This is a fun weekend. I'm driving across Montana visiting friends, enjoying fantastic scenery as an added bonus.
First, I'm visiting new friends, but the type who feel like old friends. The type who, when you're staying at their house, you feel free to wander out in the clothes you slept in, to open their fridge and to stare it looking for inspiration, whom you're expecting to enjoy and not trying to impress. It's a strange feeling, this, to be at home in a place and with a people who are almost entirely new to you. It's like putting on a brand new item of clothing, and having it fit like that t-shirt you've had since 6th grade (YES, I still have one of those in my closet!).
Secondly, I'm visiting old friends, the type who feel like old friends. The ones who have known me since Jr. High, who have watched me grow up, and I in turn have watched their kids grow up (all three kids now COMPLETELY dwarf me). The ones who have seen me cry, heard me complain, laughed with me, fed me gallons of coffee and piles of meals, with whom I have a rich history of hopes, dreams, disappointments and discussions. I'm looking forward to connecting with a familiarity that belies the geographical distance that's been a fact for now three years.
Third, I'm visiting old friends, but the type who, in some ways, feel like new friends. They've been my parents' friends for years, and only recently have they become my friends as well. We're celebrating with them -- the ostensible reason for this roadtrip in the first place. Again, it's a relationship with a history, but I feel like I've moved from observer of that history to participant in it.
It's a fantastic, fun mix. I'm richly blessed, because all three relationships are rooted in the Gospel. They're relationships of mutual joy and encouragement. And now I'm running on reserve battery power, so I'm going to click 'publish' and go back to enjoying these old friends!