This weekend I've been to two places to meet new folks and renew friendships.
The first was a funeral of a sister of my best friend in high school. Although P and I hung together all through high school and into early marriage, raising kids parted us for those extra responsibilities that impeded our get-togethers. We last talked on the telephone ten years ago vowing to meet each other for lunch to keep the friendship ties. That didn't happen. When I entered the funeral home and signed the visitor's book I looked up and saw this beautiful woman. We didn't recognize each other. She glanced down at the book to see the last entry and saw my name. We enveloped each other and looked hard into the eyes to validate their owners. P made a comment that emphasized how important keeping close to old friends. "I've been so depressed these last years, I wondered what happened that I no longer saw my true friends anymore." And here we were, two of many high school friends we had shared. Where the others are no one knows. But we know the importance of picking up the chain of long ago and keeping it off the ground from now on.
By the evening R and I were enjoying the friendship of our neighborhood at an outdoor party. The weather was perfect. Warm, cool breeze, music, and the best friend chicken around. We have great cooks in our neighborhood. What is wonderful is the strong friendship the neighbors have. We are mostly retired folks. A smattering of younger families have moved into the area. Then there were the first-timers, many of whom have lived in the neighborhood but haven't attended earlier parties. As one neighbor said, "I think folks thought our parties were alcoholic ones and didn't want the hassle of meeting neighbors that way."(We refrain from alcohol to help those in AA) The strongest drink served was a New England bottle of Moxie (or was it another M word?). A transplant from NE had brought several bottles over for other transplants to have a bit of home. One woman from New Hampshire and an over 20 year neighbor, declared she'd never had such a drink. Stronger than Dr. Pepper the giver said. I didn't get a taste, most consumers kept it to themselves to transport themselves home for a few swallows.
I have found it easy to stay home and have little contact with others. But I know as my friend P says, depression can set in before you know it. I want nothing to do with that!