I went camping this weekend which is not that big of a deal, but I went with my two oldest friends and that is huge. If you know my past you are aware that I have moved a lot and to many different places. Growing up I moved 6 times halfway through 8th grade. Needless to say I met lots of people and had to make friends quickly. Most of those people disappeared from my life once I moved, but two have become permanent.
When I was in 2nd grade we moved to Meridian, MS, again. It was the city I was born in, but we moved away and then came back. I had Ms. Kite as my teacher at Popular Springs Elementary School and one kid in my class was Jeff Machamer. He had also just moved to Meridian, but from up north. He had a twin brother named Greg and we all became great friends through the end of 4th grade. This is the point where I moved again to Huntsville, AL, and had to make new friends again. My parents were good friends with Jeff and Greg’s parents and we tried to stay in touch. They did their best and we slowly drifted apart and I did not see Jeff or Greg for a very long time. Then I moved to Auburn in the fall of 1996 and started at the university as a student. Classes hadn’t even started and I went to a football game with a couple of friends and I was sitting one row up from Greg Machamer. We said hello, talked for a while, I found out him and his brother were attending Auburn and we rekindled our friendship. The next year we all got an apartment together. We did our things in Auburn, moved from there and continued on with life. I choose to move to NYC, Austin, and then finally back to B’ham. We had all kept in touch over the years, but now Greg and I live in B’ham and Jeff lives about and 1 1/2 hours away in Huntsville, AL. The crew is back together again, kind of.
We all have kids now and just went on our second annual camping trip with the crew. It amazes me everyday that I still have these two as my friends. Knowing me, you are aware that I am not the easiest person to have around all the time and to be able to put up with me you must have a very thick skin. These two fit the bill and put up with all my nonsense and I am thankful everyday. Sitting around the campfire drinking beer listening to the Auburn game after the kids had gone to sleep was a really great night. We talked and I realized that these two were my oldest friends and I was happy to have them. We may not be the coolest group of people but we have been with each other so long and known each other for so long we are truly friends. Even talking about how we are going to keep hanging out and when I kids are grown and they will wonder how we are still friends. I will just look at them and tell them that Jeff and Greg are two of the most patient and great people I have ever known and it is all their fault for keeping me around.