be her forever. It was so very fun to be a part of things. We celebrated with him for a bit and then they parted to have an evening together.

Sunday came way too fast. We went to lunch, walked around for a bit and then went our separate ways. It was so much fun — so many stories shared — so many discoveries of how we are all similar while being all so different. I love these ladies…and I can’t wait for next year!

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