“Letting the hair down” with old and new…

Day 20 of 100

So, it was just a short few days ago that I mentioned it was hard to unlock the social code since retiring a couple of months ago. Well, this weekend we came a step closer to learning a combination that could let us through at least one one door, if not all the doors. And again, like so many times in my life before, a true, blue friend – one I have known since we weer just puppy Officer Cadets – came through. And funnily enough, he had a number of friends over to celebrate Australia Day a few days early.

True, blue, friends are special. There are no pretensions, no defences, no shields – what you see is what you get.  And as I recounted earlier, while my career has created wide, shallow roots, I have had the distinct pleasure of making some lifelong friends.  Many I do not see for long stretches, because of the vagaries of distance. Canada is a large country.

The opportunities to be with these gems of gentlemen seem to pop up just when I need it – a five-year reunion at my alma mater in Kingston, an unplanned dinner in Victoria while on course, or an unexpected business overnight in Ottawa. All it takes is a few emails or phone calls and there are good times to be had.  Because the network is wide, there are chances for more “chance” meetings with more good people – like a couple of adventurous days in Yellowknife, or other places that I would not normally think to visit…with the prospect of great food, good drink, happy company, and epic stories about common experiences.

Back to this weekend…it was a great evening. In some ways, it was just what we needed…the chances to hit it off with friends of great friends. The chances of having a few things in common are pretty good. It is funny how a multitude of different beginnings, with their twisted and turning roads can converge in one spot. How people who went to different schools, in different cities and countries, who worked in different fields, at different times, can share so much in common.

It was a great night, with great people. And as we celebrated the land down under, we met old and new alike. Jokes told, laughs shared offer a potential of more to come.

Here’s to old mates who “have your six”.  Thanks for the happy time and the belly laughs.