On the road again… as Willie would say. Thursday I drove away from Minneapolis and left my all grown up baby girl Zilla there. I cried. Then I drove to Chicago to drop in on the Wabash Kid and the Greek Goddess – if I could find the address where they lived and if they still lived there and were home. I had lost their phone number years ago — somehow. I think it had been maybe 10 years since I had seen them. I know their youngest child was very small then and he is 13 now. The GG is maybe 3 years older than me and he is 9 years older. Both look GREAT, but wowie zowie having a kid when you are a woman in your 40s or a man in your 50s sends shivers up and down my spine. My Zilla is 22 and I am tired from raising her and getting her on her way in the world. I can’t imagine having another 10 years until my parenting responsibilities step down a notch.
So… long story longer… I remembered the name of the street they lived on and the block and the exit I used to take to get to their house. I put that info into my smart phone GPS Navigator thingy and drove there. I couldn’t remember the exact house number so I drove up and down the block a couple times until I thought I recognized the house. Then I parked and walked up to the house and rang the bell. After a couple minutes the Wabash Kid came to the door. The first spark of wide eyed recognition and broad grin of happiness to see me spread across his face erased any worry I had about showing up unannounced. I was so relieved to find them healthy and happy. His music, recording, and painting that WB shared with me allowed me to know a friend with more depth and intimacy than I did many years ago. That connection touched my heart. We talked until after midnight and much of the next morning and on through lunch. Conversation covered the gamut of family, friends, health, art, reading/speculative fiction, creativity, economics, politics and philosophy/religion.
Wish I could have spent more time with the Greek Goddess but her schedule precluded very much interaction… and what did I expect given I dropped in out of the blue? Usually I spend much more time with her. This visit was still so good. WB and I both seemed to synch. No awkward silences. There are not many people who can pick up a friendship after 10 years of silence, But sometimes I swear there are connections between people that extend beyond time and space. I’m in awe of mystery of life from this interaction. Did he need it? Did I? I don’t know. But my somewhat difficult to extinguish mystical nature is happy that this trip that is filled with the sadness of distance from my daughter and what will be the first trip to my parent’s grave site since my mother’s funeral has also allowed me the comfort of shared connection with old friends.
After Chicago, I visited – with some advance notice, but not much – I stopped for a quick evening visit, some good Vietnamese food, and Scrabble®/Words with Friends® and a tour of the home they just purchased last fall. It has only been a year plus a few weeks since I had seen them, so there wasn’t as much catching up to do and our talk centered on more pragmatic concerns. Education, the field within which they both work, our grandchildren, mutual friends, and some talk of my writing, and word games filled our visit… along with some needed sound and restful sleep. Then early afternoonish today, I headed out on Indiana 20 to State Road 9 to Highway 6 and Kendallville where I met up, at a local restaurant, with a girl friend I had not seen since High School Graduation. Again it was so good to see yet another friend and find out that though life may not have been perfect for any of us, that she was doing extremely well considering the adversity she has encountered in life and recent economic challenges that so many of us have encountered since 2008.
Tomorrow is a family day. Breakfast with my oldest brother’s wife, and then an afternoon visit with the youngest of my brothers who still has 9 years on me. From what I can deduce from a distance, neither of them are doing very well. I will also visit the graves of two of my brothers and my parents. I think it could be a difficult day tomorrow in some respects.