Longleaf Stories

full circle in the hundred acre wood

When my step-daughter and I met for the first time more than 35 years ago, she was a 19-year-old college student at FSU in Tallahassee. Her mom and dad were separated following a marriage of more than 25 years, three adult children and one toddler grandson.  Same for me, except I had no children and had “only” been married 10 years. We met in late afternoon at the local Steak ‘n Ale, a quiet time between the lunch and happy hour crowds. Thinking of it now, I can only imagine how Adele felt meeting her reliable old dad’s girlfriend: at 30, I was 14 years Buck’s junior, only 11 years her senior. Wow.

When we learned both of our birthdays were June 25, in the way anxious humans have of grasping straws to make connection, that random accident seemed important somehow. It brought smiles. A beginning.

We’ve been sharing birthdays ever since: through her mom’s remarriage, her dad and my marriage, her graduation from college and then law school and marriage and children and so much more.

We got together Saturday evening for supper at our place. Her three kids grown now, not everyone could make it, but Adele and her husband Richard, along with our mid-twenties granddaughter Andie, gathered to share a casual meal. 

Buck sure came with a lot of bonuses.


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