Sunday, August 08, 2010

Six Degrees of Separation

There is so much to catch up on and so many pictures to share - summer is almost over for all intents and purposes. The big girls go back to school in 10 more days. I can't believe it, though it will be a bit of a relief. They've enjoyed 6 Bible schools at that many churches, so that has helped immensely - and they have learned so much, made new friends, and enjoyed each one. I was thrilled to see them just go for it each week. They each went to camp. But now first and third grades await and they are excited. I pray they have as good teachers as they had last year.

"Six degrees of separation (also referred to as the "Human Web") refers to the idea that everyone is at most six steps away from any other person on Earth, so that a chain of, I can't "a friend of a friend" statements can be made to connect any two people in six steps or fewer." (Wikipedia) This has not been proven, but is an interesting theory.

I can't vouch for this theory or offer any proof, but I do know that I've been through an amazing experience recently that made me think about it a lot.

A few weeks ago my blog friend, Mary at Needled Mom mentioned that she had been to her 45th high school reunion. I commented that we were the same age, obviously, but that my high school had not planned a big celebration this year for our 45th. She just casually asked me where I would have had to go for a reunion and I mentioned the little town outside of Omaha, where I was privileged to be a student my junior and senior years.

Though I was the "new kid", as I had been several times before, this small class absorbed me into itself and made me feel so welcome. Many of them had gone to school together since kindergarten. Many of them still live there, or at least their parents do. It was a very good two years.

I didn't make it to the 10-year reunion, probably because I had a new baby. I didn't really keep in touch with any of them too much at all, except for meeting up with one friend who had moved up here to Northern Colorado and was teaching just a few miles away. We did connect when our kids were little, but those were busy times and we didn't keep the connection going very well.

But about 25 years ago, one of the girls from the class, Linda, and her husband were moving out here to Colorado and as "chance" would have it, John was to work at the same company as DC. Linda looked me up in the book from the 10th reunion and called me - we're so stable (boring?) that we had the same phone number - still do, for that matter. She wanted to talk about the best places to live around here.

Imagine my amazement when one beautiful afternoon, I saw this car creeping down my cul de sac, and coming into my driveway. It was Linda and they were buying the house next door to us! This was a house where some really rowdy kids were living, whose parents left them alone on week-ends, with disastrous consequences. We didn't even know the house was for sale, but what an answer to a prayer I hadn't exactly prayed yet!

It turned out to be a wonderful 6 years - Linda eventually got a job at the same elementary school where I worked. We had so much fun together, and our kids were friends. One of the really fun things happened when we contacted Carol, the one who lived up here already, and another friend, who now lived in Denver. We began having lunches together for our birthdays. We decided at age 40 that we'd stop celebrating the birthdays, but still get together 4 times a year for lunch!

Soon, though, Linda and John moved back to Nebraska and we lost touch with Pam. But Linda comes out often enough that we still have wonderful lunches together, the 3 of us. These pictures were taken a year ago when we had lunch with Linda at her cabin here in Colorado.

The other day we had one of those lunches and I shared with them the amazing news of my blog friend who went to school with them back in kindergarten through 4th grade. I asked if they remembered her, but had neglected to get her maiden name.

Mary sent me a message with her maiden name and some of her memories. I forwarded it to the other two "girls." This has begun an amazing journey down memory lane. These three have been joined by another Mary, who was my best friend back in those days of high school. Mary in California has added her mom and brother to the mix of memories and it has turned into such fun. I could easily back out and let them "talk" to each other, but I am enjoying their memories so much that I stay in as the conduit.

Life is full of interesting turns, and this has been a joyful one. I have so enjoyed peaking in on the memories of these other three once little girls.


Needled Mom said...

I have goosebumps up and down at reading this, Dawn. It has been such an amazing story and I have so enjoyed being a part of it. I am so glad that you have remained the main contact and I look forward to expanding this story. I hope that someday we may all be able to reconnect with a luncheon.

nancygrayce said...

It is so wonderful when we "find" people we used to know so well. I think facebook has been good for that! What a lovely story of friends!

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

Ahhhhhhhhhh, this is a great one again Dawn! You seem to have a huge storage tank of fabulous stories to write and share with us. Of course, first of all, our common grounds of Nebraska growing up, then Northern Colorado...well, reading this made me feel a part of your journey down memory lane...tho, I changed the names a bit, this could be me in so many places in your blog today. Loved it.

Sammy said...

I love stories like this! I recently had a very weird experience that is along these lines. So cool!

Midlife Mom said...

Mary had told me about the connection but I didn't realize it went so far and involved so many different people! Yea! One of the great things about blogging! Keep it going!

Kev came back to some lovely weather. It's cooler and not quite so humid thankfully. I hope he is feeling better and over the sinus infection!

nannykim said...

Pretty cool how things like that can happen!

When do your grands actually start back to school? Sounds like they have been so busy this summer.

grammy said...

I just caught up. Such fun stories of friends getting together after a long time. I also have old towels...they last forever compared to the new ones. Great story about college. Life was so different a good way (o: I took very little with me compared to kids now. Well...I had very little to take. Seeing Kevin must have been so great. I am happy for all of you.

A Hint of Home said...

I love going down memory lane and reconnecting with people.
Glad you have such good, long- time friends.
Enjoy the next week with the girls.

Maine Mom said...

That is so neat! I would stay connected, too. :-)

Sharon Lynne said...

A great story!
Blogging and facebook are such connectors!

I had a woman commented on my blog for months, and then we found out we had the same relatives. Imagine! (she was related to my husband...a distant cousin) and had visited the same family ranch in Arizona.

Linds said...

Facbook has been wonderful re findign old school friends. And blogging just adds to the mix! Amazing, and so exciting!