My longest-standing friendship has been with my dear friend Matt. He started off as my travel soccer coach and school gym teacher in fourth grade, I believe, and has stayed in my life ever since. He quickly became my mentor and good friend on and off of the soccer field, baking cookies with me, visiting me while I stayed after school with my teaching parents, and taking a genuine interest in my life.
When I learned he was leaving our school prior to my eighth grade year, I remember having a massive lump in my throat. Life wasn't going to be the same and it really wasn't. But that didn't stop our communication. We started writing lengthy emails back and forth, since that was about the time when I got my own email address. Occasionally he'd call me on the phone and ask about my life and share his own. A couple times a year he would venture out our way for a short visit, but it wasn't until I got my license that we met a few times for a hike or rock climbing.
In every conversation, Matt was real. He shared about the joys in his life, but he also shared his frustrations and struggles. His compassion and authentic outlook really had an impact on me. Anyone who knows him can attest to the fact that he just exudes enthusiasm.
While we may not email as often or talk on the phone very frequently, Matt has continued to pursue a friendship with me to this day. I am forever grateful and honored to call him my friend.
When he called to tell me he would be passing through with his family and wanted to come for a visit, I was ecstatic! In recent years we've had an afternoon visit once a year, if that. But this would be for a longer duration and I could spend more time with his wonderful family!
Matt, Kristin, and Lev arrived for two nights a couple of weeks ago. It was great to have them around and to get to know his family better! Lev was born a few weeks before we got married, so I'll always know how old he is! (That's four, by the way.) He is adorable and really takes after his dad.
First we went to The Cascades which, as you know, is our favorite hike in the area. The drive there was sunny, the hike up and down drenched us in rain, and then the drive home was sunny again. Fortunately, Matt & Kristin are two of the most positive people in this world and enjoyed it anyway!
But the climax of our trip was going to Floyd, VA. We had a delicious pizza dinner before heading over to the Floyd Country Store for some flat-footing. Lev immediately wanted to get out on the floor and Matt obliged him. They didn't stop dancing all night! It was so much fun to see them enjoying themselves on the dance floor.
My sister, Phoebe, came into town around the same time and definitely didn't want to miss a night of flat-footing! Here she is with her square-dancing partner, having a grand ol' time.
The woman on the left below is always at the Friday Night Jamboree and she was quite keen on dancing with Lev.
But who can resist dancing with this little fellow, really? Not this pregnant lady!
And it must run in the family because Phoebe couldn't resist him either.
Thank you for stopping through, Matt!
Before they left, we all went to the Blacksburg Farmer's Market together. Jim, who was on night shifts during this time, also joined us for a morning at the market. I'm so grateful for the friendship of this family. We look forward to more hiking, dancing, and enjoying time together in the future!
Until next time :)