Socializing in the world...

Happy St. Patrick's Day to those who celebrate!
Happy birthday, Richard!
The sunrise this morning, after several cloudy mornings.
Yesterday while lounging at the pool as the blazing sun finally peeked out through the dark billowy clouds, it dawned on us that our social life at Laru Beya has been more than we could have imagined.
Not only have we enjoyed the company of various guests coming and going on their one to two week vacations but we've had the pleasure of making new friends we hope to see again in the future.  After another great evening together on Friday night, we've delighted in our remarkable good fortune in making such fine friends.

In the future, living in various vacation homes throughout the world, we'll have less of an opportunity to make new friends.  In most cases, we'll be living in single family homes often in remote areas.

In the case of South Africa, we'll be a mile from the next closest house although many braai (South African barbecues) are planned frequently in Marloth and Kruger Parks, as well as safaris and night walks with guests staying in other houses and lodges.

Are we intimidated by the potential isolation?  We discussed this yesterday by the pool, after having been spoiled by living here and on our past two cruises, a virtual plethora of endless social interactions.

After all, both Tom and I are social butterflies, flitting about, seeking the sweet nectar of friendship, always a vital element in our lives both as individuals and as a couple. As with many of you, we have friends over a span of decades, from our youth, our work and our neighborhoods.

Many remain in our hearts as sorrowful losses, having left us and their loved ones, too soon for their time.  Others have moved away not staying in close touch, as often happens. Some experience life changes causing them to step back from close relationships, no matter how often we reach out. 

Hello, sunny morning at last!
And others...they become and remain a part of the foundation of our lives.  Time passing with nary a peep to suddenly appear filling the air with memories, love and laughter.  Ah, friendship.  A gift.  A treasure.

Isolated we will be, in Tuscany, Italy, in Kenya, in South Africa and on the island in Madeira, Portugal.  There will be no shared pool or communal dining rooms beckoning new friendships to blossom.  There will be no neighbors in close proximity, like us, visitors for a short time, borrowing their culture, their morays and a glimpse into their lifestyle. 

As we recall our two months in Scottsdale Arizona, from November 4, 2012 to January 1, 2013, in a lovely condo complex with snowbirds yet to arrive for their winter break, we made no new friends although we had an opportunity on several occasions to visit with three of Tom's sisters and two spouses, a mere 35 minutes drive. 

The weather in Scottsdale, too cool for the pool, we languished in walks, dining out and busying ourselves in our continuing endless planning for the future. We had a fabulous time, as we will again, however remote we may be.

Staying on our veranda to avoid gawking or disturbing, we took this photo of a wedding through the trees taking place next door.
Knowing that many of our friends and family members are sharing this experience with us brings great comfort.  Many of them stay in touch via Facebook, email and Skype. Recently, Tom received a Skype call with video while several of his retired Minnesota railroad friends met for their usual weekly breakfast.  It was almost as if he were there, sitting in the big booth, sipping hot cups of coffee with laughter and idle chatter ringing through the air.  Ah, friendship.

The fortunate part of it all, my best friend will always be at my side wherever we may be, nurturing, comforting, laughing, playing and reveling in the wonders of today and that which is yet to come tomorrow.  A gift.  A treasure.

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