It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet.... As Ichabod jogged slowly on his way, his eye... ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn. ~Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Visit With a Friend

I had to go down to the valley yesterday for an appointment with the foot doctor, so my friend "C" and I made a plan to have lunch after my appointment.
Another check up for my poor, old feet. The doctor gave me some more little sticky pads, told me to soak my feet every night in Epsom salts and hot water (like that's going to happen) and DIDN'T give me another pain relieving shot between the toes... Maybe in November. He said that I can only have three shots a years and we need to spread them out. OK! The first one, about six weeks ago, worked amazingly well so I'm good to go for a while.
I use to jog, play tennis and run an exercise course at the local Junior College when I was a bit younger.
My feet were "happy feet" then. That was almost 30 years ago.
Now, I do nothing quite like that. But, I hike around our property, garden and hold ladders for my husband.
I pull weeds on the hillside and trip over farm animals.
So far, I'm not a complete invalid. Not yet. The miracle of modern medicine is keeping my feet from giving up on me.  Cortisone and pain killers are good for now.
In a few years I will have to have another operation to have these Neuromas removed.
(So all you youngsters out there... Exercise but don't over do it.
Take care of your feet. Wear really good tennis shoes, running shoes, work boots and hope for some good foot DNA.)

Well, didn't mean to go off on a tangent. Sometimes it feels good to complain a bit. I contend that it's OK to complain once in a while. It releases endorphins (my theory) and lets go of pent up aggravations.

So, after my appointment, I drove over to my friend's house.
We just sat and talked. She showed me some old photos of relatives that she has found on Ancestry.com.
She is researching her family history. She's finding some amazing things.
We went to lunch and then returned to her place. I took some photos of her patio and her cat Max, ruler of his domain and alpha cat of the creatures that live in and around the lake.
These are shells that "C" has had ever since she lived in Mendocino, CA.
They are old and bleached from the sea.
They have memories.... from a little house in the Pygmy forest on Little River Rd....
Good memories of a old friend's beautiful home, a little red headed daughter and Queenie, their dog. I was her lucky friend that she shared her life with on many Autumn weekends.
Once with the Prospector, once with my youngest son, many times just by myself.
Across Black Point cutoff to Petaluma... Up highway 101 to Cloverdale and then West to Boonville and through the Navarro River Redwoods.
From highway 101 to Boonville the heat would be so intense and then, as I drove toward the ocean, I could feel the air change. Oh, the coolness, the fog and the fragrance of Eucalyptus. Then, the river would flow into the ocean and, turning north, I would drive the back road from Albion to the Little River Airport, east down Little River Rd. and into the forest of  dwarfed trees called The Pigmy.
A right, a left and straight on through a gate.
Oueenie would greet me and "C' would be waving me into a small parking space.

Do you know how I carry those memories with me, my friend?
It was the sanctuary that I needed  and a friend who always welcomed me with open arms.
No matter what was happening in your life... work, protesting a building in town, a failed septic system, a birthday party for your daughter, Victor's death, all the mad, love affairs of your life.
You always said yes... come.
I thank you for those wonderful long weekends.

We spent two years in high school together wanting to be Vogue models and trying to understand BOYS.  You were my bridesmaid at my wedding. You finished college.
We both married and went our separate ways, finding each other at a class reunion 30 years later.
Sometimes I think it was all meant to be.

Now, we sit and talk.
Two ladies who have grown older and, hopefully, wiser.
Talking about our gray hair and about the vanity of coloring over the gray or letting it show.
Talking about our mom and dads... and that confusing  place called childhood.
Now, we are comfortable with our lives.
Well, kind of.

I know that Max, your amazing and handsome cat...now, the most comfortable "man" in your life, was probably bored to tears with our talking, but he tolerated us until...

 At some point, he slowly shut his eyes.

It was a fine day.
Thank you for being my friend.
We are not, either of us, easy people.
Thank you for what we share.
We have a wonderful understanding.
It's a good friendship.
Max, you take good care of my friend.

 Max?
Max?

Wake up, Max....



6 comments:

jojo said...

beautiful post to a beautiful friendship. FYI...I was a red-headed daughter with a dog named Queenie...she was a cocker spaniel and I loved her dearly. I used to pull her around the yard in my red wagon...*sigh*

Heidi Ann said...

I loved reading about you and your dear friend. I really need to try and MAKE more time together happen with my dear friends, too.

Debora said...

Max is a handsome boy, love that last photo of him. Only cats (and old men) can be so audacious as to sleep when guests are present! Your friend sounds like a jewel.

Kerry O'Gorman said...

It's so important to let people know how you feel. What a bond you share and how lucky you are. And how lucky is "C" to have someone like you in her life...here's to memories.

Whosyergurl said...

Beautiful to have old friends as we get...old. I stopped to see an old friend the last time I was in my hometown. I could barely remember where her house was. When I walked in, she threw her arms around me and cried. That meant a lot.
xo, Cheryl

Chef E said...

Oh I love it, I get to be that close to a cat and not sneeze...great photo close up! If cats had portfolio's for the movies, this one would be called for sure :)