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9 Years Ago This Month

January 9, 2006

We were five very different girls from very different backgrounds and parts of the country. We’d never met and were suddenly all living together in the same townhouse in Virgina. Jenna was from Georgia and personified the proper southern lady with matching shoes and purses and long flowing blond hair. Jessica was California chic who baked biscotti, looked at dessert cookbooks while eating breakfast, and raved about “Trader Joe’s,” which, at the time, I’d never heard of. Sara was from Mississippi and wrote stories and loved “sweet tea.” Marti from Montana was talkative, outgoing, and laid back. Then there was me. A house full of girls as different as we were should have had a lot more problems, but by the grace of God, we instead have wonderful memories and wonderful friendships.

It all started after college when I applied for an internship at Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), which I’d lobbied with in D.C. all through high school on home schooling issues. I applied for the June-December ’96 internship and was accepted. However, I was the only girl picked and due to the fact I didn’t have a car and someone would have to commute pick me up from a family’s house and take me to work, it fell through. All of the guys were going to be living in the townhouse HSLDA provided (which was in walking distance to the offices). I was told they were looking at having more girls the next internship and asked if I’d consider coming in January of 1997 instead. That was God’s sovereignty, because I’d have missed out on five of the best relationships of my life!

I can’t go into all the memories I have of that time, but I grew up so much the six months we were together. First of all, we learned so much those months taking Logic, Constitutional Law, writing 15 page papers, and giving speeches on those papers to a panel of three attorneys who then cross-examined us. And we had such fun! We traveled everywhere, taking trips to see every sight and museum imaginable in D.C. and Virginia. We tried tons of restaurants. A wonderful family adopted us and took us on their family trips and had us over for dinner, movies, and their famous “Game Night.” We laughed and cried. We had long talks and arguments on birth-control, music, election/predestination, careers, and guys.

Nine years went pretty quickly. We used to try to imagine where we’d be at this point in our lives. Some of us hoped to be married with kids. Some of us thought we’d have books published by now. Some of us thought we’d have gotten through law school. We thought independent Marti would be the last one to be married but she was the first. Now married to her graphic designer husband she has a little baby on the way and works in the marketing department for a health care company. Jessica just got back from a mission trip to Nicaragua and is now at home in California. Sara has two kids and married one of the legal assistants from HSLDA several years later, which is a story within itself. Jenna got married and has two children and moved to Florida with her husband. But we’re still connected, we’re still friends. Some more than others, but the connection is still there. When I get off of the phone with any one of these girls I’m so thankful I know them. I’m so thankful we met. I’m so thankful we’re still friends.

What friendships are you thankful for today?

11 Comments leave one →
  1. January 9, 2006 4:33 pm

    “Sara has two kids and married one of the legal assistants from HSLDA several years later, which is a story within itself.”

    In the order listed, it sounds as if the story is a lot more scandalous than it actually is. Serves me right, though, seeing how fiercely protective of my personal dignity I was then.

    That internship, as I’ve said before, was a turning point for me. You girls challenged me, loved me, made me think, and on occasion drove me up the wall. I hope I returned all the favors. πŸ™‚ Thanks for remembering. My life wouldn’t be as rich or deep without your friendship.

    — SJ (who still likes sweet tea)

  2. January 9, 2006 5:19 pm

    Wow, what friendships am I thankful for? There are so many…There is one friendship that has lasted the length of my entire life, literally. Lydia England and I were friends before we were even born. She would come play at my house before she went home after kindergarten. I am sure her mom just assumed she was with me! Our friendship has always been cyclical. Some years we were close, others we weren’t as close. I am so grateful that this year has found us yet again neighbors and friends!

  3. January 9, 2006 8:27 pm

    Great post! So good to hear your college experience was so meaningful and that your friendships have endured, to varying degrees anyway. I am in touch by Christmas cards with old roommates from Seton Hill, but most of my enduring friendships were forged in my childhood (Barb n KSand I still email 2-3x/week)and high school and early marriage. They are the Christian friends. My unbelieving friends and I parted ways eventually.

  4. January 9, 2006 8:27 pm

    Oh, and “sweet tea” is pronounced, “swate tay,” rott?

  5. January 10, 2006 8:44 am

    Oh, of course!

  6. mom permalink
    January 10, 2006 9:56 am

    Yours, and your siblings, of course! Enjoyed the trip back memory lane myself. The internship and your friendship with those ladies was and is a huge blessing to our family. mom

  7. January 10, 2006 2:53 pm

    Trader Joe’s! Woo-hoo! I love it. πŸ˜‰

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist. πŸ™‚

  8. January 10, 2006 8:27 pm

    great post danielle

  9. January 10, 2006 9:04 pm

    Great to see these pics of people I know! Did you know that Jenna and I were roommates for a while when she was on staff at HSLDA? Anyway…so yes, just to be clear, I was in the class a year after you and knew Kevin because he was a staffer while I was an intern (I was then hired on post-internship). Further, I was not actually in attendance at Jeremy Fisher’s wedding but was at the Hall’s Game Night when you all came to visit that weekend. I don’t remember the MPF picture, but then there was so much and that was so early in my time there. (I look a lot different now…but then you can see current pics of me on my blog, or maybe you already have.) Oh the stories we all have as X-Terns…he he he. Oh the stories we heard about YOUR class of interns. πŸ™‚

    I think this is a long enough comment!

  10. Jenna permalink
    January 14, 2006 7:37 am

    Hey Danielle, I concur wholeheartedly with your story, as I know the other girls do too! Nine years? It seems like only last year or so we were raiding the freezer for ice cream and pretzels together at 11 o’clock at night! What sweet memories. Thanks for the friendship fellow internettes!


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