Five years ago we met the Andersons on the beach near Coligny Park. The very plausible causal connection was their French bulldog Max who was reminiscent of our former Frenchie named Monroe. As chance would have it the Andersons hail from Ottawa. The serendipity of our meeting was repeated the subsequent year when we encountered the Andersons once again walking their little dog on the paths in Sea Pines. In the third year of our acquaintance they invited us to join them for Christmas Day dinner on Hilton Head Island.
Since then we have rallied each year for breakfast and dinner. This evening we re-enacted what has now become the routine evening congregation, having already met for breakfast last week at Low Country Produce & Café. The expedition tonight was to the tried-and-true Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks where we unanimously ordered oysters. Nor were we disappointed again this time.
Our rally tonight began at their place on Scaup Court not far from where we currently hang our hats in South Beach. We make a point of collecting the Andersons for the outing to ensure that we have an opportunity prior to our engagement to cuddle and cavort with Max who as always accompanies them on their sojourn to South Carolina. Though it was by no means assured, by a stroke of luck we and they have regularly opted to roost in Sea Pines when visiting Hilton Head Island. As if by magic we have unwittingly been drawn closer and closer to one another year after year, a fortuity which has happily been echoed by our personal relationship. Ours is an easy confidence amusingly similar to what I imagine is the cement between two families whose children attend the same school.
Though there is at least twenty years difference of age between them and us, the younger Andersons apparently suffer no encumbrance as a result nor do they project any palpable flaw in the confluence. Certainly they distinguish themselves by their failure even to mention the discrepancy though privately I confess the possibility is never entirely lost on me, but it is always a prejudice to their credit. No doubt we have mistakenly adopted that unfortunate posture so peculiar to older people who imagine they are decades younger in both appearance and mindset. Be that as it may, we are never at a loss for conversation, sharing our thoughts, adventures, moot wisdom and personal preferences. There is unquestionably a facility to our camaraderie and none of us has an agenda. Speaking for myself I occasionally reflect upon the dynamics of the relationship between the Andersons inter se and us. Nothing of consequence has emerged from this idle regard except the recognition that both they and we have a comfortable liaison among ourselves and with each other. As unpretentious as it may be it signals what for me captures one of the most valuable elements of a relationship – effortlessness (which I suppose is a hallmark of any good friendship).