Wednesday, July 6, 2016

When You Meet an Old Friend for the First Time

    The long days have been too busy for words as I strive to soak in the beauty of every blooming day lily, every roadside bucket advertising squash for a quarter, and pick every last plump, juicy raspberry and turn it into smooth pie filling to be canned for another day. A day when the lilies are no more. 

I fill our evenings with Vacation Bible Schools, especially if a church is doing an ocean-themed VBS. Little Mister loves the ocean and I just can't resist. The days are equally busy, and this was written only because The Mister gave me a break and hauled our boy off to the county fair to feed the goats.

Something else exciting happened this week. I got to finally meet someone who I have known and loved for years, but never before had the opportunity to know in person. 

I have lost track of how many people I have come into contact with through my blog, through social media, and in ye olden days when there was time for it, discussion forums. People who I have come to know and go on to actually meet, and they have continued to be genuine, solid friendships that have lasted for years. Honestly, if you are reading this right now, I might have no idea who you are but you are probably halfway to my house for pizza night. So when Hope Anne told me she and her husband would be passing through the field outside my neck of the woods, I said, yes, yes! We will venture out into the field and make this happen! 

When the day came, I pulled on my comfiest skirt, least worn t-shirt free of any summer stains, and my soft, thick summer covering that protects the thinning hair on my scalp from the sun. We three climbed into the car and messaged back and forth with travel updates until we arrived at our meeting place. I was amused that Little Mister promptly fell asleep in the backseat. Wasn't he excited to see my friend? What is with kids these days? Our meeting was as comfy as cotton and as relaxing as a chat on a wraparound porch with a pitcher of lemonade.

Sisters at heart...and some loiterers we might know in the background.

Longtime blog readers may recall that somewhere around five years ago, I was a supporter of helping to bring home Hope's daughter from an orphanage in the Ukraine. We corresponded for years, have had late night phone calls, sent care packages. In fact, I can still picture myself at my old library work desk tapping out a message to her and complaining about feeling ill when she brought me to the realization that I was most likely pregnant. 
Hope Anne went on to be my unofficial long distance midwife during that extremely difficult pregnancy. She unselfishly gave me time and support while her own difficult journey was beginning with a newly adopted daughter who had a litany of medical and behavioral issues. More than once I thanked God for this friend. 

There was also a that concerned a mutual friend that we weren't immediately aware that we had in common. One day in a phone conversation, Hope Anne was talking about a conservative Mennonite publishing company she worked for many years ago. It wasn't the first time she had mentioned it but this time something awakened in my brain and I threw out the name of a local friend who had also worked there as a single (unmarried) lady. It turned out they had shared an office! Hope Anne was excited, "Do you know where she is? I've been looking for her for a few years!" 
"Yes," I told her, and if you were searching on the internet you would be out of luck because she is not allowed on there, but guess what? She lives two miles down the road. Hold on while I connect you.
Then Hope Anne lamented that she had been invited to our friend's wedding so many years ago, but things in her own newly married life were too hectic and she could not attend the ceremony. 
Well, I didn't go to that wedding either because I did not know our friend back then but I did attend their anniversary celebration where she wore her white wedding capedress and served the exact same meal from the wedding. "I ate your meal!" I said gleefully. It was delicious. 

On a side note, I often take pictures that don't make it on to my blog because they might not exactly fit with the content or some such reason. I've recently started using Instagram and you can follow me there if that is your thing.  

The fishermen.


  1. Oh, my gosh! I didn't realize you and Hope Anne hadn't yet met. Even better that you finally got to meet!

    1. I often had to stop and think whether we HAD met before. We knew some of the same people and felt so familiar with one another.

  2. I am so glad you two finally got together! I had no idea how much each helped the other over the years. I DO know that it was through you that I found out about Hope Anne and her family and began to follow their journey with K and spent time in prayer for her and the other children, too. Still do! Such a wonderful story and an inspiration to others in many ways!

  3. I'm just now taking time to catch up on some blog reading and found this, and yes, it put smiles on my face all over again! It is wonderful how God crossed our paths for His honor and glory and for the purposes of wonderful friendship and support. It was fun to FINALLY meet in person and find that it was as delightful as we had imagined! I can't wait to do it again!!! (Hint, hint, it's getting to be fall, right?! ;-) ) Also super fun was getting to meet Little Man in person!! He's adorable too!

    1. Yes, I haven't broken it to my husband yet but am still planning for another meet up in Fall. I'm so glad you found this and that it made you smile, and I love how you put that- "crossed our paths for His honor and glory..." Yes!


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