You know how with really good friends, a long hunk of time can dash by without your seeing each other, and then you DO manage to get together, and it seems like no time at all has passed and you were just hanging out yesterday?
I've just had the wonderful experience of having a few days with my dear friend Carol, who was visiting from New England. She and I worked together in a law firm back east, at a time when there were only three of us females in a sea of males. So we banded together and relied on each other and giggled over lunch together and complained about the work together, and all in all made the whole thing bearable.
Carol and I hadn't seen each other in [gasp] ten years. It hardly seems possible. Still, time flies when you're doing what you're doing... and here we are.
Carol was the first of my close friends to have a baby and for me to watch her experience new motherhood up close and personal. I was the first non-parent to hold her daughter Elise in the hospital, and I still remember Carol saying, "I still have this weird feeling like 'When is this baby's mother going to come and take her away?!" I watched (as a single professional woman) and commiserated and fought for her (as the only woman partner in the firm) as Carol confronted the struggle of balancing motherhood and work, in a group of men who had wives at home full time to take care of their kids, and didn't have to worry about how they'd get the trial brief written and the laundry done and dinner on the table.
And, some years later, when Roger and I adopted Caroline, so many of Carol's wise parenting words guided how I handled things with Caroline, and the whole juggling thing.
But "baby" Elise is 17 now (gulp) ... Carol and I have each had different jobs, she lost a husband and I gained one, and we live on opposite sides of the country. But we still look young (or is that well-preserved?) and we still laugh together and have a grand old time. It was just simply delightful to be with her again.
Of course we talked nonstop. But when a visitor comes to Healdsburg, wine tasting is on the top of the list of things to do. So I took Carol to one of my favorite local vineyards:
Yep! That's the same Raymond Burr you're thinking of.
And for us lawyers, being able to taste wine AND experience Perry Mason memorabilia is downright thrilling.
(I have one lawyer-friend who, having watched Perry Mason reruns as his method of procrastinating his studying in law school -- on the theory that it was SORT of research -- just about fainted with sheer excitement then they let him hold one of the Emmy Awards that Burr won playing Perry Mason.)
And, Perry Mason and Ironside paraphanalia aside, the wine is delicious (the cabernet sauvigon especially) and the vineyard is gorgeous. It's the perfect place for a picnic.
Because it was 104 degrees AND the air was still so hazy from the numerous distant fires, we opted to head indoors to another winery up the road, Amphora Vineyards. Far healthier to stay inside and drink wine, don't you think?
Carol departed early this morning, but I'm still smiling and thinking of how great it was to see her.