The upside of social media

At the age of 16, I took a job at a summer resort about 2 hours north of where I lived.  As a child, I had spent many summers vacationing here with my family.

I was hired as a chambermaid, but after the first 2 weeks, I was moved to the dining room as a waitress.  It may have had something to do with the fact that after a particularly late night with my coworkers, the bed I was supposed to be making, looked very inviting. Thinking it would be awhile before the occupants of the cabin returned from breakfast, I decided to crawl in & take a little nap.  Like a scene out of Goldilocks & the Three Bears, I was rather startled when the returning guests found me with a wee bit of alarm, asleep in their bed.  True story.

I discovered I much preferred serving food to cleaning toilets & making beds anyway.

For many of us that summer, it was our first time away from home for any length of time, out from under the watchful eyes of our parents.  I look back and wonder how our employers managed to keep that many young people in reasonable order.  Let’s just say, it was a summer to remember, for many reasons!  A living soap opera of sorts! 🎉😎

Working in this kind of environment, your colleagues become your  family, living under the same roof together, working together & hanging out in your down time together.

I met a number of great people that summer but sadly lost track of most of them not long after we departed ways when the season was over.

But there was one friendship that remained for many years beyond the age of 16.  My friendship with Karen.  She & I immediately clicked as friends, developing a friendship that would span a number of years post our summer job at the resort.

Karen & I - 1977, Winter 1978 when Karen came to visit.

Left to Right – Karen & I – 1977, Winter 1978 when Karen came to visit.

Keeping in mind it was 1977, these were the days before cell phones & Facebook, which made it a little more challenging to stay in touch.  Letters were hand written & sent via snail mail, as there was no internet or email.    You know, the dark ages!

Parents rarely offered to drive you.  Anywhere.  If your friends lived within the city limits, you were expected to walk or ride your bike.  If they lived a distance away, as Karen & I did, you got on a bus & made the long trek to visit for a weekend.

The picture below was taken the first time Karen took the bus down to visit, in the winter of 1978.  As cool silly as my local group of friends were, we decided to create handmade signs, don party hats & paper horns, to give her a fanfare arrival when she got off the bus.  We were given more than a few strange looks but what did we care, we were 16!

The welcoming committee as Karen came off the bus!

The welcoming committee as Karen came off the bus!

Karen & I stayed in touch for a number of years, but as happens in life, once we began having families, our worlds just got busy & for no other reason than not living within close proximity of one another, we fell out of touch.

That is, until a few years ago when we reconnected through Facebook.  The upside of social media.

It has been over 25 years since we have seen one another.  Until today.

Karen & her husband Paul, own a beautiful piece of property, formerly a family farm where Paul’s father enjoyed the hobby of tapping a few trees on the land to make maple syrup.  Their son has inherited the love of the trade from his grandfather, expanding to now tapping over 2500 trees on the property.

Having recently taken down an old barn to build a new one, I was interested in purchasing some of the barn wood,  which is what led us to our visit after all of these years.

Within minutes of our arrival, I was reminded of the reasons we so quickly became friends all those years ago.  It was as if no time had passed, as we chatted away catching up on each other’s lives.

Karen & I today.

Karen & I today.

I think this is the beauty of true friendship.  Whether you are friends who see each other on a regular basis or friends who reconnect after 25 years, the ease with which you share one another’s company is a testament to the reason you became friends in the first place.

Loaded up with beautiful barn wood and a few litres of fresh maple syrup, as we departed with full hearts, we vowed to not let another 25 years pass before we meet again.   In fact, we hope to go back when the sap is running to help with the harvest of this years maple syrup.

The sugar shack where the magic of maple syrup happens.

The sugar shack where the magic of maple syrup happens.

The boys (Karen's son on the right) filling the shed beside the sugar shack with wood.

The boys (Karen’s son on the right) filling the shed beside the sugar shack with wood.

Turkey lunch for everyone!

Turkey lunch for everyone!

Thank you for such a fabulous day my dear friend.  How wonderful to have been able to reconnect after all of these years & still enjoy the pleasure of each others company.  The gift of good friends knows no time.



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31 Responses to The upside of social media

  1. Jane Passant says:

    I’m glad you had a wonderful day of catching up Lynn! Having reconnected with a few NZ friends after 30 years, I can relate to “the gift of good friends knows no time!”

    • Lynn says:

      Jane, you & I have discussed the value of true friendship many times over the years. I am so grateful to have so many near & far who remain a positive in my life. You are definitely among them gf💛

  2. Sue Slaght says:

    What a great story Lynn! There can be so many challenges with all of the technology we have but this type of connection is like gold. Hoping it is a new chapter if friendship for both of you!

  3. Ingrid says:

    Wonderful story. This past summer, I reconnected with my best friend from high school via social media. We hadn’t seen each other in 28 years. Even after 4 hours of non stop talking, we could’ve continued talking well into the wee hours. Yep, there is an upside to social media!

