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Monday, February 18, 2013

New Old Friends

img074_Sinikka,_Hilkka,_Sirpa,_&_Seija
Left to right: Sirpa, Sinikka, Seija (baby), and Hilkka

Shortly after I first started blogging, almost two and a half years ago, I wrote a post about my memories of family vacations in Canada during my growing-up years. On one of my last vacations there with my parents...I was 17 years old at the time...a friend from high school went with us.

A family from Finland had a cottage just across the narrow bay from the cottage that my folks rented on Desbarats Lake in Ontario. One day that summer, Connie and I walked around the end of the bay and over to the cottage of the Finns. We spent an enjoyable day getting acquainted with the four sisters: Sinikka, who was about 11 years old; Hilkka, approximately 9; Sirpa, about 7; and Seija, maybe 7 or 8 months.

IMG_02480_Linda_Connie_Sinikka_Hilkka_Sirpa
Linda and Connie, in back row, with Sinikka, Hilkka, and Sirpa

Connie and I thoroughly enjoyed that day with our new friends. The three older girls had fun trying to teach us a few Finnish phrases.

Anyway, when I wrote that post, I included the photo of the girls that appears at the top of this post. I very carefully omitted any mention of their last name, to protect their privacy. However, being relatively new to this whole blogging thing, it didn't occur to me to remove their last name from the photo's file name.

You're guessing where this is going, aren't you?

Last month, I received an email...from Sirpa. Apparently Hilkka had come across their picture on the internet when doing a search on their last name. Hilkka had called Sinikka to tell her. Since Sinikka lives in the boondocks and doesn't have internet access, she called Sirpa and asked Sirpa to investigate.

Since then, Sirpa and I have exchanged several emails. She and I are sisters in Christ, so we've had some wonderful "virtual" fellowship.

I wrote a letter to Sinikka and received a telephone call in response. What a wonderful treat that was. Sinikka and I had exchanged letters for awhile after our acquaintaince in 1962, but had lost contact with each other somewhere along the way. It was just a thrill to hear her voice again after all those years.

Hilkka and I have also exchanged a few emails.

Seija was so little back then that she couldn't be expected to have the same sense of renewed friendship that her sisters might have, but I'm hoping to hear from her, too.

I had never forgotten these little girls and had always regretted losing contact with Sinikka. So this virtual reunion with them has meant a lot to me. They are no longer the little girls of my memory. They are women with whom I can enjoy a sense of renewed friendship.

They are new old friends.
 

15 comments:

  1. What a great tale, I often think back at a few vacation acquaitances and wonder how their lives progressed.

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  2. that is really cool. what a small world this internet has made.

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  3. That is the glory of the internet, Linda. What a neat post. I'm so glad that you have caught up with your friends from Finland.

    As you know, we just returned home from Arkansas. Had a wonderful trip. Hope you two had a good week.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  4. What a treasure to discover new old friends. When I encounter acquaintances from the past they often ask me for money...which isn't something I have to spare.

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  5. Isn't it amazing how a simple omission has led to renewed friendships. God had a hand in this one.

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  6. Steve - Maybe your old vacation acquaintances will find you someday.

    Theresa - I should have made clear that these girls don't live in Finland...they live in Ontario, Canada. Still, the internet does make the world a little smaller.

    Betsy - I didn't make it very clear, but the girls actually live in Canada, rather than in Finland.

    Stephen - That may define the difference between acquaintances and friends. :)

    Ruth - Yes, I'm so glad that my error brought us all together again, and I do believe God had a hand in it. However, I did go back and remove their last name from the file name.

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  7. How very cool that your post and their sleuthing have reunited you with these girls. It must be so much fun catching up.

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    1. Hilary - I was so thrilled to hear from Sirpa. The fact that she shares my faith just enhances our newfound friendship. I'm still trying to get a handle on their families. They all have children and grandchildren whose names I'm trying to commit to memory. :)

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  8. That is so incredibly amazing, Linda! That they would find their photos online and be able to connect with you again is so wonderful. What an awesome world we live in, right? Divine intervention, I say. I'll bet you have just been beside yourself with excitement to hear from these long lost friends after all these years. Hugs!

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    1. Gail - It IS amazing, and I AM excited about the renewed friendship. And I do agree with you about the Divine intervention thing. I feel so blessed.

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  9. Great story Linda, and well-told. The net is an amazing tool for re-connecting with folks. I'm glad it happened for you.

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    1. Frank - The internet HAS made reconnection a lot easier. Getting in touch with these sisters, after fifty years, was a bonus I never considered when I started blogging.

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  10. What a great story Linda. Had it not been for the internet these little friends from long ago would have been only a fond memory...now you can catch up on where the Lord has taken all of you :)

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    1. Diane - It's really been fun getting reacquainted after all these years. We're able to relate on an entirely new level now than we were fifty years ago. :)

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  11. We never know what the future holds for us and I will never stop being surprised what can happen! :)

    What a touching story, Linda. Amplified by the fact that the girls have stayed so close to your heart after all those years.

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