I live in a rather densely populated suburban area. I live in a county and there really aren’t that many incorporated cities, towns, or ‘burgs where I live. Thus, I’m just part of the rambling sprawl that typically happens outside the core of any major city anywhere in the world.
I’ve blogged before about having friends who I have met on-line, but I haven’t mentioned the friends I grew up with. You see, even though I live in a sprawling suburban area where anonymity is more the rule than the exception, I still keep in touch with many dozen friends I have known since I was a kid. Many of them settled right here, and now have families of their own. I’ve also maintained close friendships with some people with whom I went to college and served together on campus activities. In adulthood, I expanded my network of friends through all of the community activism that I do, boards on which I serve, people I help out from time to time in a neighboring retirement community, and other activities.
Being one person in a county with almost 1,000,000 residents can seem daunting, distant, and make one feel isolated. However in my case, that really isn’t the story. I know hundreds of people. I see them on the street, in local stores, and while I’m riding my Harley. A friendly wave, a phone call, an email, … they’re there, I’m there, and we’re in this together. I feel that my large sprawling community is much like a small town in many ways with the degree in which we’re connected.
I am truly blessed by having many friends — some for as long as 47 years, and many for as long as 40 years, avg (and I’m “only” 50). Much like friendships that develop in small towns. People you know and remain close to for a long, long time. What a treasure.
Life is short: wear your boots. Love your friends.