28 November 2009

Comets and Satellites


My parents still live in the house where I grew up, from the time I was about 5 years old. They are well-rooted people, and they raised us, my brothers and I, with the same tendencies, I think.

My wife and I have lived happily together in our house for more than a dozen years, too, since the day we got married, when the lone Scotch pine out front was a lot smaller.

My wife would like to move, someday, to a place with a real yard and without a parking lot out front. And, I'll be honest, there are days when I share this desire. But we've been happy here in our little house, and for the time being it still fits the three of us (and our cat and dog, bikes and skis) more than adequately most of the time.

We have few complaints about this life, generally speaking, but one.

Living in a town like ours, where good jobs are few and often far between, and where the cost of a home is more than most can bear, we've watched way too many of our good friends up-anchor and sail away to greener, more fruitful locales. I suppose it's a kind of advantage, or at minimum an interesting component of conversation, to say that we're fortunate to have friends doing all sorts of fascinating things all over the nation and the world. But that's poor compensation for their absence from our lives on a day-to-day basis. We miss our long-distance friends and regularly wish they were closer.

But we have found over the years that the lure, the special-gravity of Flagstaff, seems to regularly bring many of them back into our lives, like comets and satellites, albeit only for a moment. Whether they return to visit family, or to relive a moment or two in their old home town, or even as they're just passing through our crossed roads on their way elsewhere, we often have the chance to reune with old friends as they all-too-briefly pass by.

It was our good fortune to have our orbit crossed today by some old friends and their kids, here visiting family for the holiday.  We spent a chilly, gray morning together on the swings at Thorpe Park.