A couple — friends since our years in Staunton in the 1980s — came to visit this weekend. We spent most of our time over the past three days cooking, drinking wine, eating, playing guitars, and talking. But mostly talking. No matter if it has been a decade since college and you’re meeting with your former classmates at a wedding, or almost four decades since you moved to a new town and established lasting relationships, when you gather with long-time friends the stories pick up where you last left off and weekends can turn magical.
The legendary New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra once noted that towards the end of his career he played a good number of games in left field. When World Series games were still played in the daylight, left field in old Yankees Stadium could be difficult to navigate because of the deep, autumn shadows. Berra was asked about playing that position and he said, “It gets late early out here.”
People laughed, but Berra recalled that someone told him that there is truth in that quip. As people get older, “your later years come earlier than you expect.”
Getting late earlier than you expect is true whether you are 30 or 60 or older. When we gathered with our friends this weekend, the four of us remembered a dear mutual friend—a carpenter, builder, musician, writer, and scholar—whose later years ended much too early. Because two of his sons are now winemakers, we were able to lift a special glass of wine named for Ted’s company—Midland Construction—that the boys made to remember their father.
No matter your stage in life, cherish the time with friends. It does get late early out here.
Have a good week.
More to come…
Installment #10 of The Gap Year Chronicles