This past week I went camping with some good friends. Okay, I stayed in a motel at the campground while my friends roughed it in tent and travel trailers.

Over the course of the week, but especially at our departure, my heart filled with love and gratitude for my friends. It had been a few years since we all got together for more than a meal. Something about busyness and having kids seems to be an obstacle to time with friends.

So please stop reading this. Put down your screen and pick up your phone. Call your friend and set a date to get together.

If you don’t have a friend, make one. The art of friend-making and friend-keeping is a disappearing skill in culture. Take the awkward first step: introduce yourself and ask them to do something together (go to the park with kids, grab a coffee, come over for a bbq). Some people will click and others won’t. Don’t be discouraged if the first few don’t click. You’ll get better at friending with practice. Start with a neighbour, someone at church, a coworker or fellow parent in your kid’s class.

On a different note, I highly recommend stopping in Hedley, BC. It’s a super small town (25 mins East of Princeton, BC) with lots of fun people. Everyone knows each other. Have breakfast at the Nickel Plate Cafe, pick-up some beef jerky at Doug’s Homestead, then grab lunch or dinner at the Hitching Post. It’s scenic, there’s a great swimming hole at Bromley Rock, and hopefully the Mascot Mine tours open soon. They could use your patronage and you’ll be a better person for hanging out there.

So here’s to making and keeping good friends and supporting small towns.