Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Friendships never fade

I am a true believer that real friendships never fade.
Sure, acquaintances do, but those folks who are really your friends.....the kind that love you no matter what your hair looks like or how "adorable" you look in that hat that you insisted on wearing out with them.....those are the ones that last...the ones in which it does not matter how much time passes in between your face-to-face visits because you are able to just pick things up right where you left off the last time.

We've gone to Six Flags together.
As an expat, you find out just how true this really is. Because when you "go back home" for a visit and see the "folks from your old life", you want to believe that those relationships were as REAL as you thought they were when you left so long ago.

And Monday night, as 19 of us gathered in the middle of Allen, Texas, I was able to experience that realization....... AGAIN.

We've celebrated each others' birthdays.

Before I moved, many of us used to get together for "porch night" as well as lots of other special "events" that we created in order to just BE TOGETHER; I was determined to keep this special time going even after I left so I have hosted these very famous PORCH NIGHTS at mom's house 2 out of the last 3 summers since I moved to Denmark, but this year, since my family has so many other things to worry about right now, I decided to move the venue to a new Mexican restaurant in town.

The friend group that was invited to this night consisted of folks from my old school, Lowery Freshman Center, where I worked as a principal for 5 years before moving to Denmark. Some of these friends were already working at Lowery when I came there in 2003, and some of these friends, I am proud to say, were folks that I had the privilege of hiring in my time there.  (Note: in the US, we call our freshmen students "fish".) But all of them are people that I have shared my life with in so many ways---both IN AND OUT of school! 
We've had Game Night/Pajama Parties!

These are people who supported every crazy and non-conventional thing I asked them to try in order to meet the needs our our Lowery FISH....  

These are people who were never afraid to come to me with their own crazy and unconventional thing that they wanted to try in order to help their FISH...

These are the people who supported me in the way I needed to be supported when a crisis arose in my personal life....

These are the people who TAUGHT MY DAUGHTER when she, herself, was a FISH....

We stood beside each other....through EVERYTHING
that came our way...
and these are the people who stood BEHIND, BESIDE, and AROUND me when things in the leadership of the school district began to change in a way that crazy non-conventional ways of meeting the needs of FISH were no longer valued.

We've learned to use all the cool features of our cars together! 
These people were my family, my Lowery Family.

And I am PROUD to say that EVERY time we come together when I am in town, it REALLY is as if time and miles have not separated us. Some of them still work at Lowery; some have, like me, moved on to the next adventure in their lives, but every time, we just pick right up where we left off.
It is MAGICAL and I would not trade it for anything in the world.

I hope that all expats can come "home" to a group like I come home to each time I come back to Texas. 
Just look at them.... 
You have to admit they are the kind of folks that would make ANYONE SMILE!
Joe is determined to open his beer LIKE A REAL VIKING
at "Porch Night 2008". 
Dave decides to get a tattoo so he can be like me at Porch Night 2009.

So on Monday night, I was reminded again just how blessed I am....  

and don't worry know I'LL BE BACK! 
But in the meantime, you are all welcome to visit me and Mads in Denmark! Nancy and Nettie did it in 2009, so we are ready for our next Lowery visitors! 

But for now, I am leaving a little piece of Denmark in Texas because Mads sent a gift for Jenny and Dave....
a "Welcome Mat" that he found in DK (although we are SURE that the store owner in DK imported this from a redneck shop in Texas!!). 
I absolutely love these people.....


HOLMES said...

Laughed when I saw the infamous "extra medium" Marshall DeBlanc t-shirt!!

Love you!

Anonymous said...

I feel so lucky that you hired me and I was able to get to know you and find out what a wonderful passionate person you are! Working at Lowery has changed my life for the better!

Unknown said...

Looks like you have an big bunch of amazing people to return to when you visit. I am so excited for my first trip back home, and this post made me even more so!

Anonymous said...

These kinds of friends make life worth living!

Anonymous said...

Kelli, you will never know what an inspiration you have been to me. Thanks for sharing some great and some not so great times. You made me believe in myself and I am a stonger person because of your faith in me and your love of life!
The miles just slip away and we pick up right where we left off.
Keep up the good fight,
Love ya, Lori

nettielouise said...

It was so good to get together. I can't wait to do some crossover projects with our students. Miss you already!

Anonymous said...

porch night seems so texas :) but you are extremely lucky to have so many people you can call not just friends, but your family. i just saw a quote on someone's page that basically said you should always keep room for people who make an effort to be in your life and get rid of the people who you have to make an effort to keep in your life. it seems you have no shortage of people who make that extra effort to keep you in their lives. you are very lucky!