You know that old song:
Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, and the other gold.
A circle is round, it has no end. That’s how long I want to be your friend.
Let’s start this one at the beginning (a very good place to start). So, I was born in a little town in south-central Wisconsin (half way between Madison and Milwaukee), and we lived catty-corner from an Octagon house where they had pictures made with hair on the walls. My family lived there until I was about 9. Then we moved to another town farther north in Wisconsin where it warmed up to -35 degrees in the winter. We moved to NH at the end of my 5th grade year and have been here ever since. While we were in WI I went to church and Sunday school, was a Brownie and a Girl Scout, played the piano and viola, rode my bike and skinned my knees, made mud pies and fell off of my swing set, had sleepovers and play dates, and generally did all those things that kids do (or did 25 years ago). The friends that I had in WI have always had a special place in my heart, as those were formative years when things seem so complex but really are so simple, or seemed so simple but were really so complex. I have distinct memories of those people and the things that we did. And, I remember that I was the one who left. So many of those people stayed and continued with life as it had been, while I moved on to another place. I kept in touch with a handful of childhood friends as best as a 10-year-old could, but things change. You know, you do your best, but sometimes things get so different and busy that…well, you just lose touch.
Since I have joined the blogosphere and Facebook Nation, I’ve reconnected with so many friends from the more recent stages of my life: high school, college, and life since then. It has been so neat to catch up with people that I haven’t connected with for years and read and see what they’re doing all over the country. It has also been fun to keep up with those that I see more regularly and with whom I am sharing the current chapter of my life. I’ve found myself recently wondering, though, if those old friends from WI remember me the way that I remember them and what the past 20 years have been like for many of them. I’ve Googled many to little avail and have tried to find some on Facebook with similar results. Apparently my friends have the same names as, like, hundreds of other people. Well, lucky for me, apparently there aren’t hundreds of people out there with my name because two people from WI have found me in the past weeks; we’re in the process of catching ourselves up on the past 20ish years, and it is truly fascinating.
So, I’ve decided (actually, I decided this a while ago, but I’m gratefully reaffirmed) that I am truly blessed to be able to share my life with so many wonderful people—silver and gold, old and new, local and distant. I know that I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m saying it again: wherever and whenever you’ve come from and wherever we end up, thank you for being a part of my life. I know that it hasn’t all been roses and sunshine, nor should it be, but what it’s been has made us who we are. And we are friends. And that’s pretty cool.