Friday, November 21, 2014

Those golden old friends

Make new friends, but keep the old
Those are silver, these are gold.
I was fortunate enough tonight to have supper with a friend of forty-plus years--our oldest children are both forty-five, and we were friends when they are barely above toddlers, maybe before. In fact, I think I first met her before we had children. One of my favorite stories that Linda remembers is that my second child, as a very young girl, would rush to Linda's make-up table whenever we went to their house because apparently I was deficient in the area of make-up. Probably still am.
We've seem each other through death, divorce, children's weddings, as well as all the joys that pop up on life's journey. We've shared a lot, laughed a lot--and tried together to write memoirs. Both of us have great stories to tell, and Linda is a talented writer. I keep encouraging her to write down daily occurrences--in a class I taught she dealt gracefully with the death of her brother, her memories of her father, her childhood, and other closely held secrets. She was open and frank about her feelings on life, and I always found her writing a breath of fresh air.
When I was teaching the memoir class, Linda always came for supper beforehand, and I've learned to love to cook for her, learned her tastes. Well, there was the one disastrous night when I planned egg salad and smoked salmon sandwiches (do you know what a wonderful combination that is?) and she said she really didn't eat egg dishes. She remembers being forced to eat eggs at breakfast.
But I do remember, too, that she's not a big meat eater but she loves pasta and anchovies--so tonight we had a pasta dish with anchovies, oregano, garlic (heavy on the garlic) and egg yolks. Sort of an aveglemono. (Hmm, wonder if my daughter, traveling in Italy right now, has tried that?) In this dish the egg softened the anchovy and made a wonderful silky sauce. You couldn't really taste the anchovy--instead you got a great, earthy flavor. When we both went back for small second portions, the anchovy was more prominent. Salad and bread, and that's all it takes for a good meal.
Yes, we talked about life's weighty problems--she, like me, was most impressed with the President's talk last night and so sad that the butchering began immediately after. We talked about her mom, who has Alzheimer's and who has always been a favorite of mine, and her step-dad who has really suddenly become a good caregiver. Because she's a kind, caring person, she's making sure that the stepfather is included in her Thanksgiving plans. We laughed at Jacob who was here when she first came--in fact, she came early just so she could see him. When he was about three, he walked her across the street to the school and said, confidently, "This is where I'm going to school." He was right.
It's wonderful to have a friend who almost knows what you're going to say before you say it, and whose thoughts, concerns, joys and sorrows are shared. Thanks Linda, for a  pleasant evening and for a lot of good years of sharing over a long journey.

No comments: