"In every walk with nature one receives more than he seeks."
John Muir

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Old Friends in New Places

Northern California's coastline was green and lush,
the vineyards neat and pretty.
We turned left and headed east through Sacramento.
We had followed the news of Texas' severe drought throughout the summer
weeks and tried to avoid any landscapes that reminded us of deserts.
But, shock that it was, we hit Sacramento and the green vistas ended.
Like a line drawn on the ground.
We were in the desert.
It was flat, brown and dry.
And HOT! whew! We weren't in Alaska anymore, Toto.

No longer staring in wonder at the scenes outside the car windows,
I grew rather bored and restless.
Then Nevada's border approached and the elevations changed.

During a cell phone call with Kathleen, we were reminded that
a couple of "old" friends lived in Reno and Lake Tahoe.
Not old in years, by any means. These were friends of our children.
We had known them for many years while they all grew up together.
They visited our home often and we loved them.
What joy when we connected (at the last minute) with Amy and she took the afternoon off
from her job so we could sit under an umbrella at Jamba Juice and catch up.
The sun was intense and unfamiliar to us. But, in the mountains just behind us, the ones Amy crosses every day from her home in Lake Tahoe to her job in Reno, they were expecting snow within the next few days. She and her husband ski all the time and his goal is to ski year round.
As a girl, Amy's energy, enthusiasm and loud giggle kept us all laughing.
We were thrilled to learn none of that had changed.
When we pulled out of parking lot late in the afternoon, we were
refreshed by her presence and our discussion of years and people from
the North Country in upstate New York.
Proms, high school musicals, sports, teachers, classmates, families.
Though none of us live there anymore, our roots go deep and we recognized the
bond of the familiar. Friendships that cross generations are the sweetest!
It was like going back in time 15-20 years and not skipping a beat.
Thanks, Amy, for sharing your afternoon with us-it meant so much!
Your energy spread over us like fairy dust and we drove on with new stamina.

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