Saturday, January 16, 2016

Oh, the Places You Will Go

We are still getting used to the difference being in Provo means for friends and family visiting. It is, apparently, easier to get here and easier to get away than when we lived in Pine Grove Mills, PA. We have enjoyed the steady stream of visitors from State College, PA and the visit from my Father and Step-Mother. There are plans in the works for a future visit from my Mother, and a tentative plan to head to CA for a weekend or so in mid-August with stops in the Sacramento area and the East Bay (and what the heck--maybe we can catch a Heller-Simon at home in SF).

Recently I received a letter from a dear old friend on the Rez in Arizona asking me to pin down specific dates to come visit her and in looking at the map we realized that the window of opportunity she was offering us was a) right about the time the Spring semester would be ending, b) right about the time Max would be released and c) right about the time it starts to get really hot in Provo, Utah. (Okay, that last doesn't really factor into it, but it would be a tender mercy as far as I'm concerned.) At any rate, it's likely that picking up Max would be easily on the outward bound or home bound route.

Sometimes friendships spanning many decades can settle into a level of comfort that makes it okay for long periods to pass without seeing each other. You write. You update each other on the mile stones of children and grandchildren. You worry over their daughter with pneumonia and they celebrate your son's graduation from afar. This Spring and Summer I had a gradually increasing fear of not having heard from her, so much so that I tracked down her daughter's email address and phone number and left messages with her. It turned out that my friend had a bit of a health crisis that summer (with a happy ending), but it helped me realize that it had been too long and it was time for me to go back to the Rez for a visit with one of my favorite women on the planet. She has been part Aunt, part older sister to me. In a sudden realization just a few days ago, I realized that she wasn't the age I thought she was. She was frozen for me in her mid-fifties because that's about what she was when I was her teacher and she was my principal in the very early 90's.

So now we are waiting to hear from Max's mission president when Max will be released (there is a question between two Wednesdays right about that time in June) so we can find a way to combine those trips to go get him and to go spend a few nights in a recently refurbished Hogan soaking up the humor and energy and generosity of my friend. It will be a summer of many reunions I think, and these two will be the first. I'm glad my Department Chair talked me out of trying to teach a summer term course. That's not where I am needed this summer.

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