Friday, March 8, 2013

When Close Friends Move

Sometimes, a friend changing their home is almost as traumatic and your changing your own. We will no longer have "relatives" a few miles down the road.

  As we move through life, we often find that we don't acquire the close friends we have, quite as easily as we did when we were young. I still have several high school friends with whom I stay in close touch.  I have a number of people from college whom I consider close friends.  I am even still friends with a woman who shared a hospital room on maternity with me, when one of my kids, and one of her own, were born.  I have a few friends who were forged when my kids were small, and a few from the area, after we built the farm.   It's rarer to make close friends as we age. We seem to need to have more in common as we age, in order to forge a lifelong type of friendship, and life is so much more complicated now.  Back in my twenties, it was enough that my friend and I were each having our first babies. Even though we were very different, that one commonality was enough on which to forge a friendship.

         About five years ago, on a beautiful day, my daughter and I stopped at a garage sale, not all that far from our home. The family having the sale was moving to the state I went to college in, and they were selling as much as they could to avoid taking it all out of state.  This was one of those pivotal garage sales that I will remember all of my life. They had horse stuff, really nice kitchen and cooking implements, lovely clothing, bags and hats they had worn to the last Kentucky Derby.  The more we spoke, the more we had in common.  They had kids in college, as did we.We developed a fledgling friendship and we stayed in touch when they moved out of state. We both had said what a shame it had been that we hadn't made friends when they lived so nearby.

         The following year our youngest son died, and our family didn't do a lot of socializing.  Friends and acquaintances were there through this time.  Not long afterward, I learned that our friends from the garage sale were moving back to the home they had rented out while they were out of state.  It was a blessing to have their support, and the support of my newest female friend in this time after Daniel's passing.   As much as it has been a blessing to have really good friends nearby, we have never spent as much time doing things together as either of us had hoped.  She was busy with a son in law school and then with her son's wedding.  Her daughter was leaving for an advanced degree in Europe. They traveled a great deal also.   We were busy with an adoption of a teen-ager, who was a bit older than Daniel.  We were busy with the farm and with our eldest children's graduation from universities. We were busy sending our third son to college.  We did go to our friend's garden party in the Summer and we had a wonderful time.
          This week, we find ourselves in the same position.  This time, our friends children are grown and have moved away. They are a bit overwhelmed at the distance our homes are from civilization. They had been talking about building a horsefarm near here, but their choice changed.  They bought a home in a Virginia city in a lovely area where they can be nearer to some of the things they enjoy.  They will ultimately sell their home here.

It is not just the intelligent conversation and hospitality I will miss. I will miss my friend's warmth, particularly on tough days.

          I know that I should be happy for them. They have made a choice that will allow each of them to enjoy their lives more fully.  It will still be possible for us to talk on the phone, e-mail, and visit. They have asked us to come and stay overnight as soon as they are settled.  What it boils down to is that as we move through our lives, we have friends. Some remain important fixtures in our lives, and others move on as they hear different calls. Having children, launching children, and then the departure of children from the nest causes us to reevaluate where we choose to live. Finally, retirement and even aging changes our choices.

         We will miss having our friends nearby.  There was a certain security to having friends like family a short distance from here.  We will miss them, in both good times and in bad. Still, we are carried through another part of life ourselves.  Now we will have a reason to travel to another city. We will stay there, on occasion, and learn about another place.   It's still hard to shake the feeling that everyone is leaving, and that only our very own family is remaining in our area.

UPDATE:    We continue to be out of power since Wednesday's storm.  It may be restored over the weekend.  There remains significant tree damage over lines.  The landline phone and internet were restored yesterday.  We are continuing to run the diesel generator during the day, and turn it out at night.  The diesel fuel is holding up.  We are continuing to cook meals, wash dishes, etc.   We all would like a shower.
The gas logs are keeping the main floor toasty.   Delonghi heaters are keeping the colder spots more temperate.  I still can't get my diesel front wheel drive vehicle out of the driveway.  A lot of snow has melted, but there is an ice sheet below it.  The animals are all fine.  I saw each and everyone one of them today, although I could have used snowshoes !


Gorges Smythe said...

The Lord is the only constant (other than change). I'm glad your friend is still in traveling distance, at least.

JaneofVirginia said...

Thanks Gorges, Yes she is, and that is something for which to be grateful. This happens in a time where so many changes leave our area reeling. So many small businesses, individuals, and things we thought might always be here, have gone, leaving us to wonder what the future holds for our rural community other than emptiness.

lotta joy said...

When we're younger, we all have one thing in common: building a future.

When we get older, it's harder to find something in common with another person because we all have different pasts.

When you think about it that way, it makes it a lot easier to understand why it's so hard to make new friends.

JaneofVirginia said...

Yes, Lotta Joy, I think that is an excellent explanation. Building a future and a family is a lot to have in common, and now I am friends with more people who are in the "launch sequence" with kids in college. I think you are absolutely correct.