Most would hate changing all the landmarks, and points of reference and pieces of history. For example, "that's where I had that huge bike wreck and got this cool scar" or "that's where I first saw Tommy, my first love"... or whatever. Losing the familiar.
I suppose that since I have been doing it for so long, it just seems right to instead associate all of my memories with "that was when we lived in TX" or "that was when we lived in CO". I've never really had a "familiar".
Most people would hate having to learn a new place over and over again. The closest ATM, the easiest grocery, the tastiest local eatery, as well as which ones to avoid at all costs. For me, it is just second nature. Move in, scout it out, make a few mistakes, learn the layout. Then, just when you have it down, prepare to do it all over again.
Most people hate having to say goodbye to their friends.
I suppose I hate that too. Hmmm - perhaps I am normal, slightly?
But, I have learned through decades of moving that goodbye can be good, and it doesn't have to be permanent. I have managed to keep in touch with one friend in particular since kindergarten, and I have moved 19 times SINCE then, not counting college dorms. (and that doesn't include my moves before then... I have moved way too many times)
What I am getting at is that friendships are up to you. Whether you are going to put the time and effort into them is up to you. Choose to be a listening ear, even if you aren't near. Choose to drive 100 miles out of your way on your family vacation, just to see someone. (just throwing a warning out there to some of you... we are planning a vacation in Oct - be forewarned!)
So, when my friend Nicole called to say that while her hubby was in training in FL she and the kids were going to come spend the last two weeks before school started with him, my ears perked up. We were stationed together at Andy's first base, when we were brand new to the AF. They were a huge help to us. Then, I got pregnant, and so did she. My first, her third. Once again, a huge help to us!
Canaan and Caleb were born exactly three weeks apart. Then, when they were only six months old, the AF did what it does and transferred them away.
I made it up there to meet baby number four, Devin, but babies five and six had come, and grown and I had never even met them. They had never met Zion either. So... Since we are less then three hours from where he was training we HAD to get together.
This is what not seeing each other for nearly six years and three children (between us) looks like...
Nicole and I
The entire McCool Clan
On Sat morning Nicole and I decided that the Daddy's really NEEDED to spend some time with their children - so we would just leave them to that. And since we were being so kind to let them fill that need, we might as well go to the mall, kid free, and get a pedicure, right?
They played baseball
With a crazy pitcher
Even little Lina got into the "swing" of things.
And when baseball got old, there is always the ole favorite-
And when even that got old - thank goodness for Air Conditioning and Wii, right?
Quentin has been in training in FL for months now, and Nicole and all the kids have been back at their home base in NE. We encouraged them to take the evening to themselves and leave the kids with us. Andy ended up having to leave for awhile, long story, so I had all eight kids, while cooking dinner, in a thunder storm which Lina was terrified of and wanted to be held the whole time.
And I still say I want at least six kids.
Andy was hoping a weekend with a houseful would discourage me. I think it worked the opposite way. I had such a blast with a houseful!
While I was watching all eight Lina wanted to watch Cinderella. Z and David (both four) were the only two who would agree to it, the others all declaring it "too girly". However, by the end of the movie, this is what my living room looked like -
The two smallest had gotten kicked off the couch altogether!
Canaan, Devin and Zion
Evalina, just because
A reluctant smile from David
Canaan and Caleb, only three weeks apart
I wish I could easily get to one of the pictures of them in matching blue ducky onesies, seven years ago...I would love to scan that in and show how they have changed!
We tried to get a picture of all eight kids... no luck! Here are seven, but one is not happy to be there, and one has his hands on his face - and that was the story for all the pictures. How do you get a good picture of more then four or five people? I am eager to see if Nicole got any on her camera.
Last, but not least, our dorks, whom we can't help but love.
I don't think six years seemed to have hurt us any!
So, friendship, even states apart, and years apart, and lifestyles apart (I am afraid I may never catch up on the kid count now - Nicole is way too far ahead!) friendship is worth the time and effort and emotion invested. It is what you put into it.
I am so glad I have people in my life to "put into", and who will return the favor and put time and effort and love back into me.