Nederland was going to put on a great face - it is mid October and we were heading for 22 degrees. Unheard of really.
The meeting was to take place en route to Brussels. Frances would board the train in Eindhoven and arrive at Roosendaal railway station at 11:09 Sunday morning.
Roosendaal is approx. 42 km from Papendrecht so not a lengthy journey. I had completed my morning ritual, husband was away for the weekend so a no fuss breakfast, listened to an online sermon and completed the pile of ironing that had been beckoning for a few days.
Decisions, decisions. What to wear. Lets face it - one wants to look GOOD after all that time not having seen each other! We have both celebrated that magical 60th birthday - well, enough said!
Although I was pretty sure how to reach my destination, I did check the whereabouts of the railway station. It all looked good. City Centre not too far from railway so we would have plenty of chat time.... before having to return to the station where Frances would resume her journey to Brussels.
And there I stood at 11:00 am, on the platform waiting for the train to arrive.
Would we recognise each other?
How would the initial 'hello' go?
Can we fill 3 hours without thinking ' ho hum'?
Can I find a great coffee/tea spot?
Will we sit in the sun or inside?
I enquired by a railway employee about the inner city's whereabouts and what it had to offer in the way of refreshment possibilities - "sorry ma'am, can'r help you there - I am a visitor here".
Wouldn't you just know it? So was I.
I looked towards the passengers that were making their way to the main entrance after arriving on the 11:09. And there, very recognisable, very so like the face and eyes I remembered ( not the hair colour- the face girls)- there was Frances. Dragging her luggage ever so adept behind her - she made her way to the out-gates. We embraced. Oh how good that felt.
While I had been waiting my daughter had sent a few messages so once we left the station I requested a 'selfie' so I could let Toni know my friend had arrived. Here we were, like a couple of schoolgirls - taking a selfie with suitcases on the pavement and a giggly shot - there it was. PROOF!
Frances was in town!
Need I say we had a terrific few hours? Need I say it felt so comfortable, so 'warm' and special. No, not really. I bet some of you may have also had such an experience. I felt BLESSED, privileged and full of joy. What a perfect gift for a SUNDAY.
Yes, we have made plans, set a date for another get together. It won't happen in the near future - but it won't take 48 years either.
Frances, THANK YOU. Thank you for remembering me, my parents, my brother, my time at school and being in your company. Thank you that I didn't fade into nothingness along with so many other of life's happenings. I am SO glad to have you ( still) in my life.
See you again dear friend! Travel safe.
|ps. I heard a lovely tale about my long blond hair.|