Last night, I spent hours looking for something which was where it was supposed to be. On the correct shelf. In front. Right in the center of the shelf. Nothing was hiding it. It wasn’t behind something or turned the wrong way.
I looked there and couldn’t see it. I looked in all the other places it might possibly be. There’s a cupboard in the kitchen and a rack in the other bathroom. Otherwise, it’s one or the other of my medicine cabinets.
I searched the kitchen thoroughly , in the process finding and tossing out several bottles and tubes of prehistoric stuff — at least a decade old. I did not find what I was looking for.
Finally, I began to question if the container for which I was looking even existed. I was sure I’d bought two bottles of this stuff. It’s not expensive, so I would normally buy a couple and stash a spare. But maybe I only thought I’d bought a spare. Maybe there was only one.
Before tucking myself into bed, I made one last pass. There it was. In the center of the cabinet. Exactly where I had looked at least three times in the past hour.
Despite my tendency to blame it on the dogs or on supernatural wee people, I suspected my eyes had been blind to the container. In its bright yellow box. In bed, I told Garry I had just spent nearly an hour looking for something that was where it was supposed to be and where I had looked several times.
He was sympathetic. “Yes,” he said, “it happens.”
Maybe it really is those pesky, wee brownies, fairies, and pixies messing with me? You think?
My bowl of chicken soup was sitting on the kitchen table. It had been quite a while since I heated it. It was probably barely tepid by this point. It didn’t matter. I wasn’t going near that soup.
I had decided soup and toast would make a pleasant little lunch, so although this wasn’t “really” soup, I threw it together. Added whatever veggies I found in the fridge. Toasted an English muffin. Added a little butter.
Now, it had been sitting on the table for … well … a rather long time. I was still hungry and I could (in theory) reheat it. Again. If it had ever contained anything beyond artificial flavoring and salt, heating it one final time would finish it off anyway.
It was no longer a concern of mine. I had moved on to other things.
I was strongly disinclined to eat the soup. I didn’t even want to look at it. Near where the bowl was waiting on the table, I could see my sodden bathing suit, wrapped in its wet beach towel. I had promised I’d wash it out soon. Except, I couldn’t.
It was the grin. I could deal with everything else, but that grin made my skin crawl. Or maybe it was the long white teeth.
Up in the air, a toothy cat’s grin was suspended in the air of my kitchen and it was hovering above the soup. The Cheshire Cat had returned. He had come back to my kitchen.
As we get older, there are also different degrees of ‘old’. I have friends from when my children were young, 30 years ago and friends from when I was young, more than 60 years ago. My husband has known Marilyn Armstrong since he was a freshman in college. In 1975, Tom and his ex wife actually lived for a while with Marilyn and her then husband. That creates lasting bonds that are like no others.
My current group of local close friends have only known me as a retired empty nester. So it’s comforting to talk to people who knew me when I was a newly married career woman, or as an energetic full-time Mom with young kids.
Then there’s Wendy. She represents a whole other, unique category of old friends. We were best friends from 5th grade into 7th grade. We had that special bond that only 9-12 year old girls can have. We did everything together. We slept over at each other’s homes almost every weekend when we were in New York City for school.
We spent time at my weekend/summer home in Easton, Connecticut, where I now live. We hung out at her ‘country’ house, first in a neighboring town in Connecticut and then on a tiny island on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. (Very cool! She still owns the island and goes there regularly).
We intimately knew each other’s parents and in my case, grandparents too. We reveled in each other’s pets – we both had birds. We named our birds after characters in Peter Pan (Wendy/Peter Pan). Her parakeet was Petey and my canary was Tinkerbell.
We were friendly through high school. In junior high, we moved onto other best friends and different circles of friends. We lost touch after high school. Totally. We didn’t have any contact at all until I called her after our 40th high school reunion. We talked on the phone a few times and then lost touch again for another ten years.
This past year, as our 50th class reunion approaches, we reconnected on Facebook. This time our connection has blossomed into a real friendship. We have talked on the phone for a half hour to an hour every week for the past few months. We both look forward to our conversations. We have moved past catching up and reminiscing. We have filled each other in on the basics of our careers, marriages and children.
We each have a child with serious health issues. We’ve talked about books, friends, hobbies and politics. We both suffer from Donald Trump’s PTSD.
We’ve come to realize that we’re similar in many ways and simpatico on other levels, too. We would not continue our relationship if that were not the case. We might have become close if we had just met for the first time. But there is something so special about talking with someone who knew my first dog, remembers my parents as ‘young people.’ Who remembers writing ‘novels’ together as pre-teens using manual typewriters with carbon paper — and no self-correcting features.
I believe we know each other – the essence of who we are – in a way that almost no one else can. It would have been nice if we had stayed in touch through all the intervening years. Apparently it wasn’t necessary. There’s just something about the friendship we had in those formative, innocent years in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. That ‘something’ has survived for 50 years and is creating a modern-day friendship which is more fun, deeper and more meaningful than either of us could have imagined.
I’m surprised but thrilled that Wendy has become such a wonderful addition to my life. I talk to her more and on a different level than I talk to the old friends I have stayed in contact with. I cherish the bond we’ve created and I look forward to watching it deepen over time.
We are meeting in person next week for the first time since 1967. Although we live two hours apart, we hope we can continue meeting in person as well as texting, emailing and talking on the phone. I think we give new meaning to the phrase ‘old friends.’
You said edible and I said … FRUIT! I’m not sure why, but fruit is my favorite food for shooting. Also eating. It’s neat and shiny. Maybe that’s why. You can pile it up, spread it out … and then, you can eat it.
This time of year, there’s not much of it on the market. The local fruit vendors have nothing to sell. There won’t be anything for a few more months.
The stuff from California is not great, but … we have tangerines. They are the saving grace of fruit during the long winter. Here are some tangerines. Orange.
I need to mention that taking pictures of fruits and vegetables is more difficult than it seems. I’m not sure why, but when I sort through all the pictures, only a few are good enough. That might be one of the lessons we get from photography. Easy things are not necessarily as easy as they appear to be.
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