Over the hedge

When she climbed into the SUV with her friends, it felt like high school all over again.

One night, my friends and I rode back in time in my granddaughter's SUV. When my daughter purchased a new sports utility vehicle, she kept her old one for her daughter Julia to drive. Since Julia is only 13, her mother kindly lends the vehicle to family members.

Last year, I borrowed it to drive two of my friends to the beach for a reunion.

Two other members of our group were already at the beach when we arrived. We chatted for a bit before we decided on a restaurant and prepared to go out for dinner.

As we stood on the sidewalk outside, we looked at the two available vehicles, a two-door sedan and the SUV. Two people couldn't walk the distance to the restaurant and we all felt it was too hard to get in and out of a two-door sedan. So, that left Julia's SUV, which was designed to hold four people.

I looked at our group of five mature women. Our ages were the same, but the years had made their marks on each of us in different ways. In order to arrive at the restaurant together, we would all have to fit into the SUV.

First, I put Myrtle into the front passenger seat. Then, with a lot of laughter, and an encouraging nudge or two, Marjorie and Dot climbed in next. Last, Millie wedged herself between them in the rear seat and we were off.

Almost as soon as I started the motor, a sense of déjà vu fell over the group.

Instead of five senior citizens en route to dinner, we were teenagers again out on a Saturday night. Instead of a borrowed SUV, we were in someone's borrowed family sedan.

Just like in high school, the back seat was full of laughter and good friends.

Then, too soon, we were at the restaurant and back in the present.

Still laughing, my passengers seemed to have been energized by the trip. And, like our high school days, there were no complaints. The fun was in the ride.

Margaret Hoyle

Gaithersburg, Md.

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