F is for Friends

F

I don’t regret leaving my childhood home at almost eighteen, but that decision changed the rhythm of my life in ways that still echo today. Had I stayed in California, I might never have visited Europe. My four years in the Army and twenty-six years teaching for the Department of Defense Schools allowed me to travel to places I could never have otherwise afforded to see.

Bernkastel-Kues at Christmastime

  Bernkastel-Kues at Christmastime

The cathedral in Koeln, Germany

The cathedral in Koeln, Germany

Chateau Azay-le-Rideau, Loire Valley, France

Chateau Azay-le-Rideau, Loire Valley, France

All that travel opened my eyes to other ways of being in the world, other ways of enjoying life, and I’m a better person for having sampled other cultures. But the ride couldn’t last forever; my husband and I retired to Tacoma, Washington in 2014. Now we’re nearer to our families, but much further from our friends.

Many of my friends are still in Germany; others are scattered across the U.S., Canada, Spain, and who knows where. And while social media provides us a way to stay in touch, it’s not the same as spending time in person. I can’t just take my laptop with me to a bar, restaurant or concert and fire up Skype. While I love hearing from far-flung friends and seeing photos of their travels and celebrations, I really miss sharing experiences with them.

And it’s harder to make new friends at this age, especially with people who’ve lived in one place for a long time—their dance cards are full. I realize that for the past thirty years I never had to work very hard at making friends. Because we U.S. ex-pats clustered together in tight-knit communities, my work friends became my after-work friends. Now I’m a tiny guppy swimming in the Puget Sound, looking for like-minded people to spend time with. It’s a slow process, dear reader. Being somewhat shy in person, it’s hard for me to ask a relative stranger on a “date,” but that’s what I’ll have to do until I find my tribe. Wish me luck.

 

4 thoughts on “F is for Friends

  1. Cassie

    First off, beautiful pictures! Next, I have a question that is completely off topic. Where do you get the A to Z badges with the letters on them? I have seen so many blogs with the same ones but I can’t find them anywhere. Thanks in advance! Cassie from Mommy, RN

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  2. Eli Pacheco

    Beautiful pictures, and an honest sweet post. My best advice would be to do the things you love to do, and enjoy them. Go the places you love best. You’ll naturally find like-minded people in those places.

    So glad I found you through the A to Z Challenge!

    Eli@CoachDaddy (#1152)

    Reply
  3. lindamaycurry

    I started going to aqua jogging/aerobics at 7.15am every weekday morning. Here I found a host of potential friends who are always organising something. I like to chat to them after the pool over coffee and occasionally meet some of them outside for a meal or movies. Some are single, some with partners. All are 60 or above. About 50% are men but our spin off Book Club is only women. I think it is great for my husband as he had withdrawn from most social activities involving people outside of family. Now some of us do gym at 6.30am two days a week so we combine fitness with friendship.

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