"Childhood is a short season."
Can you believe that my Grandpa Ken (center with the white hat on) is 13-yrs,-old in this picture? I can't. Maybe it's the overalls! I found this picture this morning and discovered a story, or the beginnings of one, scribbled on the back by one of my father's relatives.
It's dated 1919, Olalla, Washington. The kids' first and last names were written down, so I decided to have a little fun and see if I could find them in Ancestry.com.
Of course they were there! They were neighbors of my Grandpa Ken, on the 1910 census. So for at least nine years, those years we all refer to as our childhood, these guys (and gal) were buddies.
In nine years, from the date of the 1910 census 'til the timestamp of the photo, more children were born to all three families. Agnes, Grandpa Ken's mom, remarried. Those years, I'm sure, were etched on their hearts as the best time of their lives. Days packed with schoolwork, and chores around the house and the farm. Lazy Saturdays where they'd hang out and commiserate about their lots in life. At least that's what my friends and I did. And I'm incredibly grateful that my parents were busy being adults a lot of the time so that my friendships had the time and space to grow. I treasure my friends and the memories I have with them.
I'm moved today by the thought of how quickly time passes. And how children need to feel loved. I'm so grateful for my childhood friends. What a gift it is to have people to talk to, to laugh with, and to help you pick berries!
Family history is more than family. It's life and everything and everyone in it that adds color, texture, and dimension to one's soul. Most of our time is spent with our friends.
Did Ken and his friends keep in touch? I don't know. I sent a message and a promise to Ralph and Carl Culver's relative on Ancestry.com. A promise of a photo. A moment in time. Sometimes family history research gives you opportunities to make friends who are connected because of their ancestors, not by blood but by curiosity!
"Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same."
I hope we all take the time to reflect on friendships past and present and maybe even take a minute to drop a line to say, "Hi! Remember when...?"
- How do you keep in touch with your friends (past and/or present)?