Sunday, June 6, 2010

Forever Friends

I hurried into the house late one afternoon and set my bag of groceries on the counter. Mom took her time and after putting away some things in her room, joined me in the kitchen. We had freshly picked asparagus and a large bag of fresh mixed greens from Louise's garden. Perfect accompaniments to the grilled burgers planned for dinner.

I perched at the island with my laptop, checking my email, facebook and a few of my favorite blogs, sharing bits of news with Mom along the way. Mom especially enjoys the Amish cook's weekly column. So many of the recipes and information about their farm and family remind Mom of her own life.

We laughed at the irony of reading about the Amish on a blog.

I wondered out loud, "What did I do before Google, Facebook, Epicurious and Pioneer Woman?" 

Mostly, I suppose I called Mom.

And before that, Mom called Marion, her dear, sweet neighbor and friend. Mom remembers, "One time I phoned. Marion for her pickle recipe. We had to go through the pros and cons of several pickle recipes, then we talked about our kids, the weather, our gardens and a little bit of everything else. By the time we were done talking, it was too late to start making pickles."

Much like spending so much time on a blog post about cooking that there was barely enough time to throw together Kraft Mac and Cheese for dinner. Not that I've ever done that, mind you. I'm drawing a purely hypothetical example for illustrative purposes only. (When in reality, Mom is waiting for me to make breakfast as I'm writing about, well, you get the picture by now)

Marion passed away a little over a week ago. I baked a batch of rhubarb muffins to take to the family. The lawn was immaculately mowed and flower beds all neatly weeded as I drove on the yard to drop them off. Marion's beautiful farm house is in pristine condition thanks to the hard work of her children and grandchildren who lovingly care for the historic family farm.

I placed the tray of muffins on the kitchen table covered in a flowered cloth. Marion's daughter Debbie and I embraced and I took a seat at the table for a quick visit. Through tears, Debbie related the last days of Marion's life. We laughed, cried, talked about our homes, our kids, our jobs, the weather and a little bit of everything.

Facebook is great, but sometimes we need to be face to face.

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