THE BOND OF FRIENDSHIP
Have you ever had one of those rare friends with whom just being in their presence made you a better person? Someone who listens to you so intently, truly valuing your opinion and interested in what you have to say about a myriad of topics? Well, I have such a friend, and I count myself among the very fortunate to know this wonderful woman. We first met nearly 17 years ago as undergraduate students at the University of Kentucky. We connected almost immediately and would become very close over the next couple of years. She was also a bridesmaid in our wedding, and a cherished friend through a devastating loss that I experienced. After losing touch for almost 10 years, we at long last reconnected last year and reveled in our mutual love of, you guessed it, tea. Though we drank it in college we never seemed to understand its powers to heal, unite, and comfort. It was truly as if no time had passed at all between us. Our conversations seemed to pick up where we last left them, as if no life experiences had happened to either of us.
We now endeavor to get together once a month so we seized the moment on Saturday and took advantage of the sunshine and drying weather. We bundled up in our coats and scarves, as the projected high for the day was a chilly 40 degrees. We met that morning (she coming from the west and I from the east) and ventured North, just beyond Louisville, into Indiana where we spent half the day at Huber’s Orchard and Winery. As we drove along the winding passes we first came upon a beautiful old Catholic Church, St. Josephs Hill. The church stood in all her glory, steeple-adorned cross extending high into the heavens, with a church cemetery resting in front of the structure.. As we rounded the corner, I caught a glimpse of a marker with a Celtic cross and felt a tingling inside of me. I so firmly believe in ancestral ties and perhaps mine were nudging me at the moment. Then I glanced up on the hill as a priest was leading a procession from the entrance. What the event was, a funeral mass perhaps, I can’t be sure, but it took my breath away. We continued over hills, down into valleys, surrounded by an autumnal palette of crimson, rust, and golden yellow. I felt jovial that October was shining in all her glory, and that we were a part of that. As we arrived, we decided to make our way to the winery first. It was much larger than most of the wineries I’ve been to, save the Biltmore Estate, and was getting quite crowded. After we took the tasting we explored the grounds and the many farmers’ market type facilities with a plethora of pumpkins and apples to choose from. We sampled delicious apple cider and some of the bakery’s jalapeno cheddar bread, and perused the seemingly endless shelves of relishes, herbs, spices, curds, preserves, marmalades, and jams. I also discovered a lovely little cookbook on cooking with herbs which I decided to add to my cookbook collection. Much of our afternoon was just spent strolling over the vast farm, having a late lunch, talking, and laughing, lots of laughing! I highly recommend a day like this with a close friend. It’s wonderful for the soul to laugh until you nearly cry, to feel so excited to be in the company of someone with whom you share so much in common, but above all, someone with whom you respect beyond words...
With all the waxing poetic, dear Kimberly, if you are reading this entry, thank you for being a wonderful friend. I am so grateful that it was you sitting in front of me in our writing class so many years ago. Thank you for being who you are- a lovely wonderful person with whom I am so very honored to know.
(Kimberly and me- 1994 at my Bridal Shower)