I had a delightful evening yesterday with some old friends and some new at a newly formed (at least as far as I know) weekly Craft Night. I had a hole in a sock I'd knit and a new friend helped me fix it. I made good headway on the socks I have on the needles and just had an amazing time.
Growing up, I always had small groups of friends with very intense friendships. But in college, I didn't really meet a lot of new people because so many high school classmates continued on to U of O. Admittedly, I became friends with a different group of people, but we many of us knew each other before college. And since college, most of my friends have moved away, so I haven't really hung out with people on a regular basis in a few years. To be honest, I didn't really notice. Probably because it wasn't like everyone was getting together and I felt excluded; it's hard to have a dinner party with invitees from Astoria, Eugene, Portland, Boston, DC, Baltimore, LA and Japan. But hanging out with this group of women last night made me realize how much I miss the friends that have moved away and how nice it is to, well, meet new people and socially interact.
This week was hosted by a friend from high school (A.) who I hadn't seen in years and years before a birthday party a couple weeks ago. She hosted at her parents' house in SE and man, it felt like going home. Anyone who grew up in SE or NE Portland* (at least around the time that I did) knows what I mean: the house that feels familiar and welcoming from the first moment you cross the threshold because it's truly a home. That lived-in feeling, tons of family photos and artwork, warm light, the smell of delicious cooking... It's the kind of house I grew up in. A's parents were sooo nice! It was weird to feel like a kid again but entirely internally. And to evaluate an initial experience as though I were 16. All I can do is hope that when Pete and I are ready to have kids, we can create that kind of environment for them.
*I'm sure this happens everywhere, but the old Portland homes in inner SE and NE have a particular feel. I couldn't explain it if I tried - some mix of architecture, age and people.