A couple of weeks ago one of my very best friends brought his family to visit for lunch.  Steve and I go a long way back. We met in our first year physics lab at Queens, puzzled over the labs together, shared brews, mountain bike rides and some very late night study sessions trying our best to survive Engineering.  We made it, graduated and then went our separate ways as so often happens with Uni friends.  We would get together when I would be back in Ontario visitng my family from time to time.  Its always been one of those really easy relationships.  Easy to fall out of touch, but just as easy to get back in touch.  No expectations and no hard feelings.  Everytime we get together it’s like we’ve been communicating daily every since we finished school.  You know, when you can just pick up a conversation or a joke and carry on without any of the awkward reminiscing about the “old days” because you have nothing else in common anymore.

A few years back Steve mentioned that he had met this incredible woman while on a business trip when he was working for a robotics company.  Fast forward a little bit and the next thing we knew Steve and Nue were heading to Thailand for wedding.  “We are SO there” was our immediate response…. Anyway, perhaps we’ll talk about that experience another day because I could go on about it for hours.

I talk a lot about how important our family is to us and how great it is to be back close to them.  Another benefit is being close to some of our closest friends.  We met Steve and Nue’s two fabulous little girls Matina and Aleena earlier this summer and now these two little darlings have already stolen our hearts.  Matina is painfully shy, but once that shell cracks, there is no stopping her.  And the stories that she told me as we explored the edge of the forest around our home were some of those wonderfully intricate fantasies that come so easily to children.  It is such a great gift to receive that trust, especially from someone so shy.

After lunch Steve and I took Matina to explore some of the Simcoe County forest and the Barrie to Orillia hiking trail that crosses through our neighbourhood.  Grabbing my camera on my way out the door I thought, just maybe we’ll get a chance to create some photographs…..  Well, regardless of how the images turned out, introducing Matina to wild blackberries was certainly the highlight of the walk for me!