In the years I’ve been on social media (GEnie, Compuserve, AOL, MySpace, Facebook), I’ve met incredible new friends while rediscovering old friends and family relationships. I can look back over these years and honestly say that those connections have been amazing.
Some of the most surprising things have come from people I knew years ago and never expected to encounter again. High school classmates who moved far from home, college friends I only knew for a year or two (I transferred in and out a couple of times), and people from churches my father served over the decades.
One fun surprise arrived a couple of months ago when I had a message request on Facebook from a woman I didn’t remember at all. How could I? The story of our encounter happened when I was still much too young to create a strong memory. But the story we shared I knew very well … my mother loved telling it to me.
Mom loved animals and living in small-town Iowa in the early sixties gave her the perfect opportunity to have some fun. I have no idea how she talked Dad into it, but she got a goat and named it Rachel. She loved Rachel … a lot. Then I was born. For the first couple of years, things were just fine. Rachel didn’t pay much attention to me. When I started to walk though, things changed. Rachel recognized me as a competitor for Mom’s affection. Doing what goats do, she used her head to butt me around the yard. My little baby / toddler legs couldn’t hold up to that and I generally ended up on my diaper-clad bottom. Then Rachel discovered I screamed louder when she’d butt me down the back steps of the house. That got a lot of attention from the adults.
The day came when Mom was told she needed to make a choice. The goat … or her daughter. Mom would always stop at this point in the story and make sure I understood just what a difficult decision she was being asked to make. Then she’d draw it out and tell me that she finally realized that I couldn’t live without a mother, so she chose me and found a new home for Rachel.
That fun story has always been part of my life.
Last November, I received a message request from a woman asking if I was the daughter of Reverend Greenwood who lived in Bussey. She’d seen me show up on the page of another woman who lived there during the same time. I assured her that yes, that was me.
Her mother was the custodian of the church while Dad was there and this woman remembered her coming home from work one day with a female goat – a gift from the minister! It seemed that the goat liked to butt his young daughter down the tall concrete steps. The goat arrived with a small house Dad had built for it and spent a lot of time standing on top of it. Rachel ate everything – plastic from the neighbor’s windows, the cardboard lining their outhouse, everything, but the goat lived with them from then on. She shared a picture of Rachel as a much older goat.
A story from my childhood that had lived as one small bit of history was suddenly combined with a small bit of history from someone else and the story had new legs. Now I know where Rachel went and that she was loved and cared for by another family. Our paths crossed for just a moment in time and fifty-five years later we discovered how much fun it was to share that moment.
There are so many wonderful stories of connections made. I’m grateful every day to be able to communicate with friends, new and old. What fun!
Do you have a fun re-connection story?
1. The newsletter comes out on the 25th – Thursday. Make sure you’ve signed up. There are a couple of fun things I get to share with you this month! As always, there will also be a short vignette featuring someone from Bellingwood.
2. Don’t forget. The Shop Now button on the Facebook Bellingwood page will take you to the book list here on the website. That list is THE list for every book and short story in the series. Anything else has the potential to be … well … wrong. Trust no one. Except for that list.
3. Book 21 is well underway. Publication date is March 25.