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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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longterm friendships

Interesting...Jeff just ran the stats on, and in June, I got about half the traffic that Inkspot was getting at its peak. Pretty bizarre, considering that most stuff on has only been around for a few months and Inkspot was almost six years old.

For those of you who haven't already seen it, here's the newspaper article in the Sunday Herald Sun (Australia) about my Lord of the Rings project. Many thanks to Julie for mailing it!

We booked our flights to Vancouver and Japan yesterday, all but one leg of the flight for one person booked on points. I also booked my flight to California on points yesterday. Jeff and I calculated that between now and October, we'll only be spending about ten days in Toronto. In addition to the trips mentioned above, we're also going away on trips with my sister and her family, with Reid and Luisa, the hiking trip with Alison and Jeff and Parki, cottage trips.

We're both pretty hyped about our trip to Japan; neither of us have ever been. I've been frantically listening to language tapes and reading language books to try to absorb as much as I can between now and August. :-) Last night, Jeff and I had dinner at Takesushi on Front Street. I've never been, but had heard Jeff and Bryan raving about it before. We had the chef's choice special, and it was amazing. There were about 7 or 8 courses (there may have been more; I lost count), each very small and exquisitely presented, and absolutely delicious. The waitstaff saw Jeff and me poring over our Japan books, and we got a lot of useful advice in terms of places to visit in and around Tokyo.

Anyway, Takesushi gets a big thumbs up from both of us, but because of the hefty prices, we'll probably only have dinner there on special occasions.

We also went to Toys'R'Us last night in preparation for the Waterfight Party at Reid and Luisa's place this weekend. Last time I attended, I was sorely underprepared. But no longer! We are now owners of a Super Soaker CPS 2700!! For those interested, here's an explanation of how these mega-waterguns work.

Many of the people in the photo at the top of this page will be attending the party. I came across the photo during my ongoing attempt to reorganize my office, and couldn't help but notice that despite the fact that this photo was taken about ten years ago, Jeff and I are still friends with many of the same crowd. Several of the people in this photo have posted in Blatherchat, including: Jeff Kesner ("jok"), Andy ("aiabx"), Michelle, Jeff, Reid, Luisa, and Kaarel. The guy with his arm around me is Kaarel (my brother-in-law). The guy at the far right is Andrew, whom I'm visiting in California this fall. The guy immediately to the right of my Jeff is our friend Scott Dixon, now a history professor at the University of Belfast, and who is coming to visit later this summer.

There is something highly comforting about longterm friendships. You've worked out most of the kinks and second-guessing so prevalent in new friendships (similar to romantic relationships, now that I think of it). You're each familiar with the other's weaknesses and idiosyncrasies but are willing to accept them. But most importantly, you know that even if you're not in frequent contact, there's someone out there you can rely on in times of trouble. This is not to say that shorter term friendships can't do the same, but again, it's similar to having a romantic relationship. There's a difference between a couple who have just met and are in the passionate whirlwind of blossoming romance, and a couple who have been together for twenty years.

Not sure why I'm getting all sentimental these days. Perhaps my time in Philadelphia has helped me better appreciate good friendships (not just those in the photo, of course) and the value of pursuing the same. And in answer to a poll question I posed a while back, I -do- think it's possible to be good friends with someone you don't see all that often, especially if there's a history behind the friendship, and a mutual desire to stay in contact, whether through getting together in person at least once in a while, phonecalls, e-mails.

I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on this topic, especially from those who said they thought it was possible to be close friends with someone they've never met.

Today's Blatherpic:

- Photo of a New Year's gathering at our place in Orangeville, about ten years ago. Ruth took the photo, which is why she's not in it. :-)

- Watergun we bought last night.

- Jeff and I with Sara and Annie at Andy's and Christine's bbq a while back.

- Parki's driver's license photo (below).

Feel free to suggest a daily poll question.

Today's Poll:

Are any of your close friendships at least ten years old?

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