A couple of days ago, I wrote about my old "friends," the kitchen equipment I've been using for nearly 50 years. Today I write about old friends (without quotes).
The people in the Pinata Group are our oldest friends, the ones who have been in our lives for more than 50 years. Several months ago, I pointed out to Char that we weren't getting any younger and that we should make a greater effort to get together more often. We have our cruises, but other than that we don't see each other month. Of course, the miles between us (it takes an hour to get from one house to the other) kind of works against that, but we decided we would make the effort, because we enjoy each other's company.
So a few months back, Char drove up in this direction and we met at the Nut Tree strip mall and had a lovely lunch at Fenton's Ice Creamery, an import from Oakland, and a place where we had eaten together in the old days.
It was fun and we resolved to do it once a month.
But resolutions like that are easy to forget when you get on with "life" in your respective corners of the state.
We tried awhile ago to make a luncheon engagement for the two of us with three other women of the Pinata Group, but that went nowhere.
We decided to get together this week, and Char chose Wednesday as the day. Again, we tried to involve the three other women in the Pinata group, but one was traveling around the country, which she seems to do constantly, and wouldn't be in our area. Another's husband was recovering from surgery and she didn't feel she could leave him. That left Pat, who lives in Sacramento and was going to be free to have lunch with us.
I was charged with picking a restaurant that was (a) near Pat's house, (b) had soft food for Char who had just had dental surgery, and (c) had vegetarian selections for Pat, who is vegetarian.
I decided we would eat at a Mexican restasurant in Sacramento, near Pat's house. I had been there once with Peach and our cousin Shirley and I remembered that it was a good place, should have lots of soft stuff, and lots of greens.
Char drove to Davis and picked me up, and we met Pat at the restaurant.
The waitress came to take our drink orders and I ordered my usual water but then changed my mind when Pat and Char both ordered margaritas. I decided to have one too. They were huge, but not very strong, so it was a good choice.
The really nice thing about eating with your oldest friends is that, as Char pointed out, you really know a lot about each other. We knew each other's parents and siblings and attended a lot of funerals for those people (my mother is the only Pinata grandma still living). I talk easily to Susan at Logos, because she is the daughter of Char's cousin, and Char babysat with her when she was a baby. I know all about the aunts, Leona and Mabel and their quirks and a lot of Susan's family are names I recognize. We are interested in Pat's sister-in-law, who is blind and lives by herself on several acres of land in the hills. We picked olives in her garden one year, and planted trees in memory of Pat's son, who had died, on that property.
We realized that there were things that we didn't know, and had never thought to share, but with a shared background of 50 years, there were more than enough memories to go around, after updating information on what our kids had been doing lately (Char and I pretty much know what our own kids are doing, but we were interested in hearing about Pat's kids).
It was a leisurely lunch with lots of laughs and a reminder of why we have remained in each other's lives all these years. It also underscored the importance of not letting our friendships just kind of drift off and get lost, as so many friendships do.
I feel like we're in a kind of weird money-less tontine. We're now in the last quarter (or less) of our lives. We have already buried one woman, and another one has had a heart attack and is not doing well. It's depressing to realize that we are at an age where any day now we could get "the" telephone call announcing which one of us has passed on. Char and I have promised to give the eulogy at the funeral of whichever one of us dies first. I'm a terrible speaker and get very,very nervous if I have to speak in public, so if she decides to die before I do, the thought of giving a eulogy might just kill me right then.
But it would seem appropriate if we had a double-funeral and let someone else do the eulogy. I have the mental image of the two of us trying to stuff full sized Christmas trees into their little Saab, all those pumpkin pies we baked, and all the other silly stuff we have done togehter over the years. I can't imagine life without her, so she'd jolly better well stick around until I die...
|Day 24: Happiness is Ladies Who Lunch|