Reconnecting with a friend

A note to my blog friends: I wrote this blog post especially for my friend Dollie. None of my regular readers know Dollie, but if you had a special connection with a friend at sometime in your life, a friend you haven’t seen for many years, my words in this post may resonate with you. If they trigger memories for you, as this experience has done for me, you may even find yourself creating blog posts based on those memories. If that happens, I wish you happy blogging!

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This was me, back in my high school days when I met Dollie.

Several weeks ago, a special message showed up in my email box. As I read it, my eyes got wider and my smile grew bigger. The message was from someone I have never met, but she introduced herself as Kim, and explained that she is the niece of one of my very good friends from high school, which was a long time ago…back when I was growing up in southeastern Pennsylvania.

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I think (but I’m not sure) that this was Kennard-Dale High School.

Our high school wasn’t large. As I remember it, there were only 61 members in our graduating class. Located in the country, surrounded by beautiful farms with rolling hills and lots and lots of cows (my father was in the dairy business), the school was new when we entered 10th grade. The students came from different elementary schools. Many of us only knew a few of our classmates at this new school. Fewer than a dozen had gone to grade school with me, so high school became a time for making new friends, which thankfully didn’t take long. That is when I first met Dollie, and we were good friends all through our three years at Kennard-Dale High School.

After high school,  I went off to Philadelphia for college. There, as these stories often go, I met someone special. When I graduated from Beaver College (now Arcadia University) in 1959, Bob and I were married. He started a career in sales, I taught school,  we raised three daughters, and I never returned, except for short visits, to my home town in southeastern Pennsylvania. As a result, I lost contact with my friends from Kennard-Dale.

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Bob with our daughters
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Me with our daughters

But home never stopped being important to me, and occasionally we still drive through that little town on the Maryland-Pennsylvania line, bringing flowers to the cemetery, located on top of the hill with a wonderful view of the valley and houses below. We drive down Main Street (There is only one main street. It really is a small town) to see what has changed. And of course we always drive from end to end on Chestnut Street, past the home where I grew up, which sadly has changed way too much. One of these years I expect the old homestead, built by my grandparents in 1907, will be gone. That will be a sad day for me.

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My parents are both gone now, and my sisters as well. My husband and I rarely make trips back to the corner of Pennsylvania that I still call home, but there is a very special corner of my heart where I keep my memories of that time and place. Was I glad to get an email from Dollie’s niece Kim? I was more than glad; I was deeply touched, delighted, and grateful. It means so much to me to reconnect with that time and place and with my good friend, Dollie.

Happy Birthday, Dollie. I hope you have a wonderful day, and I hope we can continue to keep in touch. As they say Best Friends Forever (BFF)!

Carolyn

A few more pictures

Celebrating 50 years with Ann & Joe

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Click to enlarge.

Fifty years ago, on August 21, 1965, Ann Hitchen and Joe Lingenfelter joined their hands and their lives as they embarked on an adventure called marriage. Joe was about to begin his second year of seminary and would be ordained as a UCC pastor in 1967. Those first two years Ann worked as a secretary at Franklin and Marshal College.

Fifty years, two sons and 3 parsonages later, they have embarked on a new adventure known as retirement, and on July 25, 2015, they invited their family and friends to join them at the Carriage Corner Restaurant in Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania, for a buffet dinner to celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary.

To begin the evening, Joe and Ann welcomed their guests and introduced each one, a daunting task to my way of thinking, but obviously their memories are much better than mine because the introductions were flawless. They were also highly entertaining, as table by table, a room full of strangers learned where, when, and how the lives of each of the others intersected with Joe and Ann’s life. In a very short time, everyone felt warmly welcomed as part of Joe and Ann’s extended family. Strangers no more!

My husband (Joe’s brother, Bob) had suggested that I try to record this event in pictures, giving me an excuse to circulate the room during the evening, introducing myself and asking people to pose for the camera. I can’t say that I reached everyone, but I tried, and every single person I approached was willing to pose. Here are the pictures of those extraordinary people:

Continue reading “Celebrating 50 years with Ann & Joe”

An unplanned walk

A walk in the Holden Arboretum wasn’t part of my plan this morning, but when Lisa and I finished our meeting, she suggested a walk in the Arboretum before we went to lunch, and I definitely wasn’t going to say no. We both love the Arboretum, and who could resist an opportunity like that on a beautiful day like this?

Today will probably go down as the first time I’ve gone photowalking without my camera! Nevertheless, I did get a few shots with my phone, and I’m posting them here as a reminder of a good meeting, a great lunch, and a wonderful walk in the butterfly garden. My phone doesn’t take good pictures, but the memories are great, even if the pictures aren’t (Click on a picture if you want to scroll through the gallery).

That’s it for today’s unplanned blog post!
I hope you enjoyed the short walk as much as I did.

Carolyn aka Skip

Detour!

Today we took a detour. After my morning walk in the park, I left my usual trail behind and, at the invitation of friends, we drove to Kathy and Dean’s house for the first cookout of the season. And what a magnificent cookout it was! Everybody contributed something to the meal, and we feasted, told stories, laughed, feasted some more, and topped off the feast with homemade ice cream nestled next to a serving of Texas sheet cake, drizzled with chocolate syrup. Yum!

Dean was the grill master with the emphasis on master… (Click on a picture to scroll through the gallery).

…while everyone else, including the family cats, just hung out and waited for the (metaphorical) dinner bell to ring.

It was a special time with special people on a special day, but I have to say it’s a good thing that this kind of “special” doesn’t happen every day because it’s going to take a while to recover from all that feasting. As detours go, this one was definitely special.

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope I didn’t make you too hungry.

Carolyn aka Skip

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