|Gregg's mermaid (a gift from me) "swims" through the salal in our garden|
Before that happened, on July 2nd, I drove to the airport to pick up one of my dear friends from "way back when," Linda Watson. Linda was my brother's college sweetheart; they met as students in a conservatory of music, and though they didn't marry (as we had hoped they would), my parents and I still love Linda as if she had officially joined our family. Because she is an opera singer who travels the world and makes her home in Vienna, we rarely get to see each other. When we do, we waste no time picking up where we left off, and when she leaves, I usually feel like crying. By grace, we continue to get to see one another now and then.
There are many parallels and interweavings in our lives, apart from the fact that she dated my brother. Our family histories, culture and background overlap in strange and amazing ways. Our sense of humor and many tastes are compatible. She knows my family, and loves them. Those are only a few of many things that give us a sympathy with one another which is uncommon in my life - and it's something I treasure.
Linda lived in Boston for some time, and after I graduated from college, I moved there, too. We spent time together in and around Boston. We have some fun memories, such as the time we went to hear the Commodores' last concert before Lionel Ritchie went out on his own.
|That is I, on Westland Avenue in Boston, in front of my apartment building, with my 1st car (a Fiat 124 or 128, purchased used from my brother), 1981 or 1982|
Linda returned to visit us when Katie got out of the hospital in April 2007, and then she left to spend that summer singing in Europe. When Katie passed away a few months later, Linda was unable to attend the celebration of Katie's life. She went instead to a private, wooded park and at the same time as the memorial was taking place here, Linda sang "Over the Rainbow" in that park for Katie. I wish I could have heard her sing it.
The following February, Linda invited me to visit her in California. She came to stay with us that summer, and it has now been four years since we've seen each other. This visit was full of joy, laughter, girl talk, shopping, celebration and family-centered fun. We took her to the "Grand Old Fourth" of July celebrations on Bainbridge Island, including a classic car display, a parade, craft and food booths, and a drink on the deck of our favorite pub. We joined my parents for dinner at their house that evening, and watched fireworks over Seattle and Port Madison, while the harvest moon rose like a huge Chinese lantern over the evergreen trees.
|With my parents at their house|
|Linda cutting into the Sacher Torte which she brought from Vienna. We shared it with her friends from Seattle (who are originally from Germany, and are HUGE opera lovers and fans)|
|Salmon and BBQ ribs for dinner at our house|
|With Linda and friends on our deck|
*If you need a smile today, check out this song by James Taylor's ex, Carly Simon. It always used to make me laugh, without fail - perhaps because my mother and I once had an encounter with a baby bat in our cabin.