Very good friends of mine had their first child a week ago Monday. A little baby girl named Katherine.

I haven't seen either of them since last September. They were married two weeks before my wife and I were, which made for some stressed travel plans. I've known them for years, and they are very dear to me. They were my family when I was lost in the wilderness, my sages when I was wallowing through the muck, and my home when I didn't have one. One of my regrets about moving out here was that I wouldn't be able to see them nearly as often as I would like.

I made a call to Ithaca last night to see how things are going. He sounded very tired. I suppose I would feel that way too after working a 60-hour workweek and having a nine-day-old daughter. My wife and I are going to stop in and see them this weekend as part of our larger trip to New York.

I stayed up late last night, staring at the ceiling and pondering the world of changes. Even though I've been away from the hills for a little over a year, so much is different. Marriages and children and real jobs and real responsibility sprung from places never before seen. I admit that I've done the same thing too, but it's much more shocking to see it in the stop motion trickles of information I receive. I guess that we're all growing up for a change, instead of constantly trying to set our lives on fire.

It's a change that I can appreciate, but doesn't make it any easier to wrap my head around.