Monday, May 7, 2007

I never had a farm in Africa

While we have been busy this year with the whole not spending any money thing, our friends Renee and Dan have had a little project of their own. They are selling basically everything, quitting their jobs, and moving -- with their two-year-old daughter -- to Maui this July.

Renee has known since she was 13 that she wanted to live in Maui. She met Dan, and several years ago they went to Maui together on vacation, where it turns out he threw her a surprise wedding. (Yes, really. He had the whole wedding planned out: flowers, photographer, location, something old/new/borrowed/blue, he had her family and friends ready to call after the ceremony, everything. And yes, she thought it was great and did not freak out that she didn't have control over the details of her wedding. She is not that kind of person at all.) Since that time, Dan got really into the idea of living in Maui as well.

(And by the way. If your friend up and elopes, I understand that it might be tempting to queue up The Wedding March and throw Minute Rice at her the minute she comes to your house after. May I just WARN you that you will be finding and stepping on Minute Rice for the next 47 years.)

And yes, they should have their own blog about all this, cause you know it is interesting.

Anyway, we were on the phone today, Renee and me, and we realized that we needed to find a time to get together. Next weekend is out, cause she has to work. Weekend after that? My mother is coming to town. After that weekend, HER brother is coming to town. Exasperated, Renee said, "We are coming over right now."

So we spent a spend-free afternoon with Dan, Renee and Charlotte. Here is Charlotte today on our porch. I am afraid that those Hello Kitty markers and lunch box in the background are mine.

Have I mentioned I am 41 and three-quarters years old?

We really didn't do much, the five of us. They are the kind of friends you can be with for six hours and all you've really 'done,' per se, is color in a My Little Pony coloring book and look at a bird's nest (OMG! I forgot to tell you all that birds actually built a nest in our back yard! I know I am 86, but it doesn't get much better for me than this).

They stayed till Charlotte, who is not one to mince words, started trying to open the front door, saying, "Hungry? Hungry?" (She had 47 different healthy snacks with her, plus she ate 50 of Marvin's pretzel chips). So, they left, and we all said we would get together for dinner in a few weeks.

But after that, they will probably be on their way.

I know Renee and Dan will be the kind of friends we will always have, that we'll be able to pick right back up with when we do see each other. But it will never be the same.

Did you ever see Out of Africa? And if you haven't, why are you wasting your time with my blog? Go rent it. Meryl Streep plays a Danish woman in the early 1900s who moves to Kenya to run a coffee farm. Eventually, she has to go home. As she is leaving, she wonders:

"If I know a song of Africa, of the giraffe and the African new moon lying on her back, of the plows in the fields and the sweaty faces of the coffee pickers, does Africa know a song of me?

"Will the air over the plain quiver with a color that I have had on, or the children invent a game in which my name is, or the full moon throw a shadow over the gravel of the drive that was like me, or will the eagles of the Ngong Hills look out for me?"

And I wonder the same thing, in a very shallow, non-Meryl Streep kind of way. Will this city know the song of Renee and me? Will the places we've been, the ridiculous things we've done, somehow linger long after we've both gone from here?

One time, Renee and I went to a stuffy spa, and we were in the quiet room. When the last spa client finally left, Renee jumped, naked, onto a bench, dancing while I threw lemon slices at her. You have never seen more lightening-fast movement when that spa door opened again. Then we had to sit in our quiet chairs and quietly convulse with giggles, Renee sitting on lemons.

Do you think it's possible that some day someone will be in that stupid quiet room, and they will have no idea why they are suddenly overcome with uncontrollable laughter? Will somebody in my old apartment make Christmas cookies and wonder why they are glad the cookies didn't end up looking like the state of Pennsylvania or internal organs?

Or maybe two women will be shopping, and one of those women will realize, with complete clarity, that her friend is pregnant.

Do you think there is any way that this silly city, with its new buildings and new lips and displaced palm trees, could remember a friendship so genuine and true? At any rate, I will. I always will.


Kelly Garrett said...

That is very nice for Renee and Dan! I just returned from Maui myself and would love to live there!

Stie said...

Oh, I just love reading your blog...such a great look at friendships. Makes me want to call my best friend right now...

June Cutoff Cash said...

Thanks, Stie. Call your friend and tell her not to move, or you will throw citrus at her...

i'm not Lisa said...

Emma said this, "IS CHARLOTTE FIVE???"

Okay...Charlotte is SOOOOO cute!!! Oh...I just love her.

Now I will go read the blog.

Anonymous said...

Birds nests are the best, and yes, I am 86 . . but they are.


dcrmom said...

Aw... Here's to great friends! OH. And I tagged you.

Anonymous said...

I think someday someone will be in that spa quiet room and smell citrus. I'm glad you have had such a good friend. I know you will miss her. Pam

O'Brien said...

Charlotte wants to know if you have any more pictures of her.

Misc Amy said...

I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with having youthful tchotkes! But, I am a singleton who created an internet children's radio, of course I'm on your side. Speaking of toys, you have no idea how fancy the toys are at the 99 cents store lately. However, you soon shall, my friend!

Katharyn said...

(Yes, I know it’s a old post why am I responding to it? – ‘Cause it’s an interesting blog so I’m reading it from the beginning!)

I know the anticipation of loneliness you were feeling when you wrote this post. I have bosom friend (as Anne Shirley would put it) who will be staying in Seattle, while my husband and I move to Arizona. I dread the thought of not being near her… even my mother said “you’ll be fine not being right next to me, but Hillary, Hillary you are going to have a hard time being with out.”

I hope your friendship is being stretched far further than mine, and I hope it’s proving to be strong elastic.