F&F ‘24 Ends with Gratitude in Maryland

That’s the Friends and Family Tour 2024, for any uninitiated readers out there.

I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants this week, in another hometown of sorts, near Frederick, Maryland, where I worked for ten years. Spending precious time with old friends, fitting in PT appointments, scrambling to take notes during important calls in the truck, running errands at places we’ve waited three years to return to. Everything bookended by that delicious time with old friends.

We’ve had eleven meet-ups this week. Eleven times when we’ve sat down with people we love. Multiple beers, multiple stories, laughter that feels like it’s been bottled up.

Always with a wet, green Maryland countryside flowing beside us as we drive from one connection to another. It’s been surreal to scramble in my seat in the truck, responding to texts and searching for meet-up places and trying to smooth out this packed calendar, all while spring shouts at us.

I’ve been buoyed by two particular conversations with people I’ve always admired. These pillars in my circle of friends have taken me aside and told me how they’ve gotten through rough times thanks in part to me. As in, turns out I’ve inspired the very people I look up to.

Is this one of those things that happens to you when you get older, that you could never anticipate as a young person? I feel very much like this period—in our travels, in my life, in my relationships—is changing shape right now, almost palpably. The shape is forming in front of me like something animated, stretching and contracting, so close to revealing something finally recognizable.

Thanks for coming along with me on this adventure so far. I’m grateful to have someone with whom I can share all this beauty. I’m grateful to be able to spend a little time some mornings to reflect here, even when the shape in front of me hasn’t exactly revealed itself yet.

11 thoughts to “F&F ‘24 Ends with Gratitude in Maryland”

  1. How wonderful. Both the life reflections and time spent with good friends. Not to mention the stunning scenery… who knew Maryland was so gorgeous!

  2. In my experience…yes, this is something that happens as you get older. Terrific post. Carry on.

  3. Lovely photos as usual. So you have an osprey there but what’s the bird with the red/orange wing?

      1. Oh wow… we only have golden oriole in Europe (assuming that’s not a golden?) but they are rare visitors to the UK. Great singers though

        1. Orioles are the mascot for a sports team in Maryland; they’re abundant there. I agree about the song!