I’ve spent the last two weeks on vacation, first with my brother, dad, and brother-in-law salmon fishing in Alaska. The first photo above, with me on the left (then Todd, Dad, and Tony), was taken with the Childs Glacier and Copper River in the background). The second photo is during a sunrise with fog surrounding everything, the third photo is mist rising off the Miles Glacier, and the final photo is me with two salmon caught in the Eyak River.
Then, I it was down to Portland, OR, to see two old friends. Steve was my best friend in High School, and I hadn’t seen him for nearly 29 years. While our time together was brief, it was wonderful reconnecting with him. Our lives lived were and are very different. He has a 23 and a 21 year old sons (I think those are the correct ages). He is a successful family man. His kids grew up in the same house – they have a real home. My life has been all over the place, and there are advantages and disadvantages to both kinds of lives. I was honestly surprised by how our memories differed on a variety of things. He talked about significant events that I don’t remember for the life of me, and the same with some of my memories.
Russ I met and grew to know while living in Akron and working at Kent. We went through a variety of personal things together and he became one of the people with whom I can share very personal things. Not quite a confessor, but a friend with whom I can confess. Not quite a spiritual director, but a friend with whom I can struggle through the faith. I am challenged by him and encouraged. My contact with Russ lessened dramatically when I left for New York and he ended up in Texas, and two years ago to Portland.
One thing I envied of Ashton was his life-long friendships. He is still good friends with and in regular contact with friends he developed in his latter elementary school days. To have people who have known you for so long and through all the stuff of life we suffer through, to be so well known, to be so comfortable with people must be a wonderful thing. I can sense that kind of wonderful from only the edges. I’m terrible at keeping up with people… that is my fault. I also know that many of my closest friends from years past would not easily abide with where I have landed concerning orientation and faith. Such is life, I suppose.