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One piece of advice I would give to young married couples would be to make maximum effort to keep you friendships going during the craziness of the child raising years. This is very difficult as life tends to revolve around kids and careers. However as I approach 50 I realize that some of my most prized “possessions” are not a nice house and car but family and friends.

We have recently had the chance to reacquaint with old friends from our previous hometown. Our families had some great times back when our kids were still pre-school age. Now our kids are gown and out of high school except of their youngest. Last year we got a call and discovered they were in our neighborhood watching their youngest son play in the state baseball tournament. We couldn’t get there in time for the game but caught up with them afterward at Red Robin and had a great time visiting for several hours. I think we probably all wondered later why we ever lost touch in the first place. Well now baseball season is back and Debby and her oldest son spent a couple nights at our house so they could watch the spring baseball tournament. It was a great catching up and we look forward to visiting them this summer. Maybe Robert and I will even get in a short backpacking trip with our now grown sons.

I’ve done extensive backpacking the last 8 years but I’ll never forget the time Robert and I decided to backpack into a mountain lake almost 20 years ago now. The sun was setting as we arrived at the lake ready to cook up some dinner. At about the same time we both looked at each other thinking “I thought you brought the matches.” This was followed by some quick thinking as our dinner depended on having fire. We grabbed the small tea candle lantern I threw in my pack at the last minute and took off down the trail hoping to beat nightfall and use the cigarette lighter in the truck to get the candle lit. This turned into a 30 minute science experiment and I could give you a list of at least a dozen things that a car lighter will not give flame to. I think it was a piece of old t-shirt that finally flickered long enough to light our candle and we stumbled down the trail by candle light. Of course our flashlights were still back at camp.
We have both come a long way since then and I look forward to spending time our friends once again.