A bunch of friends BBQing for the 3rd,4th, or even 5th night in a row and cooling down in the Rickard's pool. You might see all the smiles and imagine all the laughter that was definitely there.
You'd see what is obviously several families, but probably not know that we have become just like one big family.
You'll notice packs of boys all the same ages who wrestle around like brothers.
Groupings of little girls who giggle and play and squabble just like sisters.
If you look very closely though you'll see behind the smiles are more than a few red rimed eyes.
You won't be able to see the heavy hearts, or the ones that are slightly cracked or in the process of breaking, but it's true, they were. This wasn't just like every other summer night, as much as we tried to make it be.
This was the last night our big family had together before saying "see ya later" to the Poulsens. Goodbyes are too hard and too sad. South Dakota is a bit far for a weekend at the beach, a birthday lunch, or a morning run, a round of golf, mat time at Bad Donkey Wrestling or a session at the batting cages, a kid swap for sleepovers on Friday nights, or dinner and a movie just to get out of the house with the grown ups. Two years isn't forever but to young best friends it sure can feel like it.
For old ones, we just know that a lot can change in two short years, and all we can do is hope that the plan doesn't change course.
Lucky for us South Dakota isn't too far for regular phone calls, silly texts, sending yummy treats, or planning fun vacations. We also know that when seeds of love are planted in our hearts it doesn't take proximity for them to grow or flourish!