New Home, New Friends
by Laura Smucker

"Ronnie," said Dad one morning, "Mom and I want to ask you something. How would you feel if we decided to move?"

Ronnie's mouth dropped open. "Move? Why? I don't think I want to move!"

"I thought you might say that, Ronnie, but Mom and I feel that God wants me to accept a teaching position in a new school in Colorado."

"Where's Colorado?" he asked.

"Dad got up, went to his office, and returned with a map. "Here is where we live in Pennsylvania and here is where we would be going." Dad traced the route with his finger.

"Wow," exclaimed Ronnie, "that must be about one million miles."

Dad laughed. "Well, not quite. But is a long way. It will take us almost one week to get there."

Ronnie thought about his friends. He did not want to leave them. He liked it here in Pennsylvania. He would never be happy anywhere else. "Dad..." Ronnie's voice trailed off.

"Yes, Son, what is it?"

"What about my friends? I don't want to leave them. And we can't take them along. I won't have anyone to play with there."

"Yes, we will all be leaving our friends that we have known all our lives. We will need to make new friends. You may write letters to your friends here. They would be glad to write to you, too, I am sure."

The next weeks were busy with packing. Every day the pile of boxes grew bigger. The rooms were getting emptier. "Mom," Ronnie said as he helped his mother put his toys and clothes in the boxes, "this makes me feel sad."

"I know, Dear," Mom said, giving Ronnie a quick hug, "it's hard, isn't it?"

One morning, late in the summer, Ronnie awoke to the sound of rumbling below. He jumped out of bed, ran across the the room, and looked out of the window. A big truck was backing up to their house. "That's right," Ronnie said to himself, "Today is moving day. Today we leave for Colorado."

Soon everything was out of the house and stacked on the truck. Ronnie walked though his house. It seemed so empty. A tear trickled down his cheek. As he walked outside to find his parents, there were all his friends, waiting to tell him goodbye.

"Good-bye, Ronnie, we will miss you," they all said. Ronnie waved to them, and then he and his parents climbed into their car and drove away.

They drove all day. Ronnie was fascinated by the changing scenery as he looked out the window. But soon he grew tired of riding in the car. "How soon will we be there?" he asked.

Dad chuckled. "Not for a few days yet. We will be stopping at a motel for the night very soon." Ronnie had never stayed at a motel. "This is going to be fun," he thought to himself.

Every day brought them a little closer to Colorado. And then one morning, Dad said, "Well, today we should get to our new home."

Ronnie heart beat faster. "I wonder if there will be any boys my own age." He clasped his hands in his lap. He felt a little scared. He looked out the window. They were turning into a driveway.

"There she is!" Dad announced. Ronnie saw a big white house with a red barn behind it. Ronnie saw their truck and a lot of cars were parked in their driveway. Ronnie waited in the car while his Dad got out and introduced himself. He wished he could just melt out of sight. These people were strangers.

He saw a boy coming toward his window. "Hi, my name is Michael," said the strange boy, "what's yours?"

"My name is Ronnie," said Ronnie shyly, "How old are you?"

"I am seven," replied Michael.

Ronnie grinned. "We are the same age. I hope we can be friends. I left all my friends in Pennsylvania, so I will need to make some new ones."

"Let's go explore your new barn. It looks like it would be a fine place to play," Michael said. So off they went and spent the rest of the afternoon exploring. They found a nest of kittens in the haymow. "Look," Michael exclaimed, "Kittens!! Oh, do you think that I could have one of these. I have always wanted a kitten."

"I'm sure you can," Ronnie replied. "My Dad isn't really fonds of kittens anyway." By evening the boys knew each other quite well.

That night after every thing was unloaded, Ronnie went upstairs and found his old bed in his new bedroom. "You know," he said happily, as he looked around the room. "Maybe moving isn't so bad after all. I might even learn to like it here. This bedroom is really nice."

"I am glad to hear you say that," said Dad coming into the room. "Did you enjoy learning to know that new boy?"

"Yes! Michael is going to be a great friend. I even let him take a kitten that we found in the barn."

"Fine, fine. And I'm glad you found a friend. The Bible says, 'He who has friends, must show himself friendly.'" Dad replied.

Ronnie yawned. "I guess tomorrow I should write my friends back home and tell them that I am going to make a lot of new friends here," and rolling over, he drifted off to sleep.

Special thanks to John and Laura Smucker for providing this article!

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