A good friend of 14 years leaves town this week, moving to College Station. We've been through so much together: the births of our youngest kids, Megan's death, his divorce. And then we stood vigil side-by-side in pedi-ICU at Cook's, praying that our sons would be all right after the wreck. We've had hundreds of meals and thousands of laughs--along with not-a-few bad times, as well. It's the nature of life in Abilene and probably everywhere. You don't lose the friends, exactly; but they're not right there. Still, as I think of those who've left, I'm thankful for e-mail, phone calls, and visits to Abilene buddies who've moved to Malibu, Baton Rouge, Arkansas, Dallas, Houston, North Carolina, Seattle, and many other places. It must be how our closest friends in Searcy felt when we left. Only with a couple of those families have we maintained really close connections, though we still feel great love for many others. It is the nature of our mobile society, isn't it? Children marry and move. Friends lose jobs, change jobs, remarry, or pursue further education. "Make new friends but keep the others." How true.