Monday, May 2, 2011

Visit with an Old Friend and Valley Forge

As a teenager, Tammy was one of those cool girls I had long admired from a far-flung ward in my home stake (Anoka).  We got to know each other when we ended up hosting her and some other YW from her ward overnight for a stake activity (that may or may not have included some Dad sanctioned toilet papering escapades). She was friendly and fun and I enjoyed interacting with her at subsequent stake events.   

After high school we both went our separate ways....Tammy to Ricks and me to BYU.  Then a couple years later, I had arranged to live in Alta Apartments with some friends from my freshman year and we had one final space still open in our apartment.  We didn't know anyone else who needed a place, so we left it up to management to fill the last slot.   Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be my long-lost friend from back home...Tammy!  She had just transferred to BYU and somehow ended up in our apartment.  We were only roomies for a semester, since she was already engaged to her sweetheart by the time we lived together, but it was a fun semester reconnecting with her and getting to know her even better. 

Over the years we've kept up with each other via the wonderful tradition of once-yearly Christmas cards.   Through Christmas cards (and more recently Facebook) I discovered that Tammy and her family had recently relocated to the Philadelphia area.  So it was that when we started planning our recent weekend trip, that I made sure that we carved out a little time to meet with her and her cute family! 

Now it is a well-known fact that I bring my camera with me just about everywhere---usually lugged over my shoulder like a purse.  Too bad, with all the lugging that I do,  that I tend to forget to take pictures when it matters most.  For instance, when family comes to town.  I take it with me everywhere and rarely use it.  Part of me doesn't want to subject others to the same paparazzi style picture taking that I subject my own family to and the other part of me just plain forgets in the hubbub of being social. 

And that is also exactly what happened during my visit with Tammy.   I made sure that my camera was right by my side, so I could snap pictures of our teens being social with each other at one table and our little ones being social at the other table, but unfortunately, right by my side, is exactly where my camera stayed during the entire visit until right at the very end. 

Here she is with her sweet little Olivia right as we were walking out the door.... 

And this is us as we're already out the door and our families are waiting for us (nine kids between the two of us).  It was great to catch up with her  and even better to find her healthy, happy, and with a beautiful family! 

After our lunch visit, we went off, with a borrowed audio tour CD,  for a driving tour of Valley Forge which happened to be very near Tammy's home...

It was very similar to Gettysburg tours we'd taken, where you start off at a visitors' center, then drive around while listening to a CD explaining the sites as you go...

We were totally in love with the picturesqueness of the area, like this quaint covered bridge and the stunning hills and trees.

We also very much enjoyed learning more about the experiences George Washington and his army faced while camping there, in Valley Forge. It really reiterated to me  that the formation of our country was nothing other than an inspired event.  There is no other way to explain the overwhelming odds our little untrained and underpaid American army  overcame in defeating the British.  Despite the ugliness of modern-day politics, it helped remind me how truly blessed we are to live in a land based on the principles of freedom and liberty. 

Sorry, but all this philosophizing is making me want to break out into song...




Charlene said...

That is on our list of day trips to take!! Thanks for the pictures so I can actually see what to look forward too!!

Did I know this Tammy when I moved to the Anoka area?

annalisa said...

That's cool that you got to visit your friend! I don't think I ever knew her, but of course I am a few years younger than you ;)

Valley Forge looks beautiful! I agree God Bless America!

Steve-Rosanna said...

Nothing better than connecting or rather re-connecting with old friends. Especially old friends with shared memories. I had totally forgotten that Tammy was your roomie at BYU. The youth from St. Cloud were always the coolest.

Fearing that the statute of limitations may not yet be passed, I can neither confirm nor deny about the sanctioning of any of your toilet papering activities.

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