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A Most Strange Gathering

September 19, 2022

Have you ever met someone and felt like you would be friends forever?

Chances are you weren’t.

How about an entire group of people that you felt that connection with?

On Saturday I went to a reunion at a nearby park in Pleasant Grove. It wasn’t a high school or college reunion. It wasn’t a military reunion. It was a neighborhood reunion.

But, that’s not the strange part.

We left this neighborhood nearly 30 years ago.

But, that’s not the strange part.

This neighborhood isn’t in Pleasant Grove. It’s not even in Utah. It’s two states and 1000 miles away in Maple Valley, Washington.

Yeah, that’s the strange part.

There were over 50 people at our Pleasant Grove neighborhood park. Some drove 1000 miles from Washington to attend. Some, like us, lived less than 2 miles away.

Thirty years ago we lived in Maple Valley a suburb outside of Seattle. We lived there for nearly nearly 10 years. We built a house there. We raised our children for many years. We completed our first two adoptions there. And then life changed. I left my job at Microsoft and moved back to Utah. And we lost touch with the people from that neighborhood.

Enter Facebook. We reconnected with a few people. And they connected with a few people and before you knew it, lots of the people from “the old neighborhood” were back in touch with each other. . .kind of.

And by some strange coincidence, a lot of us had moved to Utah. And not just Utah, Pleasant Grove, Utah. We now live closer to some of those neighbors than we did back when we were in Washington. And while there were plenty of people I didn’t recognize, several of them stepped right out of my memories and we picked up right where we left off.

We are all much older and the kids we helped each other raise now have kids of their own. But, whatever magic that neighborhood held, it’s transcended time and space.

Yup. These are my tribe.

May you find a tribe that will maintain your membership over decades and hundreds of miles.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. Order Miscellany II, an anthology including his latest short story, “The Mercy System” here

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(c) 2022 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

2 Comments
  1. Aaron permalink

    I felt this way with you the first time we met. I still think of you like a fiend despite not having seen you for several years. Sadly, this whole entry feels way too real. Some day, I would really like to play Star Trek Attack Wing with you and your kids again.

    • Agreed. Those STAW events came at a really important time in the life of my kids. One of my boys was going through the typical rebellious teenager phase. But, he loved Attack Wing and that was how we stayed connected.

      We’ll get back together at some point. I keep buying the infrequent expansions. Figure we’ll use them at some point.

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