By PAM ASBERRY
It takes a long time to grow an old friend. ~John Leonard
From 1964 until 1971, my family and I lived in Berkeley, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis.
My dad, an electrical engineer, worked in the aerospace industry.
My mom stayed home and cooked and cleaned and took good care of all of us.
And my little brothers and I went to school and watched television and played and fought and loved each other.
We left the area towards the end of my sixth grade year; by then I had a new baby brother and soon a new circle of neighbors and friends. Although I kept in touch with few people for a short while, I soon lost track of everyone. In recent years, I tried finding a few of them and eventually located a handful on Facebook, where I have enjoyed keeping up with them and their families.
Then–surprise!–about three years ago I got an email from Peggy, whose family had lived two doors down from mine in Berkeley. She was one of my very best friends. The two of us traded Barbie clothes and made potholders and sold them door to door and played jacks and four-square and rode bikes in the street. We were in the same kindergarten class but then we were separated, as I continued in public school while she went to a parochial school. Still, we spent lots of time together after school and during summer vacations, and I have many warm and wonderful memories of her.
We exchanged a few lengthy emails and a few photos, and then we started talking on the phone. What is truly amazing is how much we have in common as adults. Our birthdays are just two days apart, we have strong family ties and cherish our roles as mothers, and we share many similar interests: beading, cooking, sewing, baking, knitting/crocheting. If we lived two doors apart from each other, like we used to, I imagine we would spend a lot of time sitting at each other’s kitchen tables, drinking coffee, sharing girl talk, and working on our projects together. Not only that, we are both readers–and writers!–of fiction. Now that we are also connected on Facebook, I have introduced her to many of my writer pals and finally convinced her to visit her local chapter of Romance Writers of America. I do believe she loves her monthly meetings as much as I enjoy mine. And we still talk on the phone occasionally–on Fridays during her lunch break, as often as our schedules allow.
I know the internet can be a dangerous place and occasionally I find myself yearn for simpler days. But most of the time, I revel in the fact that I live in a world in which a woman can do a simple Google search and find herself reconnected with a long-lost friend. We may have been separated for forty-plus years, but now we are bound for life.
Have you renewed any old acquaintances with through the wonders of technology?