Happy Birthday, Friend!

It is definitely a season of birthdays. Yesterday marked one of my oldest friend’s 25th. Charlie and I met at Sunday School of First Baptist Church when we were just in pre-school. We grew up together and eventually we moved to a neighborhood down the street. Somewhere along the way a core group of four of us who’d been friends since kindergarten coined ourselves as the pirate club, and it stuck. Too many days to count were spent hanging out at his house, exploring in the backyard, going on canoeing adventures, night time golf cart rides, climbing trees – all the good stuff. We’d play ping-pong (well, the guys liked to play death pong and I would just photograph those moments, ha.) We’d head over to Ocala to wander around, eat at Moe’s and hang out doing nothing. We watched a katrillion basketball games together. Night swims til we were all shriveled up, or the guys would practice with their scuba gear which was always a laugh. He let me watch Degrassi on his big screen TV and would sometimes pretend to be interested to humor me. There are plenty of things we don’t see eye to eye on – everything from politics to our favorite college football teams, which allowed room for plenty of heated “discussions,” – still our friendship thrived nonetheless. This guy was always on the ready for a spontaneous adventure, no matter the day or time. And a lot of times I got to select the soundtrack for these outings. The memories aren’t full of just good times, but the harder moments of life that you don’t see coming either.  Those are some of the standout memories I have, the rough days when we’re reminded just how short life really is. The deep conversations about life, and growing up, the future. After several years of being spread out over states during college, and some of post-college life, the entire pirate crew is back in Florida again. Charlie lives in Tampa with his wife now, so it’s nice that we’re all in the same state again even if we’re overdue for a reunion. Here’s to the start of a wonderful year for a wonderful friend!

And for fun, here are a few photos from over the years!
Twenty years ago, the first day of kindergarten!
Playground fun in high school.
A kindergarten reunion at a bonfire, with Paul!

Graduation!
Pirates for life! (summer before going away to college.)
Pirates reunited in North Carolina at Charlie and Mia’s engagement party!
Giving us a campus tour of Wake Forrest (senior year.)
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