I got to go to California this weekend and visit my childhood friends. We all grew up in a small town called Santa Paula known as the “citrus capital of the world.” Our town is small and filled with lots of generations. All of our parents grew up there and I think all of our grandparents. Out of the four of us I was the only one to leave sunny California. Erin has ended up in La Quinta, CA and Julie and Letty ended up in the town over, Ventura, CA. We all went to college in CA, got married in CA, and then found our places. My place was WA where my children were born and my marriage has developed stronger and stronger as the years go. All four of us have had some twists and turns as we climb our own mountains. We have had children and made lots of different friends along the way. Since I’m the one that left the state I feel I’ve been most removed. I feel a little ripped off that I don’t know their children. Basically we broke the generation machine of leaving our small town. So the gift in this is we have all kept in contact through each other and finally decided to get together. So thirty years later here we were in Irvine, CA sitting by a pool and in a bar for 48 hours without a pause in conversation. When I said good-bye I felt a connection of love that will be forever. I love these girls I knew as a child and now the women they have become. My heart is full as I returned home to my own family that I love more and more everyday! I’m a very LUCKY friend, mom and wife.