... the journal

The Guest
Refrigerator Door

These are from Walt's sister's  fridge

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Walt's sister is a HUGE Giants fan



* Discussion *

Talk about it here.



WHAT I'M READING...


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Sarum
by
Edward Rutherfurd


WHAT I'M WATCHING...

CNN


NEW

Samples of two of the
slide shows I've been making
can be downloaded from
this ZDNet page


Pictures from the Cincinnati are now up at Steve's Club Photo page.

Pictures from our Family reunion are on my own Club Photo page.



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That's it for today!

I wrote this before I left home, and despite the tragedy I do want it to run today. Besides, all we've done is sit in the hotel, glued to CNN. I can't stop crying. Maybe it's good to remember when things were simple and so very good

A YEAR AGO

13 September 2001

It was a year ago that I was standing at the airport wondering, with some apprehension, how the next six weeks would go. Would it work? Would it be a disaster? Was it too late to back out?

And then she got off the plane. Taller than I expected, a huge smile on her face, a big hug. Peggy had arrived from Australia.

I've been reading over my entries from September last year, remembering the nervousness of preparing to have someone I only knew from the Internet stay with us for six weeks. Thinking of what I knew of her quirks, her likes and dislikes, and wondering if we would get along as well in person as we had for the previous year in our daily IM chats.

She had her own worries, but had a backup plan. If we didn't get along well, she would take a bus trip somewhere in the country. It was her once in a lifetime vacation and she planned to make the most of it.

As we drove back to Davis from the Sacramento airport, the sky was a firey red. I'd never seen such a beautiful sunset. It lasted for the entire drive back to Davis and it was an auspicious beginning to our face-to-face friendship.

From day one I could see all my fears were groundless. We matched like we'd grown up together. Two peas in a pod, even though our interests were different, our habits different (she irons!). Somehow it didn't matter. We complemented each other.

We never ran out of things to talk about. Not once in six weeks. That just doesn't happen to me. I'm always the quiet one, sitting back and listening to everyone else. Not with Peggy. We chattered like a couple of magpies for six weeks.

We traveled up and down the state. A couple of trips to Lake Tahoe, a week traveling south to Los Angeles and then on to San Diego. A flight to Seattle to spend a week with our friend Diane.

There were adventures, there were disasters. But we went through them all with laughter. It was the laughter that made it work.

There were jelly bellies and music and cameras.

Several months before, she'd bought a digital camera as a birthday present for me. She brought her own digital camera with her.

We loved going on photo trips. Big places like San Francisco. Little places like a field of sunflowers. Silly places like Reno at dusk. We'd come home at night and put the pictures on the computer and admire our handiwork.

At the end of the trip, we had enough pictures between us to fill a CD and she spent a day putting all the photos on CDs so we both had copies of each other's pictures.

There were such high points--

* The first hot air balloon ride for us both, in the Sierras, floating up high enough to see Lake Tahoe over the tops of the mountains.

* The day we spent at the Wild Animal Park in San Diego, where we saw Hua Mei, the panda cub I'd been watching on the Internet since her birth.

* The day we saw the Blue Angels--the first time I'd ever seen one of their exhibitions, though I'd heard of them forever. That was a very special day, which began with going to San Francisco to watch Steve perform at a church, and then have lunch with him afterwards. Peggy, who doesn't like meeting new people, bonded with Steve and that was important for me, since he's one of my best friends.

* The week we spent in Seattle was so perfect. Peggy "met" Diane on the Internet, like she met me (actually Peggy and I had been introduced by my friend Olivia, who had spent time with Peggy when she was on vacation in Australia). Peggy and Diane had corresponded a bit and it was really great to see how wonderfully they hit it off in person. The three of us were like the 3 Musketeers, buying and setting up Diane's new computer, going off on photo trips all over the area, or just sitting on Diane's patio laughing and feeding the squirrels.

* The last trip to Tahoe, spending a day at the Ponderosa Ranch; Peggy's first chance to see snow falling.

There were only two very low points--

* That awful, terrible day when it all came to an end. Watching her pack (trying to stuff six weeks worth of purchases into her suitcase, leaving behind several boxes to mail), the last walk together at the UC Davis Arboretum, the last dinner (when I roasted broccoli, which she's never let me live down)

* The last trip to the airport, having to say goodbye, knowing we would probably never see each other again.

It was a once in a lifetime experience for me as well as for her. I had no idea that it would all work so well, or that we would get along so well. Not one cross word between us in six weeks, which amazed both of us. Even in the days when Walt and I had foreign students living with us whom we loved, there were still moments when we looked forward to having the house to ourselves again. That didn't happen this time.

In the year since she's been gone, we have continued our IM almost-daily chats, we share slide shows that we've made, continue to compare photos we've taken, and the friendship has continued to be very close.

But I'd give anything to take another trip, to have her feed me jelly bellies to keep me awake, to do some "power shopping," to float high above the mountain tops again, picking pine tree needles out of the top of a tree.

I miss you, my friend.

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One Year Ago:
I'm Done!


Some pictures from this journal
can be found at
Club Photo


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Created 9/15/01 by Bev Sykes