My friend Deena's post on Monday got me thinking about the value of friendship - and about how that value increases as we age.

My mom and dad have a group of friends. The EXACT kind of group I want to have when my kid(s) are off on their own. They call themselves 501. Makes me smile to think their group has a name!

501 (pronounced 5-oh-1) comes from 5:01 pm. It started with a group of men meeting for a drink after work and has grown into a fabulous group of people, men, women, single, widowed, and those like my mom and dad, married, who gather together to share commradery and laughs. They still meet for a drink after work, but it has turned into a Friday night tradtion. In fact, even in the summer, my parents will drive into town from the lake to attend 501.

I think the best part about this group is that they have invested more than just time to meet up at the bar for a drink. They have seen each other through children's weddings and the births of grandchildren. They been on adventures while traveling together. They have also been pillars of support through the deaths of spouses, parents, and grandchildren.

My parents aren't unique when it comes to meeting a group of friends on a regular basis. My Grandma E. has a group she has coffee with after mass everyday and my Grandma F. has her weekly 500 group (cards - not meeting at the bar!).

I wonder what my group will look like in 20 years from now. I can only hope I am able to surround myself with people as fun, supportive, and caring as my parents and grandparents have.


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