I had lunch with my friend Kathy today. We usually have lunch together once a month and have been doing it for over 15 years. While she was still working, we ate at the Olive Garden in Sacramento because she would have to get back to work. Now that she is retired, we eat in Davis and she is the one to make the long drive across the causeway that separates Davis from Sacramento.
Our friendship goes back to my early days in Davis, when I started La Leche League here and a committee was working to plan a LLL convention in Sacramento. Kathy was with the LLL group in Sacramento and she, Samantha (from Davis) and I became good friends while planning the event.
As our kids grew older and we both started working and eventually both left La Leche League, we kind of drifted apart, but our paths were unexpectedly brought back together when I joined PFLAG after the murder of Matthew Shepard. Our kids were grown up then I was working at the Lamplighters at the time and had a host of gay friends and felt I needed to Do Something in the aftermath of that terrible crime.
To my surprise, I found that Kathy was the leader of the PFLAG group in Sacramento, her son having come out some years before. Through PFLAG, we renewed our friendship and I even helped her arrange to bring Steve to Sacramento for a PFLAG event.
Eventually we started our lunch traditions, though our paths to not cross in the weeks between our lunches. We don't e-mail or telephone. We use our lunches to get caught up on each other's lives.
Over the years, we have had amazing lunches, dealing with the highs and lows in each other's lives, travelogues (her son and his husband live in London, and she travels there frequently, as well as taking other trips), we discuss politics, both sharing the same passions and the same frustrations. When our lunches end, I always feel reinvigorated.
As I said, we usually meet once a month, but we haven't gotten together since September since I was getting ready to go to France and she had travel to visit her son coming up and then there were the holidays to get through. So today was our first lunch in four months.
Needless to say there was a lot to get caught up on!
"What's new with you?"
"Well, we didn't go to France because our friend died, my cousin got cancer and I went to Iowa instead, we had a disjointed holiday, which was fun but still... disjointed... my mother's dementia is worsening, my computer died, and I've started therapy. What's new with you!?"
She didn't have as much to report, but did get me caught up on her life and future plans (taking a trip to Selma in April, a dream she has talked about for years).
We also did our usual political wrap up, the attack in Paris today, the foibles and misdeeds of Congress critters, theater shows and movies we have seen, despair at the condition of the world at the moment.
We sat at Bistro 33, our new "regular place" for an hour and a half while we got our monthly "fix" and then we set a date for our next meeting.
If we both lived in the same neighborhood, I don't know that we would spend time together, but I thoroughly enjoy our monthly lunches and look forward to them.
When lunch was over, I drove over to the entrance to the UCD Arboretum to take a picture of the "shovel gateway" that was erected last year. I've decided to try to become more active on Instagram and thought that would make an interesting picture.
All in all, a fun rewarding afternoon.