St. Olaf's, a town somewhere in Sweden or Norway, made famous by the amazing Rose from Golden Girls. I never expected to become Rose from St. Olaf's, but according to my friend, who arrived to stand with me through this era of my life, that is who I am. She started calling me that because, I constantly commented about so many day to day things, comparing it to life in my small home town. I knew all the names of people and stories of their exploits, and habits, and often would go on something like this "Well, back in Stewart...we would..we had..so and so did", so Irene began calling me Rose from St. Olaf's. Hey, I enjoyed that, because, everyone loved Rose, right?
Well, I am not the only Rose out there. I grew up with a group of them! Just the other day, out of the blue, one of the Rose's, well..O.K. she isn't a Rose, she is more like Blanche, she likes to dress a wee bit racier than us Roses, and she likes to have her nails sparkle..so not quite as country mouse as the Roses, but still from St. Olaf's, showed up at my door. She had seen a post back in June of a sweater I commented wishing I could have. Much to my surprise, she got in touch with one of her talented friends, had it made, and drove from Vancouver Island, to my door step in the Peace, to deliver it! O.K. can you say, "Awesome"? Something like that is bound to make a person feel pretty damn special..and it did! There are few things in life that knock my socks off, besides politics, but this did. Why would someone do this? Because they are a St. Olaf's girl!!
See, my buddy who started the "Rose" business had the pleasure of meeting another girl from St. Olaf's for lunch with me. She sat and listen, and heard MG throw out the same names and stories I was forever telling, we mentioned the people in tandem, because that was our world. The lunch was filled with laughter, I believe we took Irene along on a trip back in time with us, and I know for a fact, she enjoyed her travels.She understands those of us who grew up in a very small isolated community are definitely unique personalities, but..we have an unusual connection, that few enjoy.
I think I have mentioned before, our "friend" base was very limited. We all had to learn to love one another, because we were all we had. O.K. there are some kids that I grew up with that the connection never happened. They were just kids who lived a street down, or..perhaps they lived beyond my allowed perimeters. Yes...I had rules that limited my distance...But those who I did "Hang with" (not sure if we used that term waaaay back then) became a part of my world, and, because our our small group, they have over time, become far more important than they were when I was a child.
I tried to explain the St. Olaf's syndrome to Irene. Funny, because it was a natural occurrence , explaining it, was kind of difficult, mostly because I don't really understand it myself. Oh, trust me, like every other group, we all discuss each other between ourselves. Sometimes one of us will do something out of the ordinary, and our little heads pop up. But, see, perhaps it is age, perhaps it is the fact that we as a group have all managed to live well over 1/2 a century, and maybe change our hair, change our life styles, but not a single one of us has changed who we are, so...when we discuss the "latest" it always ends with "but, we love her". Because, we do!! We have to!! All the St. Olaf girls allowed each of us, to become who we are. Our parents helped mold us, our community helped mold us, and our friends, perhaps molded us the most.
We had the regular "pretty girls", the "popular girls", the "smart girls" the "wild girls", and the "late bloomer" girls,,but, at this age, we have simply all become St.Olaf girls. The past is mostly forgotten, just the good stuff is allowed to come out of the memory box. See, that is the most wonderful part of this amazing select group, we all have bits and pieces of the same memories, and when we sit down, those memories become whole. We all have a key to that box, and without one of us, the past is not quite as clear as when we all open the box together.
The "bucket list" for all of us includes a get-together for the whole group. Unlike Blanche, few of us can drive the length of the Province to make another member of the group feel totally blessed, so it has become a difficult meeting to plan. Just talking about it is enough to make us feel excited, and..again, at this age, that is a pretty amazing thing (excitement that is). Perhaps the world is not quite ready for the lot of us to collect in one place? Perhaps some of us are afraid we won't fit in, we won't be quite as fabulous as some of the others? Life, even though we are suppose to be settling and having more time for relaxation, isn't quite at that point for most of us.
It will happen! Hopefully as Blanche says, not at the Pearly Gates. We are now all Golden girls, and we are the most amazing Golden girls, because we are all from St. Olaf's, a place filled with a past we all hold the keys to. I guess I am lucky to have this platform to be able to tell all my fellow St. Olafers,that I love and cherish each and everyone of you! And I thank you from the bottom of my heart for staying beside me on this ride!