Many of us moved to the Northwoods in the late '70's - early '80's. Our motivations for doing so were varied, but many of us expressed a need to get 'back to the land' or 'out of the rat race'. We fled cities and suburbs and headed for the woods, thinking them a peaceful, safe place to raise our families, even though we sacrificed higher paying jobs to do so.
We were young, we were poor (relatively speaking) and we were far away from our families. So, in a sense, we became family to each other.
Of the 50+ people that attended our open house last week, many were in that group. We shared Christmases and Thanksgivings and birthdays. We went camping together and babysat each other's children. We had Bible studies together, planned VBS and Nesbit. Shared memories that bonded us together so that we were as close as family.
It was really a unique situation. Something that we can never recreate or recapture.
These gals and I were in a Bible study together for several years. Tears, laughter and growth. The joy of the LORD is our strength. How I love and miss these girls!
These two were with me at many critical junctures in my life. Ann, on the left, is the hostess with the mostest, and not only gladly let us stay at her home for several days but hosted a party for over 50 people. And did so exceptionally well.
Nancy (one of Daniel's second moms) and Ann were both with me shortly after I miscarried my baby in 1987. Ann met my emotional needs as grief stricken friend. Nancy, a nurse, took care of my physical needs, as well as my emotional needs. They each were there for me; using the gifts God had given them to minister to my breaking heart.
You can't buy friends like that.
As we chatted with dozens of people last week, we realized - again- how very blessed we are. To have so many wonderful, caring, compassionate people in our lives is a treasure indeed.
You don't have to flee to the woods to find friends like this...but I am so thankful to have known each and every one of these folks. They mean so much to me.
And now that we are in Tennessee and close to Mom and Dad, we are grateful to be living close to loved ones. But we are always on the lookout for new friends. Those special people that you build relationships with one adventure (or misadventure) at a time.
We have found some. And again - are so grateful.
Had to post a little bit of Northwoods ingenuity here. When your microwave wears out - give it new life as a mailbox! Waterproof with plenty of room for the day's mail!