Not only are moves hard on family (see yesterday's blog), but they're a bit hard on friendships, too. And yet . . . I haven't lived by these two buddies since 1991. We jumped ship that summer, moving to Abilene. Not long after that, one of them moved to New Hampshire. The other musketeer has remained in Searcy. But distance hasn't separated us. So far there have been four weddings. This summer, the other two couples came down for Matt and Jenna's wedding. Afterward, the six of us got away for a couple days. There have been three other weddings: one in the Northeast (I think it was the NH side of the Connecticut River, but it could have been the VT side) and one in Arkansas (which I performed). We were all together for those two. The only time anyone missed a child's wedding so far--of the two remaining children, one is engaged and getting married this summer and the other is in 6th grade--was when Diane and I couldn't go to Searcy at the last minute. I was supposed to be performing the wedding; but I wound up preaching my nephew's funeral that day. Each year Los Tres Amigos meet for a few days in the Northeast. And we get together any other time it's possible. We've cheered teams together (we have differences, but we're united by a hatred for the Yankees); we've celebrated over our kids' accomplishments; we've wept over children's struggles together; we've watched each other age (and at times mature). When Megan died, I immediately called them. One of them is coming to Abilene in a couple weeks and will be speaking in Oasis. He's the best biblical scholar I've ever known -- or at least he's been the most clarifying and helpful to me. The other is my Arkansas doctor who has tended to my asthma, tested my heart, pulled a splinter out of my butt (don't ask), run five marathons by my side (now that is a full service cardiologist!), climbed Kilimanjaro with me, and calmed my hypochondriacal fears. What's the song? Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other's gold. Today I'm thankful for friends--old and new.