Strange friends.

9:56 AM

   I made a strange friend the other day.  Don't get me wrong, she's not strange, but rather the friendship is strange. 

   It's strange because it is one of those friendships that began instantly, and there isn't really any explanation why.   It is also strange because it continues, even though we rarely see each other, live 2 hours apart, and barely even know each other. 

   We met at the church picnic.  I still consider myself fairly new at our church, as we've only been going for a little over 2 1/2 years now.  I didn't grow up in this area (obviously) so I still don't know all the connections at Fairview, and sometimes it feels like I never will.  EVERYONE'S connected! Or related.  Or both. The joys of Mennonite life. 


   We were enjoying the picnic when I saw her and thought maybe she was new to the church too (ha) and decided to go over and introduce myself, because, well, that's what Grabers do.  So I said hi and we started chatting about kids, (because everyone knows  that's the universal platform for connection that all parents everywhere share in common) and the more we talked, the more I felt like I had known her for a long time, much longer than 5 minutes anyway.  You know how that just happens sometimes?

   Turns out she grew up at Fairview (the rest of her family still attends there) but now she resides in Portland with her husband and their little girl and boy, aka nuclear family.  You would think that chat would have been the end of the story, but we have been able to get together a couple times since, and it is always such a fun time.  A few days ago they were in the area and so we met up at the park for a picnic and let our children splash in the water while we caught up on life a bit. 

  Oh ya know, just fishing and browsing on her tablet while keeping an eye on the kids. 

   Not only is she able to multitask, but she is a valuable resource.  Gluten-free recipes?  Check.  Info on cloth diapers? Check.  Do Mennonites confuse you sometimes, too? Check.  Have you been driven insane by blogging too? No?  Ok, maybe that's just me.  Seriously though, the lady's a wonder.  She makes her own cheese and yogurt and butter, and her kids are the farthest things ever from city slickers.  She is definitely a farm girl at heart and shares my love for a more "communal" "homesteading" "hippie" "natural" way of life.  We share passions for healthy cooking, blogging, Ikea, and lots of other fun stuff. Basically, she's just a cool person.  **Bonus** I know someone to show me all the hidden gems of Portland. 

 Not sure why I don't have pictures of the other kids...perhaps because I couldn't get the lense away from his little belly in the water.

   So I guess the point of this blog post is to say that you should never be afraid to say that first 'hello', because you never know what friendships may be lurking in the shadows.

 That sounded strangely creepy. 

   Also, don't buy into the statistics that say it's basically impossible to make friends after college, and the older we get, the less people we meet and we just sort of shrivel up into our comfort zones, and blah blah blah.  Those statistics may be....well...statistically true, but that doesn't mean that you can't be the exception. 

   I hope I never stop meeting new friends.  I hope I never stop opening myself up to the vulnerability, and at the same time the possibility, of learning and growing and being inspired by people all throughout life, no matter where I go.

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  1. ahh! i love this! such a great reminder, shelley!! and now i'm off to check out her blog. . .


  2. Oh my word, way to make me cry!!! I love this! (Although for the record, lest I appear to be so internet addicted that I couldn't tear myself away from it while at the river, I was just using the tablet to take pictures. haha.) Anyways, this is probably the best post you have ever written in your entire life. :) I'm quite pleased to have you as a 'strange friend;' and I'm glad you even want to be my friend considering the great distance between us. But never fear, our someday commune will fix that issue. :)


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