On the road to the NESCBWI conference: Part 3: Friendships

If you’ve been following my April break journey here, and here you’ll know that I was in New Jersey yesterday. I had a lovely time visiting Meg Wiviott, talking writing with my VCFA friends, and lunching with a friend from my DC days.

The drive to Springfield from NJ was bearable because he gave me CD’s from hilarious comedians. I listened for as long as they lasted– sadly not the entire three hour drive but they got me through a traffic jam when everyone was rubber necking at a non-accident.

The rest of the way, I was able to contemplate friendship and aging and other existential concepts. My friends are far flung. I’ve met them in summer camp and college, through volunteering and in Vermont. Some I’ve kept from the old DC neighborhood. My book club and writing friends have been in my life the longest.

Social networking sites have certainly helped me reconnect with many and  stay in touch with most but I often close out a session on Facebook feeling more lonely then I when I started checking everyone’s status. In my current situation, with hubby deployed, it is difficult to make the time to see people in person. This week I took the time to refuel with friends face to face. I laughed and hugged, and sipped tea with people who stimulate my mind, reflect my emotions, and give me the kick in the butt I need to keep going.

Today, I’ll be swamped with hugs and handshakes. There will be over 500 attendees at the Annual Spring NESCBWI Conference. To each, I extend the following challenge– meet five new people each day. You never know, that person sitting next to you at the keynote speech, may just be a new friend.

Hello, Springfield, Mass. We’ll be here all weekend!

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