You never really know just how small it is …

Life sometimes has a way of getting away from you, and it’s only when you stop and really consider things that you realize just what’s happening here.

Last night was a normal night by almost anyone’s standards except mine; having been entrenched in writing/ghostwriting books for the last two and a half years, having a night that I didn’t leave work to go to a second job or to come home to write was rare. But I’m at the end of Book No. 3 and am ready to take the summer off – so I kicked it off last night by taking a nice two-mile walk with some very good friends.

Sounds normal, right?

As I got to thinking about it later last night, the obscurity of it all really began to hit me: I have lived in North Liberty for right at a year (effective June 5) and the three ladies I walked with all live within 3 blocks of me.

And I’ve known all of them for nearly 20 years each, with exactly none of the relationships starting in North Liberty or Johnson County or even eastern Iowa.

There was Cara, my friend/neighbor/cousin who has been a part of my life for all of hers (she’s younger – sigh) who, thanks the the circumstances of life, lives in the apartment across the hall from mine. She’s been my cousin all her life and my friend for almost as long, despite the fact that when you’re young a five-year age difference can seem monumental. We were close as kids because our family as a whole is close, but as we got older we got closer because of who we are individually, outside of the family.

Then there was Meredith, who job-shadowed me when I was still quite young in my journalism career and she was just quiet young – starting high school and trying to figure out what she wanted to do with her life. She re-enetered my life a few (OK, more than a few) years later after college when she and her now-husband joined the staff of the newspaper at which she once shadowed me in Fort Dodge. Interestingly enough, she and Scott then left for job in St. Joseph, Mo., (coincidentally where I spent a good chunk of my high school years) only to come to The Gazette in Cedar Rapids about two or three years before I left. They found a house in North Liberty right away, so when I moved here it was my time to follow her.

Finally there was Meg, a woman who came into my life back in February 1992 when she came to the Fort Dodge newspaper and I was 6 months pregnant. We didn’t get along at all at first – she seemed to storm into the newsroom with what I first thought was cockiness but now see as confidence (there IS a difference) that I thought too brazen (but I think I also secretly envied). Somehow we became close friends and, as most of my Fort Dodge coworkers did, she left – for the East. First Delaware, then New York. We saw each other a handful of times but talked several times a year, always picking up conversations and though we’d just talked the night before. She was out east for 16 years and decided it was time to come home. She’s starting her own consulting business and could go anywhere – so she came to North Liberty.

None of these other women knew each other before a few weeks ago, and Meredith just met everyone last night. But it didn’t stop us from walking and talking and carrying on like we were all lifelong friends.

Interesting how life works sometimes.




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