I’ve been mulling over this post for a few days. And I’m still not exactly sure what I want to say. So I should just dive in…
Last year while in Brooklyn, I’m pretty sure I wrote about the importance of relationships in my life. In many ways…relationships are the most important thing that we have. During times of trouble, illness, sadness, and happiness, I’ve found great comfort, support, and joy as I was “wrapped” in the arms of people who are important to me and who helped carry me through the challenges and who cheered with me during celebrations.
As I entered retirement, I remember thinking that I’d have to be more proactive in creating and maintaining relationships as I wouldn’t have the obvious daily interaction with people. Also, remember when you had young kids at home and our lives centered around their lives? Many of our friends came from the sidelines of the soccer field and basketball court. We spent hours with other parents cheering for our kids and many of my friendships were forged during those years. Sadly, that courtside friendship-creating ship sailed a long time ago.
As an educator, I always felt that my first job was to create positive relationships with my colleagues, with students and their families. I enjoyed that aspect of the work and I think that I was mostly successful. I have many friends who came from my work family and many of us stay in touch regularly though we rarely see each other in person.
And then retirement…and even more drastically…the opportunity to spend months away from all those important people (don’t even talk about a pandemic and how it affected relationships). My thought was…how will I maintain these relationships and create new ones in these new, temporary settings? Without elaboration, I’ll just say that it was easier in Brooklyn than it has been here. Glen alluded to it when he talked about “polite vs friendly”.
I can feel that this post is rambling and will drivel into nothingness so let me get to the point. One way that we’ve stayed connected while we travel is by having visitors. I wrote last fall about the renewed connection we had made with my “long lost) Los Gatos cousins. We met up with a couple of them and their wives when we were in Brooklyn. We had a blast and said that we looked forward to our next meet up.
Well, last week Randy and Allison were in NOLA for the second weekend of Jazz Fest. (They were with a group of friends going all the way back to Randy’s Chico days. Another example of where we create relationships.) They stayed with us for a couple nights and we had a blast again! But what I really want to say is that you know that experience where you meet someone and you just feel like you’ve known them all your life? That’s the connection I felt with Allison. While we’ve met a couple times and I’ve always enjoyed her company, it was just awesome to spend more time with her and get to know her better. And the really weird-not-weird thing is that we found that we had SO MANY things in common – from our childhoods in LA, to loving American Idol, to not considering ourselves caretakers, to the same iPad case, to our values, our interests (e.g. books), our need to go, go, go, FOMO, etc. etc. etc. Seriously. It feels like she’s my long-lost sister. (No offense, Chris!)
AND we both love the Dubs! Now I love them in a casual sports fanatic way (I know that’s an oxymoron) and I believe Allison does, too. The last night they were here was Game 4 and that was a nail biter. Our internet was problematic and we kept sitting there waiting for it to reboot…beyond frustrating. Nevertheless, we won (the internet and the game) and we enjoyed watching it together. Then came Game 5 after they had returned to the Bay and we shared a couple WTH? texts during the game…and then last night! I think “torture” was the word…until it wasn’t! Turns out Randy and Allison were watching the game a bit behind live action and had to ask me to kindly stop text-reacting! I went to bed and woke up to their joyful reaction! Something like “We did it!” and “Phfwew!” How fun to have this new connection.
So back to there time here in NOLA with us…I’m happy to say that when Glen and I were describing our upcoming summer/fall trip to Randy and Allison, she said, “We’ll be in New York when you’re there!” We all agreed that that will be our next meet up! Allison also kiddingly said that wherever we were going next is now where they’ll go so they can follow us! I can only hope so!
Here’s to sisterhood and relationships and connections!
PS Randy and Allison are WAY more traveled than us so we should really be following them!
PPS I can’t believe we didn’t take one picture of the two/four of us. Darn it!