A while back I made an attempt to keep up two weekly blog posts. The busy-ness of life has gotten the best of me. I feel like a slacker, ha! Or perhaps it feels like we have been cruising along ordinary days and nothing has jumped out at me that you would find interesting. I feel compelled to write this morning, though. Thanks to some familiar faces yesterday.
Some friendships in life are tried and true, no matter what life brings. They stand the test of time. And of distance. The roots go deep. Yesterday we had the privilege of meeting two of our earliest friends as a married couple - a couple we were in small group with. We 'did life' with these people and have so many fond memories from when our paths crossed in time and location. When I close my eyes, I can still see us over at their house with the field across the road. I can see their kitchen and dining room. Even the lamp in their living room (not on purpose but we had the same set of lamps - we STILL have ours in our living room). I can smell food. I can hear the laughter. With my eyes shut, the memories are so vivid.
To back up a few paces, in case you didn't know this about us, after college Tim landed a job as an engineer at Cummins in Columbus, IN. He went there a semester before I did but once I finished college I joined him and we were married soon after. I can best describe our time in Columbus as fun, faith-filled, care-free, friendship-filled and lonely. Yes, all at the same time. It was such a time of transition for us. Learning how to be a married couple. Learning who 'we' were. In a town with no family, our friends became our day-to-day family, if that makes sense.
So a few months back when we learned two of our back-then family members would be in Fort Wayne for a few days we were excited. They had moved back to their home state of Texas a mere month or so after Bryce was born. They had a little boy they named Bryson (they call him 'Mav') a couple months before we had Bryce. They have since added two more to their family, as have we. But when they walked in the door at Cracker Barrel, we were all all-smiles. Even though so much had changed in our lives and theirs since we saw them last (4+ years ago), we were still all kinda the same, too. Still able to talk and laugh at just about anything. Sometimes it is challenging to carry on a conversation at a meal with kids in tow. We've experienced that plenty of times. So I wasn't sure what to expect with their five kids and our three. But the kids sat on each side of us parents so I sat next to Tami and Tim sat next to Trey. The kids were all mostly perfect. Thank you, Lord, for giving us well-behaved kiddos on this special day to catch up with our old friends.
Fort Wayne is home now and has been for some time. Maybe not the entire four years we have lived here. We moved up four years ago, late September and Tim started his job as an engineer at Parker Oct. 1, 2007. We have now been here longer than we had been in Columbus, but not by much. Fort Wayne is certainly home now (we feel pretty settled here now) but there will always be the Columbus connection ingrained in us. Our friendships we made there during our formative marriage years are tried and true and it's amazing when we have gone back to visit or we talk with friends from that time and place in our lives.... how quickly we pick up right where we left off. I was having a conversation yesterday with another tried-and-true, deeply-rooted friend in my life about how she and her husband and Tim and I had both lived in towns with no family before kids and how crazy-special those towns and friendships still are. We concluded that those years are our "good 'ole days." Nothing we would change now, nor would we go back to those times and places except to visit. But it's something that is forever a part of us and who we will always be. In fact, as I've mentioned, how our church family was our family. And the church pastor who married us... we named Shane's middle name after. We will forever be grateful for our Pastor Danny and all he taught us. Can't wait to visit Columbus again soon. We've wanted to for some time now again but I think yesterday definitely put the itch in us again.
Anyway, it was fun taking a step back in time for a couple hours yesterday. Suddenly it felt like the last four years had zipped by. And the Michael W. Smith song lyrics mean more: "Friends are friends forever, if the Lord's the Lord of them." We have our growing families but our friends are still our friends and will always be. Along with their fun southern accents!