Saturday, January 26, 2013

Make New Friends But Keep the Old, Revisited.

Last January I wrote a post with the same title, and it was mostly focused on my own quest to make new friends in my new(ish) environment.

Revisiting the topic today was inspired by an old friend, who actually was mentioned in that old post. 

I met her a little over a decade ago, when we were both working together. We got to be close friends pretty quickly, and of the best variety - the kind you can call up and make spontaneous dinner plans with, go on fun girls' weekend trips with and even crash with for a few weeks when your lease on one apartment ends before the lease on the new place begins. She moved up to the Maryland suburbs of DC and not long after that I ended up across the river in Northern Virginia. It wasn't the same as when we worked in the same building and lived a few miles a part, but it was much better than the distance we had when I was still in Richmond.

Her family recently made another move, across the bay to the Eastern Shore. Now she's definitely too far for spontaneous plans and slightly too far dinner plans, but still close enough for an easy day trip or an overnight visit, which is what this weekend entails. As she and her family have been settling in, the message to make new friends, but keep the old, has been one she's shared frequently with her daughter, and also been thinking about for herself.

It's tricky when your circle of closest friends develops with a lot of help from geography. Especially when a move takes place. Life is so hectic these days it's hard enough to make time to see the friends who are close by, in your neighborhood or your town. The further away they get, the less you are able to get together. It's a fact of life, and new friends in a new place is important.

But so is keeping up with those old ones. This afternoon was a great opportunity for that to happen. Several of us made the trek across the Bay Bridge today for a girls day out. I was the oldest of the old friends, in both age and longevity. The other two were women my friend met when she first made the move to Maryland and today was the first time the four of us hung out as a group.

We headed out to a winery, and had high hopes of following that with some antiquing, but the wine kept us busy far longer than anticipated. It was such a fun afternoon, filled with lots of laughing and lots of learning - a bit about wine, but mostly gossip about the town and it's residents and the life story of the proprietor of the winery. We certainly left knowing way more about him than necessary, but, he makes pretty good wine and gave us a good recommendation for dinner in the next town over, so we'll forgive the oversharing.

It was such a nice day. Nice for me to hang out with some new people and do something a bit different and really nice for my friend to have the people important to her come spend some time on her new turf, relaxing and having fun.

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