It felt like trick or treating—but on the wrong night.
This would either be a nice surprise or a lark we might regret.
My stomach fluttered in anticipation as I reached for the doorbell.
“Billy,” I called back over my shoulder to my husband, “Don’t come up on the front porch until after they open the door.”
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It was already after dark, and the last thing we wanted to do was spook someone. I imagined how I’d feel if there was a strange man on my doorstep at night — even if he was good looking.
On a whim we’d decided to see if the Ed and Erma I’d found on the Internet White Pages were long-lost friends.
Our drive south to California included a hotel in Redding before continuing south, and according to the listing, that’s where they were living now.
Unfortunately, there was one problem. No telephone listing.
So there we were on their doorstep, embarrassed at our rudeness for not calling first, but knowing we wouldn’t pass this way again. Not making an attempt would be a missed opportunity.
I held my breath and waited.
The door opened and a young woman appeared. My heart sank.
“Oh, I’m so sorry to bother you,” I apologized realizing that our friends would be seniors now. “I was looking for Erma Boontjer, but..." my voice trailed at our obvious mistake.
Her smile broadened.
“She’s right here!” as the door swung wider and 42 years slipped away. Ed stood by her side.
We hugged, reminisced and caught up with life that spanned the decades. Because they’d just finished a Sunday dinner together, their entire family was there.
“I remember when you pointed and snapped your finger at me!” their now “forty-something” son told Bill, with a chuckle. “That sent me straight back to bed!”
We recalled how the then 4 year-old — now a towering man — had practiced that same gesture for weeks.
The minutes flew as we told a few more tales, exchanged emails and promised to not lose track of each other again.
And as we drove away, Bill and I agreed this reunion had definitely been a treat. Our hearts were filled to the brim.