Tag Archives: connections

Backtracking Part II

It wasn’t all work, my friends. Not at all!  We filled these Florida months with lots of special people!
The first weekend we were in Lake Wales we took a mini road trip to see our friends Jim and Sue Taylor in Ft. Myers. We’d been friends with Jim and Sue BK (before kids) and kept loosely in touch with them over the years since Gary’s mom had also lived in Ft. Myers. It’s been so lovely these last three winters in Florida to reconnect and spend time with them!

Untitled
Yes, they are still trying to teach me the finer points of Pinochle!
Untitled
Sure do love these guys! Now we just have to get them to the cabin, right?
As we headed back to the rig that weekend, we made another stop to see a high school friend that I don’t believe I’ve seen probably since 1969. OK, maybe at a random reunion, but I can’t be sure. Any who, through the miracle of Facebook, we’d reconnected several years ago and it was great fun to see Gary and his wife at their new digs in Port Charlotte.
Untitled
Untitled(I actually grew up in the same neighborhood as Gary until halfway through third grade. He had this picture of he and his brother and dad- and my house in the one on the right behind them. (or the one next to it. It was very long ago, and they look pretty similar!))

What a fun weekend of connections!

We also connected with area SOWER friends during March too! Once for ice cream
Untitled
and once for a picnic at the park which included not only working SOWERS but also 3 Alumni couples and a single Alumni.
Untitled
Green Isle GroupFor Gary and I it was very special because one of those alumni couples was our group leader at our third project way back in January of 2006. What a blessing to reconnect with them again!

Connecting with friends – old and new! It’s one of the best parts of this crazy life of ours!

Stay tuned for the next installment of my backtracking tomorrow!

 

Ft Myers Connections

Back in the mid ‘60’s a young college graduate came to stay at our house as she started a new job in the Philadelphia area. My Dad’s mother was her grandfather’s sister (or some such tenuous family connection), so of course my parents welcomed her with open arms.  She came for a week – and stayed for a year! And what a year that was! Even though I lost my bedroom to her, for this young teen having a cute, bubbly, sophisticated, twenty-something in the house was great fun!  I can’t guarantee my ‘remembering’, but I think she stayed with us until she married Ted and then she moved into a nearby community. She and Ted (and then their kiddos) stayed a part of our lives for many years, but as often happens, connections were eventually lost. Mom and Dad moved, we moved, life happened.  We connected again briefly in the late 90’s with the passing of my parents,  but before long we’d once again reverted to the occasional “I wonder what’s up with Josie and Ted?” remembrance.  Not too long ago that little thought resurfaced and I decided to do a bit of Facebook sleuthing. Much to my delight I located her daughter (now living in NYC) and contacted her (‘you might not remember me, but your mom lived with us for a bit last century!”).  She DID remember our family and shared that her mom was now living in Florida, as her dad had passed away several years ago.  This past weekend we were able to meet up with her, and while we couldn’t exchange hugs (ugh, COVID), our smiles were bright (though behind masks when appropriate) as we caught up with each other for the many years we’d lost touch. She had stories (“I remember the first time Gary picked you up for a date!”) and we had stories (“Remember when I borrowed your fancy hairpiece/braid to make myself look older?”). And then, of course, there was all the grandkid bragging. We only met for lunch, but what a grand lunch it was. Josie, we loved reconnecting with you – and pray that we will see you again next time we’re in the area. And hopefully that time there WILL be hugs!
GaryStephJosieMinnie
Back in the mid-70’s a young couple started coming to our church in Willow Grove. He was a medical student, and she a teacher. They lived nearby, were in their early years of marriage and hadn’t started their family yet. Just like us. We were fast friends before we knew it! By the time he’d finished up his medical training, we been through a fair bit of life together – birth of our daughter, an early miscarriage, and now we were both pregnant.  Their decision to set up a practice with a colleague (and friend) in Ft. Myers, FL, made us sad, but as we all know, life goes on! Thankfully, Gary’s mom also lived in Ft. Myers, so we were confident we’d manage staying in touch somehow or other! And we did – well, sorta-kinda! Thankfully, there are some friendships that weather the ‘sorta-kinda’ staying in touch better than others, and anytime we are in Florida we do our very best to invite ourselves over for a weekend!(Yes, we are THOSE friends!) Once we’re together, the years just fall away and it’s back to the wonderful camaraderie that we hold so dear. Jim and Sue – you know we’ll be back!
Untitled

UntitledIt’s probably been over 5 years since we’d heard from Gary’s older sister, Judy. We were pretty sure she lived in the Ft. Myers/Punta Gorda area, so last year and this year we made some attempts to contact her. There was never any estrangement, just a lack of communication.  She has had many health struggles over the years, and even her kids had not heard from her in several years. None of the phone numbers we had (or could find) were good.  But since we were in the Ft. Myers area visiting with Jim and Sue, we extended our visit and Gary and Jim spent Monday morning driving to different agencies to try and locate her. Last known address – no one had any info. Chamber of Commerce (looking for senior housing suggestions), no luck. Area police department – can’t help, but maybe the local Sheriff Dept can assist you.  The local sheriff was able to help – and in fact was familiar with her!  She was in a senior group home in the area (he could not disclose the name or location), and was able to contact the supervisor there to see if she would be willing to speak to Gary.  Sadly, she declined.  While he was disappointed that “it wasn’t convenient” for her to speak to him at this time, there is still peace in having located her, believing she is in a safe environment and that she knows that her family has reached out to her.  He left his contact information with both the sheriff and the supervisor, and we are hopeful that she will contact us in the future.

Connections. They are truly a treasured gift.  Our time in Ft. Myers included beaches and seafood and pinochle, but most importantly, it included precious connections.  And for that we will always give thanks!