    • Lynn says:

      Ingrid, how wonderful that you reconnected with your best friend from high school. I laughed myself silly when I went looking for the early photos in this post. Often, we forget about all of those fun & silly moments from years gone by. It is in times of reconnecting with old friends that we recall all of the shenanigans of our youth!😘

  4. Ann Coleman says:

    I’m so glad you reconnected with Karen! I know lots of people have nothing but disdain for social media (and there are reasons for that), but it is a wonderful way to stay in touch with far-away friends and to reconnect with friends we haven’t seen for years.

    • Lynn says:

      You are right Ann. Like so many things, I think we need to be selective about how we use these forums. Although I understand someone’s reluctance to jump on the social media wagon, I have to say it had been a true positive for me.😉

  5. Karen says:

    I too have these friendships. So nice to reconnect. Lovely post Lynn. Xo

    • Lynn says:

      It sure is Karen. Technology today allows us a much easier way to reconnect but seeing one another in person was a gift. Good to hear you too, have experienced these kinds of friendships😉

  6. A truly touching story of friendship. There IS a positive side to Facebook. I’ve found childhood and high school friends and they’ve found me there. Some friendships were made to last forever. Wonderful to reconnect again. ❤ ❤ ❤

    • Lynn says:

      Thank you Tess. It is a wonderful way to reconnect & certainly my experience for the most part, has always been a positive one. Lovely to hear it has been for you as well my friend!

  7. Joanne Sisco says:

    Social media often does get a bad rap and there’s so much negativity wrapped into how it is used and misused. This however, is the other side and this story is clearly one of them!!

    It’s wonderful to discover when a friendship slips back on comfortably. They are the ones that you know are true keepers 🙂

    To change the subject though, are you going to be sharing some of your creative handiwork with the barn wood?

    • Lynn says:

      So true Joanne! I am not certain Karen & I would have found this opportunity, had it not been for reconnecting through social media. It was a lovely gift & we both agreed, we shall continue to stay in touch.

      I have many ideas for creations with the barn wood, including making a sign for the new barn Karen & her husband have now built. I promise I will share!

  8. George says:

    Loved this story, Lynn. You’re right about how real friendships stand the test of time even when you lose contact for so long. I’m so glad you had an opportunity to reconnect and share time together.
    Your chambermaid story was pretty funny and my guess is your Peyton place summer has several more potential posts😊

    • Lynn says:

      Thank you George! It was wonderful to reconnect & it was as if no time had passed between us. I think one of the best compliments I ever received was years ago from a friend who I don’t often see. She told me that one of things that she loved about reconnecting with me was that when she did, I never made her feel guilty about not calling or not seeing her. We would just pick up where we left off & carry on enjoying each others company as much as we always had. That has always stuck with me & I truly believe it is the foundation of solid & true friendship.

      As far as that Peyton place summer, I could honestly write a book of stories! So many funny memories & some that would make a parent shudder knowing the things that went on!

  9. I think many of us have that one childhood friend that no matter how much time passes and how long it’s been – it is easy to pick up where you left off. I have such a friend, who was my best friend from 3rd grade. We were roommates in college – which almost ruined our friendship – but we recovered from that and see each other once a year if we’re lucky. She is not on Facebook, so we mostly text and call – but it is very infrequent. Yet, the minute we get together, it’s like we just saw each other yesterday. So happy for you reconnecting with your friend.

  10. Jodi says:

    such a sweet story of friendship! love it Lynn!

  11. Deb Patrick says:

    How incredible that you found each other…and I love all the old pictures!! I smiled reading this, remembering a similar reunion with my life long bestie through LinkedIn after a similar-length absence…she had moved out of state, I had moved out of country, and I knew she had lost both a brother and a marriage in the journey. I remember feeling nervous about how it would go, sitting in a cafe in Peterborough where we were to meet her and her new husband for brunch. Would she recognize me? Would it be awkward? Within seconds of her coming in the door, it was a long teary hug and a fleeting instant falling back into great conversations. It was the best decision ever to try and make that re-connection. In a life where most of my past disappeared when I moved to get married…it was so wonderful to have a part of who I was before coming here back again…a part of me that was just mine alone. Someone who knew me as more than just someone else’s American wife! Thanks for reminding me of it with this wonderful story…xo

    • Lynn says:

      Deb, so lovely to hear from you & what a beautiful, personal story to add to this post. Although over the years, we certainly grow & change, the core of who we are remains true. How wonderful that you were able to reconnect with someone who clearly, was a significant person in your life. Thank you so much for contributing to this piece!

  12. What a great story Goldilocks. I think Facebook is great for keeping in touch with people that know who live a distance from you.Glad you reconnected. Louise

  13. Wonderful story. I’ve been reconnected with people from bygone years as well.

  14. Love this post. I had a similar experience of reconnecting recently with my best friend from high school in Johannesburg….some 35 years later, we met in Viet Nam for a two week reunion.Seems that good relationships from childhood are strong and secure no matter how many decades go by. Such an incredible experience to reconnect! Great read. Thanks for sharing…

    • Lynn says:

      How fun you were able to reconnect with your friend after so many years & in Vietnam! I do think there are people we meet in life who regardless of how much times passes, we seem to be able to just pick up & move on like no time has passed between us. Thank you so much for reading!

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