As much as we wanted to get away from Pittsburgh for a "geographical solution" to our...life? We have found and reconnected with our home town everywhere we have been. Each reunion could be a whole article and so I will give each friend the spotlight deserved. Over the next several weeks I will recount these assorted get-togethers.
Prompted by a simple Facebook post.
I scan my notifications and see I've been tagged by a friend (Patricia).
"Days like this I miss my PGH friends!"
"We miss you too! Was just thinking about how great it was to be able to get together when we lived in AZ!"
You see, Patricia and I grew up together. We were friends. We were in Band together and took several classes together over the years. I had always really liked and admired Patricia. She was intelligent, a talented musician, and a genuine friend. Upon graduation, we were attending different colleges and failed to keep in touch.
Enter Facebook, a great way to reconnect with lost friends. Sorry for the ad-like reference...no, not sorry. It has been a great way to get reacquainted with friends old and new. I don't remember who friended who, but I do remember being glad that I had Patricia back in my life. We'd chat off and on, liking and commenting on each other's posts. Virtual friendship at it's finest.
These friendships were all virtual at this point. Many of these people I hadn't seen since they or I graduated from high school just over 20 years previous. All basically consisting of the same interaction of occasional chat, liking and commenting on posts. And yet, these people, when we are miles from home, were willing to lower that Internet shield, welcoming us into their homes, treating us to meals, and offering us rides to the airport.
Fast forward to April 2013 and our arrival in Arizona. When we announced where we were, I remember Patricia reaching out and letting me know they were in the Phoenix area. She mentioned to drop her a line if I ever had a bit of time while down in the Valley. I took her invitation literally and next thing you know, I was knocking on her door (Truman in tow). It was such a treat to see our kids play together. I mentioned needing to head to Best Buy to make a return and there it was, my golden ticket...she offered to watch Truman while I ran to make the return. I took her up on the offer without hesitation. This was a friend I trusted enough to watch my son even after not seeing each other all these years. I knew he would be fine...and he was! She even sent me a picture while I was gone to let me know he was doing okay. I don't know if she realizes the gift she gave me that day...to run that errand kid free. Priceless!
In the week before we left for Hawaii, we were back in Phoenix for a brief stay. We decided to meet up for dinner. It turned out it was the night before we were to fly out. We ate sushi, the kids played, and the adults enjoyed the food and the conversation. When we went to pay, they had already taken care of my meal. Still so very grateful for their generosity. What a great farewell to Arizona!