Long-term friendship

I’ve moved too much.

1) From Lexington, KY, to Downers Grove, IL (age 1).
2) From Downers Grove, to Ames, IA (age 5).
3) From Ames to Bowie, MD (age 13).
4) From Bowie back to Ames (age 14).
5) From Ames to Stanford, CA (age 18).
6) From Stanford to Claremont, CA (age 24).
7) From Claremont to Redlands, CA (age 29).
8) From Redlands to Philadelphia, PA (age 30).
9) From Philadelphia to Pasadena, CA (age 35).
10) From Pasadena to Oxford, UK (age 38).
11) From Oxford to Hatfield, PA (age 44).

All of these moves were over 300 miles, many of them were literally cross-country, or even overseas.  (I’m not counting moves across town.)  Moves #7-#11 included my family.

The cost of all these moves is long-term friendship.  All friends are precious, but there’s a depth that comes from knowing someone for decades.  I’ve never lived in the same place continuously for a decade.

It’s great to visit California.  We’ve gone to the beach.  My family went to Disneyland (I was teaching).  We visited the Monterey Aquarium on Saturday.  Yesterday we hit the big sites of San Francisco, walking the Golden Gate Bridge (the bridge, the view, the sky, the ocean were all spectacular!), driving down Lombard Street, climbing up Coit Tower, eating at Pier 39/Fisherman’s Wharf.

But the best part about being in CA has been seeing long-term friends, people who I’ve known for multiple decades.  My friend John, who I’ve known for over 40 years.  He can share more embarrassing stories about me than perhaps anyone on the planet (fortunately, he shows great discretion).

I’ve known my friend Alex for over 30 years.  I preached at his church Sunday.

We spent Saturday night at Mark and Gayll’s in San Jose.  Gayll was Shannon’s roommate at UC Santa Cruz in 1980.  Shannon preached at their church Sunday.

Over the weekend we laughed a lot with Alex and his wife Susan (who I’ve only known for over 20 years) and with Mark and Gayll.  Typically, when we hang out with friends, our boys do their own thing, but our friends were so entertaining, they stuck around.  After the weekend, our sons said, “We should hang out with your friends more often.”  Amen to that.

During my vacation my blogging has become less consistent.  I know, organized bloggers plan ahead and write blogs in advance.  Yes, well, I’m not that organized.  I’ll post again on Psalm 119 next Monday–I’m flying from SFO to PHL on Sunday and I don’t write blogs well while flying.  If you’ve visited my site frequently expecting new material, I apologize.

Image from http://thegoldengatebridge.blogspot.com/


  1. We are just beginning to understand what it means that we’re now farther away from most of our long-term friends in PA. We have missed them in the small moments so far, and will miss them in bigger ones later on too. Thanks for this honest entry, and for a hopeful picture of long-term friends reunited and having a blast! Thanks for moving faithfully as God called you to as well, and for being a great example to us in this way. Miss you and your family, Dave!

  2. I never get tired of looking across at Alcatraz and wondering if those criminals got away portrayed in that movie with Clint Eastwood.

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