I just got home from a great afternoon and evening with none other than Aaron Blight!  Aaron and I were great friends when we were 12-13, then I moved to Egypt for 3 years and a year after I moved, he moved to Virginia.  We kept in touch over letters for the next few years.  I traveled back East in the summer of 1988, after graduation.  Aaron met me in Washington DC and we kicked it around town.  The last time we saw each other was 1992 when he and his wife came down to BYU.  We lost track of each other for a few years then – I think it was him – he found me on Hotmail and we kept in touch sporadically over the last 7 years.  He was coming to Seattle on business (he now lives in Maryland with his wife and four kids).  I picked him up at the airport and we made our way through traffic then grabbed an early dinner at TGIF’s (I’m on after work hunger mode and he was on East Coast time, so it worked out well for both of us at 4 pm!).  Our next goal was to visit the old ‘hood.  We grew up in different areas of Finn Hill so it was fun to do.  We drove through Totem Lake and then up Albertson’s hill.  He wanted to see the Monaco’s house and when I told him they still lived there, his eyes got wide and Yup, we went to say hello!  They remembered him, so that was cool.  I mean, it’s been 23 years since he lived here!  They last knew him as a 14-year-old!  When we got to his old hill (139th), Aaron decided it really was as big as he remembered it as a boy!  His old house still had the same landscaped yard, grass that he had put down with his dad and a tree that had grown, oh a Lot.  The house was a different color.  He wanted to see the backyard, so we knocked on the door and the owners let us in to see the remodeled look and also the backyard.  It was really cool for Aaron to see his old stomping grounds.  It was neat for me as well – I was glad I could experience it with him.  We drove by Finn Hill Junior High, which looked exactly the same.  We were trying to figure out why we didn’t hang out in school, only church.  My best memories of Aaron are talking on the phone on the weekends, especially while we both watched Matt Houston.  We loved that show!  We talked for hours and our parents eventually had to kick us off the phone.  I don’t remember doing much socially with Aaron, but after we lived apart, we wrote countless letters to each other about our life and experiences as teenagers, then young adults and now full grown adults.  We talked a lot about how we remembered each other as the kids that we were.  It is great (and different) to see him as a grown man!  He’s got four beautiful and wonderful children (I’m sure he left out the nitty gritty when telling me about them) and a supportive and great friend for a wife.  I have never met her but have heard about her from day one.

I was buzzing with excitement after I dropped Aaron off at his hotel in Seattle.  I mean, how often can you reconnect with someone after all these years and still have 6 hours worth of conversation and questions and life to share?  I find that pretty amazing.  Aaron has always brought out the Thinker in me and I appreciate that that part of our friendship hasn’t changed!  Hopefully, I do the same for him.   I guess that is one of the reasons we have been friends – we are on that mental level!  Aaron is also ranked as one of those friends that I will always be true friends with.  If we go another few years with limited contact and one day one or the other of us reaches out, it’ll be like it’s always been — Real, and like no time has passed.  That is huge in my book!  For me, there is always an added bonus for someone who “knew me when”.  I guess it’s because I feel I am sooooooo very different (as I should be!) from my teenage years.  I told Aaron to dig around and find those letters I wrote — they should make for interesting reading and perhaps a book!

All in all, a great evening and a wonderful walk down memory lane!  Friendship is an amazing thing!

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