For about an eight-month stretch in late 1999 through early 2000, I had a wonderful dotcom job, made even more wonderful by a close-knit family of co-workers. We developed, maintained and promoted websites during the day and often socialized together in the evenings.
For a long time after the company moved/folded, the former employees continued to get together on the first Thursday of every month to keep in touch. It had been a while since our last event, so I sent out an Evite a couple of weeks ago to get a group together last night.
We met at a downtown restaurant and bar with a big patio and enjoyed a lovely evening outside. Eventually we had a group of about 13 people who stayed and chatted until it began to get dark. We caught up on all the new jobs and new babies and had an informal "where are they now?" roundtable regarding everyone who didn't manage to join us this time. A lot has changed for all of us since we worked together, but the camaraderie remains.
Almost every year, my husband and I throw a big backyard party and invite pretty much everyone we know. Over the past few years, the guest list has grown to almost 200 people, and we ordinarily end up with at least 50 or 60 in attendance. We had considered skipping the party this year to economize, but I think we'll go ahead with it in mid to late September and plan it as a potluck. Last night reminded me how rewarding it is to stay connected with my friends. Why pass up a chance to keep that going?