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Friendship: One of Life’s Greatest Gifts

IMG_7366Friendships have a funny way of surprising us. Often the most extraordinary friendships come from very ordinary circumstances. Two people meet through a job, or perhaps they’re neighbors. Sometimes people start out enemies and wind up bosom buddies. Some friendships come to us for a season, but others last a lifetime. All of these friendships bring color and meaning into our lives and even shape aspects of who we are. And let’s face it: hanging out with your BFF’s, sharing conversation, laughter, and a good glass of wine is just plain fun.

Welcome to the world of THE DIXIE SWIM CLUB. Five women who met when they were all on the same swim team in college, and who have maintained their friendship throughout their entire lives. They stay in touch throughout the year, but every summer in August they gather at a beach cottage in the Outer Banks of North Carolina to catch up, eat, drink and laugh…and catch an occasional group swim of course! They tell each other about their latest relationship woes, their professional triumphs or failures, their growing and changing families. And, as with most women friend groups, nearly nothing is sacred, which makes for some great entertainment and fun dialog.

The show is made up of five women. Sheree Hollinger (Gale Rublee), an all-American mom who lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, is the perennial team captain and a fount of boundless energy.  She tends to be hyper-organized and drive her friends a little crazy. Dinah Grayson (Camille Donaldson), is a lawyer and provides the cynical personality in the group. Dinah excels at everything…except romance. Lexie Richards (Stephanie Turner), is a true Southern belle. She’s vain, youth-obsessed, and is on a first-name basis with her cosmetic surgeon. Her friends count on her to share wild and hilarious tales of her romantic exploits. Jeri Neal McFeeley (Terri Stutheit) is the cheerful one of the group. She can be a bit naïve, but she always sees the positive side of everything. Vernadette Simms (Brenda Stalder) has encountered a lot of hard luck in her life, but weathers her trials and tribulations with great humor and the support of her friends. These five ladies will delight you with their conversations and their hilarious stories.

As I was watching part of the rehearsal last night I found myself reflecting on my own friendships, how they’ve impacted my life, how they’ve changed through the years, and how they will continue to change in the future.  I also found myself reflecting on the conversations I’ve had with my amazing 98-year-old grandmother about the sweet friendships in her life and how she misses those who are no longer here. But, missing the friends who are gone never keeps her from telling me all about the fun things she did with her dear friends – the shopping, the embarrassing moments, the laughter – such a rich history of fun and friendship that she continues to reflect on almost daily. THE DIXIE SWIM CLUB will entertain you, will make you laugh, and it might even make you cry, but most of all, it will also inspire you to always make time for the friendships in your life.  Come see the show….and bring a friend!


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