So there we were, sitting in the remnants of my store on the last day of its existence. A rather depressing day, and Jennifer came by to help me through it. They say you find out who your friends are when you move – and this was truly the case here, though we didn’t really ‘move’ the store anywhere.
We each sent each other chapters a couple of days before to go through and critique, so we could pass the time on that morbid day by talking about our mutual passion, and sharing in our projects. Each of us is writing a memoir. Jennifer’s is about her amazing journey overseas as she tried to escape from her personal demons. What a privilege for me, to be able to read and be a part of the creation of such an intensely personal work. I am writing about my journey to meet my biological mother when I was fourteen. I spent less than a year there, learning to survive and make peace with difficult situations.
Before we sat to go over our work, Jennifer helped me pack up the last remaining personal items I had in the store. Can-opener, toilet paper and cleaning supplies all tucked into a box and set by the door. I went into the small room I had used as a store-room and stumbled upon the Christmas decorations. Sitting on top of the box were these cardboard ‘Happy New Year’ hats. I laughed, and Jennifer grabbed one and passed me the other.
“Let’s put them on,” she said. “We’ll look so silly, we won’t be able to think about how sad this is.”
And she was right. For the rest of the day we laughed every time we looked at each other. The time flew by, and before we knew it the day was over. Jennifer dropped me off at my place (along with a car load of stuff). We decided we needed to meet every week to go over our chapters. And we decided that every week we needed to wear those silly hats.
The crock pot, as Jennifer said, came in on the first meeting, and was yet another of the thoughtful and amazing things that she has shared with me.
We plan to chronicle our adventures with cooking, and our weekly visits together. Jennifer will be moving to Georgia in July or August, then we will be communicating via Skype or Messenger, and continuing our weekly tradition for many years – and many blog posts – to come.