What can I say…meeting up with my dearest, bestest friend of my grammar school and junior high school years was an amazing thing. I can barely put into words how excited I was to get together with Peach after, ahem, 37 years. You know, Facebook has gotten a bit of a “been there, done that,” sort of bad rep among some, but I am thankful for it. It was that cyber-social secretary that helped us find each other.
First, let me say, I am a huge fan of Project Runway—hooked since the second or third show of Season One. To be honest, when Season Eight first aired and introduced all the designers, I remember seeing Peach and feeling in my gut she was familiar. But because I knew her as “Sheila Enzweiler,” it didn’t click right away. Sure, her mom and her sibs called her “Peachy,” but everyone at school called her Sheila, and so that’s what I called her, too. And since we lost touch when my family moved away in the middle of 7th grade (I ask you, how cruel was that? Moving in the middle of 7th grade?!), I didn’t know her by her married name.
Still, over the years I thought about her many times, recalling all the things we’d done together, all the things we’d been through together at St. John’s School in Winfield Illinois. One of my favorite memories was us catching butterflies in the field between our houses (using tennis racquets for nets, no less!), then setting them free in the screen porch behind her garage and watching the butterflies flutter around. I often wondered where and what this dear friend was doing. Did she still occasionally dance around with butterflies? Or teach her own kids to stitch up a “sit-upon,” like we made together in Brownies?
I did look for Peach on Facebook when I first joined; problem was, I searched “Sheila Enzweiler.” Dead end, of course.
At any rate, no words can describe how astonished I was when Peach “friended” me; it was like all the bells and whistles and fireworks went off in my head at once. OF COURSE, of course! No wonder she looked so familiar! No wonder that fabulous smile caught and held me, why her laugh was so infectious! And then, I cannot tell you what an utter idiot I felt like for not realizing it sooner.
But further, I cannot express how excited I was for her, and proud—on the other hand, it didn’t surprise me that she’d made such a splash, for Peach always sparkled; she lit up every room she walked into. Not to mention her fresh outlook and sense of humor showed itself in her creativity. You can see this for yourself on her website, and on her blog for PR Season 9.
And just a couple of weeks ago, when we met again, the first time after all those years, it seemed like those 37 years had never gone by! I wish I could put into words how fabulous it was to be in touch with her again, after so long. How easy it was to be together. More remarkable to us was learning how many parallels our lives had had without our knowing: starting with, for instance, the fact that we were each blessed with a beautiful, curly-haired daughter as an only child.
She was such a sweetie to the Bug (who begged to come meet her), bringing along 2 darling original skirts (perfect fit), and an equally adorable Peach Carr T-shirt for her. Let me tell you, Bug wore them 3 or 4 days running. I could hardly pry them off the kid to wash them. They are her prized possessions! 🙂
Anyway, I could go on and on. Suffice it to say, that I feel so blessed to have been given the chance to reunite with this most wonderful and dear friend. In a way, I’m sad that we missed the chance to share our friendship over all these years, but I can only hope we’ll now have the chance to make up for lost time, even with our busy lives in different places.
In my lifetime, I have been blessed with just a few “Anam Cara (a celtic phrase meaning “soul friend”).” Now, I am so happy to think—to me—Peach is truly one of them.