Friends with Benefits

There’s something to be said about having rich friends. These are people I call “Friends with Benefits.” And no, not the kind of benefits traditionally associated with that phrase. Lets get our minds out of the gutter, okay? Allow me to explain…

Chess boardI belong to a local tennis club where I’ve met some great ladies. I guess it’s kind of like belonging to a high school club where you have a common interest, like chess. I know absolutely nothing about chess so  that might be a bad example. Maybe the tennis club is more like belonging to a book club, only a bit more aerobic. Actually, let’s just say it’s like belonging to a tennis club, shall we?

My tennis club

My tennis club

Simply said, a tennis club is just another avenue for like-minded adults who enjoy hitting a little ball over a net. We meet, get some exercise, then have lunch afterward. That’s when we discuss how awesome or how sucky we just played and catch up on each other. Occasionally, during that process, we form close friendships that will likely last a lifetime.

Tennis pals at Tahoe

Tennis pals at Tahoe

When something like this happens, it’s a rare thing. We all know how hard it is to meet new friends once we’re out of school. Other likely places to meet those with similar interests are at work, clubs or the gym. I’m retired, don’t do the club scene, and happen to belong to a gym where patrons are seldom under 75. So that leaves sports.

Oldies but goodies

Oldies but goodies at my gym

Some of my best friends I’ve met through recreational activities; my group of gal-pals from the tennis club being no exception. They’re a fun group and we get along well. When you have 6-8 women together for any length of time, there can’t be any shit- disturbers. Words of wisdom: Never mess with menopausal women. It’s a losing proposition.

Oldest and dearest

Oldest and dearest

Anyway, back to my rich friends…

So at my particular club, I’m sure there are plenty of wealthy folks, of which I’m not one. But no worries. I don’t happen to choose friends by the thickness of their pocketbook and lucky for me, they apparently don’t either. I’m just saying when someone you enjoy being with also has access to fun things, good stuff happens.good stuffTake club members Annette and Tony, for instance. They recently bought a vacation home at Russian River. Their tri-level deck overlooks the river, just steps away from their private beach. (I know, tell me about it…) It’s a gorgeous view. And it’s only an hour from our homes, yet feels like we’re in another state. What could be better?

View from the deck

View from the deck

And the best part? Annette’s getaways with the gals. We launch kayaks into the river for an afternoon paddle, sit out on the deck during sunset for evening cocktails, play Catch Phrase around the fireplace in the evening. What could be better? Oh wait, I just said that. Well, you get the picture…

Cocktail time

Cocktail time

Then there’s Janet (JT) and Hilary. They and their hubbies own homes at Lake Tahoe, one on the west shore, one on the south. So when snow season hits, we visit Hilary’s because she’s minutes from beautiful Heavenly Valley.

Heavenly

Heavenly

When we feel like boating, we visit JT’s because their cabin sits directly across the street from the lake, with an unobstructed view to boot. That is so rare in Tahoe, I can’t tell you. Cocktail time at JT’s is from our lounge chairs on the beach, watching the sun set on that magnificent lake. I tell you, it’s tough to beat that.Or how about Zoe and her Italian Villa in Healdsburg? It’s a postcard-perfect setting complete with vineyard, humongous pool and clay tennis court.

Zoe's "villa"

Zoe’s “villa”

Pat and Zoe - this is the life

Pat and Zoe – this is the life

Zoe’s kitchen is the size of a small apartment and the view from her backyard into the valley and distant hills is one mostly seen only in magazines. Still, these are the most down-to-earth people I know. Not an ounce of pretentiousness in the lot.

Lunch on the veranda

Lunch on the veranda

Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not insinuating I don’t have poor friends. I have PLENTY of those. In fact, most of my friends have little else than a small house and a big heart. And you know what? I couldn’t love them more. All I’m saying is that my “Friends with Benefits” add a different dimension to our relationship. And what might that dimension be, you ask?

I’d have to say a ridiculously fun one.

3 thoughts on “Friends with Benefits

  1. You forgot to mention that you always seem to have a drink in your hand during these little trips and that we always come back a few pounds heavier. Good thing we play tennis.

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