While we were in Ohio we spent lots of time with family but also had time to see many of our friends. There is never enough time to see everyone, so some people get moved to the top of the list for next time, but we enjoyed our time with friends.
We started off by going to the Mogadore football State Championship game with Susan Ross. Her son Kevin also joined us. It was in the Ohio State Stadium which was really neat, even though Mogadore lost. But being being second in the state isn’t bad. After the game we warmed up with dinner at Bob Evans – and saw a bunch of other Mogadore people on their ways home. We were thankful Susan was able to get the day off work to go to the game because it wouldn’t have been much fun going to the game without her.
The one day we were in Akron we had supper with the Shumans and Shaws. We ate at our favorite group restaurant – Outback – and laughed and talked and had a great time together until everyone else realized they had to work the next day. Bummer!
During the rest of the month we got together with friends whenever we could coordinate schedules. Most people had to travel to see us. A friend from high school and our home church, Sherrilyn, came to Mom and Dad’s for lunch one day. We used to sing together in the choir at church and she is getting ready to retire in October. Tom didn’t get to see Sherrilyn because he was at NASA with his co-researcher Carl. Sherrilyn lives in Baltimore now and wanted to know when we would be heading her way.
We met another friend, Chris, for lunch at Bob Evans when she was returning to Cleveland from Cincinnati. Fortunately we are conveniently located halfway between the two cities. She brought her daughter Jill with her. We haven’t seen Jill since she was four years old and it was fun to see what a wonderful young woman she has become. Chris is one of our friends who likes to ride bicycles but it was too cold for that on this visit.
I really appreciate the friends who work hard to stay in touch with us. They read the blog but they also call or text or send e-mails. When the Vargas found out we wouldn’t be in Akron more than a day, they offered to meet us halfway between Akron and Delaware. Pam even changed a hair appointment to get a free evening to spend together. We ate at Applebees and had a great time catching up with everything. Alex, their son who is John’s age, met us too and shared the good news of a job change.
Some other friends who went out of their way to see us are Adam and Laurie, the ministry team from Death Valley. They are both going to seminary in North Carolina and they stopped by Delaware to spend the night on their way home to Michigan and Wisconsin. When we are in South Carolina, we will be only be about two hours away from them, so they can expect a return visit.
We had a harder time arranging a visit with Karen because she was really busy before Christmas (a minister busy before Christmas – imagine that!) and she went to a family reunion right after. But because we stayed in Ohio a week longer than we were expecting, we were able to meet her in Heath for lunch – at Bob Evans. (We miss Bob Evans when we are out of Ohio!) It was good to see Karen and hear what has been going on with her and her family. We have known each other since seminary, and lived across the street from each other for ten years. So I miss seeing her regularly.
One final visit we managed to work in was supper in Delaware with Deborah at a place called Bucket of Nails. It was an odd name but a good burger. Deborah was the Maid of Honor at our wedding and we have worked at staying in touch over the years. She works in Findlay, has a home in North Canton, and her mom and dad live in Delaware part of the year, so it turned out to be a good place to meet. She will be retiring in April or May. It is amazing to me how old some of my friends are getting to be!
There are a few people we would have loved to see but time ran out and schedules didn’t mesh. Hopefully we will see them the next time we are in Ohio. The weather turned cold and it is time for us to head out of Dodge (Ohio). King’s Mountain South Carolina, a new place, and new friends are waiting.
“Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.” The new ones must be the gold because all the old ones are looking pretty silver these days!