I met Lori for lunch today. I know exactly how long we've been friends. She was pregnant when they in moved across the street from us, and Jake just celebrated his 21st birthday. I haven't seen Lori in two years - Jake tells me that it was November 2005 when they left - he joined us for lunch.
I always loved it when her parents came to visit - I'd come over and we'd play games for hours, share stories and laugh. Lori told me one day that when the boys went to college and the nest was empty, she and Joe were going to sell everything and take their boat, in a Bay Area berth, and sale around the world. And that's just what they did. Only when they got to Puerto Vallarta, they felt at home - for now she says. When the boys graduate, they'll think about it again. They have created a business out of day trips - Lori cooks and Joe sails. When I say that Lori cooks, all the years we would go to garage sales together, early in the morning with the boys and powdered sugar donuts - ugh - Lori would look for cook books. She loves to cook. She gave me a signed copy of the cookbook at that she ultimately wrote. Everyone knows that I don't cook, but my kids loved every recipe that I got from her. If it was good they'd ask, is this Lori's recipe??
Joe recently got his pilots license, they're looking at expanding into moving boats for other people. They're back now because Lori's good friend and ex-business partner is in a cancer center in California. Connie has never ever been able to kick the need for smokes. I know Connie and she's a young woman. Lori said the center has a gazebo area where the patients cluster to smoke. This hits home hard as my children's father was at the birthday last weekend. Only six months older than I, his health is failing dramatically from congestive heart failure, yet he would walk slowly to the driveway to have a cigarette. I can only say that I'm grateful it's not me.
I made them pose for me - Chrissie and Jake - our children. Jake apologized for not remembering Chrissie as his babysitter - he was a baby after all. We all used to walk up to the Reno Great Balloon Race, an event that happened to be right behind our homes. I took bagels and cream cheese, Lori took some kind of baked exotic casserole. Her friendship is one of my life jewels. I told her the boat thing is a problem for my floor loom - good thing she doesn't want to weave.
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