Thursday, January 05, 2006

Sweet Reunions in 2006

One of my goals for this year is to renew old friendships and make new ones, as well as make good relationships even better. I am guilty of having tunnel vision with my to-do list, and not being in contact with those I care about as much as I want to be. I'm not a big telephone person, and now that I have e-mail, I don't write snail mail much. But, relationships mean so much to me that it is worth what I need to do to make it work.

I got a headstart on making relationships matter more this past weekend. Thursday night we drove up to Cincinnati and met friends Mark and Stephanie Stokes at Encore Cafe (a restaurant complete with real chefs). Of course, I had to announce during dinner that if I seemed a little off my game, it was because my position as copy editor had just been terminated a couple of hours prior. But fellowship trumped that bad news, and we had a wonderful time. Then we drove on up to their raspberry farm in Wilmington, OH to stay the night in their late 1700s country home. It's always good to spend time with them!

Then, we drove up to Bexley, OH in the middle of Columbus to renew an old friendship with Greg and Megan James. My last visit with them was back in 1-1997, and Russ last saw them 8-1994. Megan hadn't aged a bit (no fair!) and we picked up right where we left off. It was so cool to know that when God blesses you with a friendship, it can last in spite of time and distance! Megan worded it this way, "NOW I remember why we liked the Willises so much-we just have so much fun with them!"It was amazing to see how their boys had grown. Megan also served the most original lunch: corn belgium waffles spread with refried beans, covered with taco meat, cheese, and other taco toppings. It was yummy! We only live about 2 hours away from them, so we are already talking about when we can visit again.

From there, we drove to Bellville, OH to get together with Amy and Larry Mills. Amy has been like a sister to me over the years, but I confess with miles and "life" we weren't in touch like we used to be. And Russ hadn't seen Larry since their visit to Vidor, TX in 1995/6. And the icing on the cake, we had never met their two neat boys, Zach and Andrew. We were enteretained thoroughly all weekend! We renewed all of our old topics of shared interest: music, ministry, cars, computers, ebay, old memories, food, you name it! We were even allowed to watch as they let some new fish and a shark go into the large child's pool they have downstairs, which is also stocked with an alligator (you read right!). We look forward to going back so we can also see our old church and home in nearby Mansfield.

Hopefully, all of these important friends will feel welcome to come visit us in Burlington. We want to share our new lives with them, and have a wonderful blend of old and new in the NOW-and-NOW.

Friends are so important. I'm ashamed I allowed so much time go by. I look forward to being in touch with others who have blessed my life throughout 2006.

1 comment:

Donna J. Shepherd said...

I hope I'm on your schedule!