Ever reconnected with an old friend? Years, maybe decades, since you last spoke or saw one another. Neglecting your friendship wasn’t intentional or the result of a rift in the relationship. It just happened. And 10 or 15 or 30 years later you think about your friend, wondering if he or she is still living in the same place (or when you get my age…living at all) and what life has dealt him or her.
Back in September 2013, we took a two-week vacation to visit my wife’s father and her extended family members in a large midwestern city. I was thrilled about the trip, because I planned to ride my motorcycle on the backroads of the beautiful rural landscapes outside the city. I trailered the two-wheeler because my wife can’t ride and she gets sleepy driving long trips, plus it would have taken me three or four days to cover the 1200 mile journey in one direction.
On the backside of the trip, I planned to arrive a day or so before the annual Lake of the Ozarks Bikefest in Ozark, Missouri. Some of our dearest friends, Craig and Beckie, had just moved near Branson, so we stayed in a local hotel and planned to meet up over the course of three or four days. The thing is…we had not seen, talked to, or even shared Christmas cards with this couple for nearly 15 years. But we jumped right back into our relationship as if we had never been apart. We have three, maybe four married couples like this in our lives. All of them have stood by us, encouraged us, rescued us, cried with us, and enjoyed life with us like no others. If you have friends like this, you know what I’m talking about.
Funny thing, as much as I enjoyed riding my motorcycle through the rolling hills of Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa, or enjoying the scenic twisties in the Ozark Mountains, my favorite part of the trip was those three days with Craig and Beckie. We laughed like school kids and just enjoyed one another’s company. Since we left Branson, there has hardly been a single week where I haven’t talked by phone to my friend, Craig. We have decided not to allow another 15 years to get between us.