Moments I'll recall when trying to convince my children that their mother was once "cool," very cool.

Not that the children are on their way just yet, but I've been feeling rather emotional this week and that leads to nostalgic thoughts, moments that really stuck, that have helped me to grow, or at least laugh - I create montages to soft music in my head as I remember the time when...oh, there have been so many and there's no time to name them all (although honestly, maybe there is) so I'll start with a few: 1) The night the Star Club was formed, high school. While there's been considerable debate regarding this night amongst my friends (and no doubt this post will cause more) the feeling surrounding that significant moment, even if we've since conglomerated many different memories from many different nights into one that symbolized all, were magical. The crux of the situation - me and four friends bursting out into the night and forming a star formation on the black pavement at my house by stretching our hands and feet out to touch one another's (Was it after a school dance? Had we been dipping into Mom's amaretto again? These are details that will never be secured) is cemented in my mind as one of the most striking moments of friendship and love that ever occurred on this Earth. Since then our little club has grown to be not so much a club of only five, but instead a group of people who share the same memories, but more importantly, the same bonds now, in the present, and some of us a small scar on the top of our left ears from an ill-fated trip to the mall to get star-shaped earrings placed there as a reminder of our supreme love, but then that particular spot was irritable for some of us and we were forced to take them out after only a few days.

2) When Erin drew Domino on her sweatpants, freshman year. In our dorm room, the front door of which was adorned with everything from power point slides to ads for prostitutes (No, really. There was no disguising what "Ladies of Distinction" was all about) cut from the Yellow Pages, Erin and I had a mini-fridge, and one of our favorite things to put in that mini-fridge was Magic Hat, Miller Lites, Pete's Wicked Ale and other types of beer that we'd get Priya, who was 17, to buy us at Star Market because she was the only one we knew smart enough to come to college with a proper ID, necessary for such purchases. One night Erin, Mary Steele and I were hanging out, drinking some frosty brews and just, oh, bein' freshman!!!, and we were getting pretty wasted (we'd probably had about two each) when Erin (who, just by the way, was wearing safety goggles, I don't know, for fun) grabbed a black Sharpie, ripped off the cap, and drew a caterpillar on her white sweatpant leg. Now, there's probably more to the story than this. Not much, mind, you, but probably more, like that we'd been at least talking about caterpillars or something, but all I her remember is her doing it and our thinking it was the funniest thing that had ever happened. And I simultaneously realized that I wanted my life full of moments such as this. And laughter. A few months ago Mary and I were chatting and she asked if Domino (who was - this I do remember - named after the Van Morrison song) would be at the wedding.

3) The moment we almost died (or fell over, anyway), Uwharrie National Park, North Carolina. The fall after I'd met J, as well as my wonderful friends Carissa and Bethany, a bunch of us took a camping trip in a gorgeous park for a weekend. The trip is still talked about all the time because of the extraordinary things that happened, for instance, when Karla, Carissa and I were sitting in the woods talking about the chemistry between J and I for the very first time, each with a beer "and a beer on hand," as Carissa liked to put it. The fact that Johnny Justice Johnson Junior fell flat on a rock and got a concussion, but didn't know about it until the week after, and still participated in all our merriment. Max asking if we "wanted to go for a roller coaster ride?" and then slyly, adding, "in my car?", i.e. a little late-night-after-drinks off roading, which we actually ended up doing the next day, but when it was light out and we were well-rested and ready for the adventure. The vehicle I rode in, which just happened to be Johnny-Concussion's S.U.V. was following Max's as we made our way over rocky terrain, very rocky in places and at a certain point the car just couldn't do what we were asking it to and started to tip -the two wheels on the other side actually left the ground. We all realized what was going on at the same moment, shouted exuberantly and threw all our weight back on the car, thus bringing the wheels safely down and we giggled then laughed outright at the feeling of terror so quickly replaced by solidity and got on our way.