Twenty years later, four women are still known by many as the Four Musketeers, who are still the best of friends, Aunties to each others' kidlets, sistersinlaws to the husbands, family to each other, and respond to the Girl Scout camp names Woodstock, Gizmo, Fishey, & Snoopy.
Today is quite a special day...five years in the making.
The Four Musketeers are all meeting up, together, at the same time, for the first time in almost five years.
One of them lives on the East Coast these days and what was weekly gatherings during their teens years, quarterly visits during the college years, and at least yearly gatherings during the rest of their twenties, has been reduced to gatherings of two or three whenever they were in the same town at the same time...but, not all four women at the same time...until now!
Post high school, the Four Musketeers have gathered at some choice Southern California universities for sushi, a party, a concert, or some dorm time; Tahoe for sushi, cozy fires, skiing, or chill time; Northern California pads for sushi, pool play, BBQ'ing, or chatty time; a Northern California retreat for seafood, sight seeing, cooking, or game time; and weddings for celebrating, toasting, dancing, brides maid'ing, giggling, chatting, smiling, and pretty sure they managed to work some sushi in there too!
Oh yes, and their favorite locale to gather, where their names are etched into a brick that thousands' feet step upon...the place where every person can feel like a child, no matter what their age...Disneyland.
A favorite tradition Snoopy started was to take a group pic in front of each of the letters of CALIFORNIA...one letter per visit, in order. Above, the last complete Four Musketeer gathering, late 2005.
Gizmo (in blue) was pregnant with her last child and so she did her good Mama duties and rode the cement bench while her favorite roller coaster, Space Mountain, whispered fervently in her ear. And she told the Four Musketeers to live, love, and enjoy that dark, star lit, whirl air whipping past their faces ride.
However, the Four Musketeer never disappoint each other and they went on as many rides as they could, both big and small. Woodstock & Fishey smile for Snoopy's camera on Heimlich's Chew Chew Train and Gizmo was smiling too because the wee ride in the bugs' big world was one she could climb aboard for.
Gizmo couldn't be too sad though. With every step down Main Street, through the happiest place on Earth, she remembered so many other fun filled trips to Disneyland when she could ride those roller coasters....like Splash Mountain with Snoopy braving the front of the log with her. This is the only time Gizmo has ever ridden in the front seat of the Splash's wild log ride.
And of course, there are more letter group moments of the younger years to enjoy. The letters "I" & "L" have been brought to you by the year 2004.
Its a bit comical that Fishey & Snoopy are on the bottom here, since they are the ones who would usually climb a letter & get their goofy on for a great shot. But, its the letter L's turn and the Four Musketeers are, as always, Four.
Each Four Musketeer gathering has an abundance of hugs, smiles, laughter, and of course, some sushi. The girls, technically women...but, on a Friday night, just hours after gathering, with sushi and maybe a cocktail in their bellies, they feel like girls again, chatting and giggling, maybe even laughing until their eyes tear and sides hurt....began as teenage friends who met in a local elementary school library for a Girl Scout meeting, have grown, and weaved lives with many & mighty stories to tell.
Wonder what threads Snoopy, Woodstock, Gizmo, & Fisheys' looms will weave in the years to come? More children? Career highs? Home successes? Creative journeys? Grandchildren? Gray hair ladies shuffling around Disneyland, living with the joy they have brought each other throughout their years?
Maybe. Probably. Thankfully.