Last week I attended our annual church camp meeting in Oklahoma. A lot of people were there that I didn’t know well, but there were also lots of people that I knew from way back. Seeing old friends again makes my heart swell with joy and happy memories come flooding back to me. The feeling reminds me of how blessed a life I’ve lived. Nothing is much greater than the love between friends and family.
I saw a friend that I met when I was in first grade and another that I met when I was in fourth grade. Even though that was many decades ago, we still have that piece of life history that we share. Time doesn’t change that and to me, they look as young as ever and are as dear as ever.
There were also friends of my parents who have known me since I was born, who have popped in and out during the course of my life. They’re my friends now and I love listening to their stories of the “olden days.” We did a lot of that when my family had a mini-reunion over the 4th of July. Some of them I don’t get to see very often.
I guess I’m getting old and sentimental about how the world used to be when I was young. It was so different then. It was a wonder that any of us survived to adulthood, with the no baby car seats and seatbelts, helmets, safety latches, or the other things that keep children safe nowadays. We rode in the back of pickups and slept in the back windows of cars. My brother and I played outside where the tarantulas and rattlesnakes roamed. We played with neighborhood kids in their yards and ours, roaming around block on skates or bikes. We walked unaccompanied to a corner store where we bought candy for a nickel or a dime or to piano lessons several blocks from school. I got spanked when I did something wrong; no fun but I didn’t do it again. Life seemed a lot safer back then.
A lot of that simplicity changed when we, as a society, discovered that accidents couldn’t ever be our fault. Someone else was always to blame and there was free money in pointing a finger at others. Lawsuits have brought laws that pad us from danger or harming ourselves. So much so that it seems good sense and accountability for one’s actions have gone the way of kids playing outside in the yard without supervision. Are there more perverts around than there used to be? We certainly hear about it more, but I’m not sure if there are really more of them or we just hear more. Either way, the impact is on the freedom of kids to play in the neighborhoods. People gripe about kids being in front of TVs and computers too much. If it’s dangerous outside, what else are they supposed to do, other than homework?
Enough of that negativity.
Being with friends and family this past week reminded me that there are still wonderful things in this world. I loved seeing old friends and my family members whom I don’t see often enough, catching up with them. I love them and I felt loved by them. It makes my world a nicer place. I hope you feel the same about your friends. Give them a call and tell them.