What a great day it was. Jeri and I spent the day with some of our oldest and dearest friends. Certainly some of my oldest friends, and for Jeri, friends she has known since birth. The only reason Walt wasn't with us was because he was feeling sick, and decided to stay home and rest.
Jeri began the day visiting my mother. I opted not to go this time, and to give them some grandma- granddaughter time together. At about 12:15, I called Jeri to let her know I was ready to pick her up. We had a lunch date.
Jeri's godmother, Jeri, and her husband Phil (we still have yet to get Jeri & Phil in the same city with Jeri & Phil!) were passing through town and stopped for a visit. They live in a mobile home and you never know where they are going to be, so you want to catch them while you have the chance.
Jeri and I met each other at the Newman Center on the UC Berkeley campus and we quickly became good friends. She was in my wedding, I was in hers; she's godmother to my firstborn and I to hers (though her daughter is not named Beverly -- Harumph!) As with all of our special Pinata friends, we have weathered lots of good, lots of bad, and the love and support of all of our group sustains us in triumph and tragedy. Today it only had to sustain us through a Greek lunch in a freezing restaurant (the silverware was too cold to touch comfortably!) with the slowest waitress in town. But once we started catching up on who is where and how are the grandkids and who has done what to whom, we didn't mind the physical discomforts.
When it was time to say goodbye again, there had to be pictures, of course.
Phil is fairly new to the Pinata family. He and Jeri found each other after the death of each of their spouses and they have been married a couple of years now. It's so good to see my friend happy again, and to get to know this special man.
We stopped at Trader Joe's to get some goodies to take with us to the Bay Area. We were having dinner with the Blackfords. Jeri tries to hook up with Char & Mike's kids, or at least some of them, whenever she is here in town. It takes just a little over an hour to get there and we showed up around 4:30, with our Trader Joe goodies in tow. Gradually the house began to fill with familiar faces, and I loved looking at the groups gathered to visit. No matter whether we've seen each other yesterday or not for a year, it always feels like coming home whenever a group of us is able to get together.
Jenny's dog, Niki, took it all in stride.
While Char and I sat and chatted about books, people gradually began disappearing down the stairs. We eventually discovered there was a lively game of darts going on in the garage.
The game went on for a very long time, and when it was over, as they are so accustomed to doing, the kids obediently lined up for photos.
These girls (except for daughter Jamie) have been friends for all of their lives.
We haven't been friends for THAT long, but more than 50 years.
It was just a great evening, proving once again that sometimes ... many times ... maybe most times ... old friends really are the best.
(The only thing better is mothers and daughters!)