Ever have a blast-from-the-past, let-the-good-times-roll, crazy fun good time?

Just waved some friends off after they spent several days visiting us from California’s Central Coast; amazing storytellers who grew up on the same street as my husband and who knew the old crowd. I suspected something great was in store the moment Cindy began pulling frozen Cattaneo Brothers sausages out of her tote and started with a great story about the local legends. And the stories never stopped.

It was an intense, creative, problematic, story-telling, throwback Thursday sort of week that left us giggling like seventh graders at a slumber party. I sat and listened as the three of them (Classes of 65, 66, 69) reminisced about hamburger hangouts, cherry Pepsi’s, days at the beach—and jet skiing at the lake, the Sunset Drive-in, late night escapes in borrowed cars, stolen kisses and the cops on the beat. Growing up in San Luis Obispo in the 50s and 60s sounded like a hoot. Names from the past peppered with stories about defending the huge letter “M” that marked the territory of Mission High School from the “SL” that marked the territory of San Luis High. High school rivalries, beauty queens and Vietnam casualties remembered with love and respect.

So many stories, so many great times. I watched the years roll off and laughter soften the wrinkles. Let the good times roll. We toured the Redwoods and the Oregon Coast, Crater Lake and Lake of the Woods while stories flowed. We target shot, shopped, sipped phosphates at the old soda fountain, toured antique stores and explored Southern Oregon while stories of another time and place kept inserting themselves into the here-and-now. I learned a lot listening to three people share their deep roots in one town. Good for the soul, those memories.

So now they’re gone and it’s back to the business of living. But the energy of their visit remains like the fading scent of a favorite cologne. I learned a lot about being a welcome visitor from watching these two. That’s how a visit should be—each party thinking they got the better of the arrangement.

Adios for now, Tom and Cindy. Don’t be strangers. We’ll keep the light on.