We all meet a lot of people in our lives. Some pass quickly through and don’t make an impact, some linger for a while and become important to us for a time before fate or the winds of change cause them or us to move on, and some become a lasting part of our lives, even though we may not always maintain close contact. But with those in the last category, the true friends in our lives, neither time nor distance can change the comfort we share in each others’ company. Dale and Ellen Miller are a good example.
What seems like a lifetime ago, when I was a young man starting my first newspaper in Grays Harbor, Washington, Dale and Ellen operated a custom van conversion shop, and were among the very first people who were willing to take a gamble and advertise with this unknown fellow and his untested publication. In fact, I didn’t even have a publication yet, just an idea and a handful of photocopied rate cards.
Fortunately, the publication survived and grew, as did my friendship with Dale and Ellen, and over the years I operated the newspaper, they never missed an issue with their advertisement. Along the way, we shared the trials and tribulations of operating small businesses on a shoestring, and we even had daughters born within a year of each other in the same hospital.
But life happens, and eventually I left the cold and gloomy Harbor to return to the sunshine of Arizona, and it was more then sixteen years before I found myself back in Grays Harbor, and stopped in, unannounced, to visit with Dale and Ellen. The reception was like I had only been away for the weekend, and we had a wonderful time catching up on our lives. Good friends are like that.
It was another few years before we made it back to this area, and by then Dale and Ellen had moved 50 miles inland to Olympia. I looked them up, they invited us to their home, and again, the years apart disappeared with the first welcoming hugs.
When he read in my blog that we were on the Northwest coast, Dale e-mailed me and invited us to stop in for a visit, and I told him we were looking forward to it. Yesterday we drove down to Olympia to their beautiful home, and we had a wonderful, if short visit. We also got to meet their three year old grandson, Nick, and what a little bundle of energy he is!
We had a great time, talking about everything from music (Dale has played in a band for years, and their daughter Kira is an accomplished classical pianist), our RV travels, and the good old days we shared together. All too soon the evening drew to a close, and we left our friends with promises to keep in touch, and we may get together next spring in Arizona, when they visit family members there. Dear old friends are a comfort to be cherished above all else.
Thought For The Day – A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.