A Whole Life In Common

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“You don’t have to have anything in common with people you’ve known since you were five. With old friends, you’ve got your whole life in common.” Lyle Lovett

For a fleeting moment it was just like 1984.

Together for the first time in 31 years at another beautiful wedding; although thankfully this time we were there just to help with last minute errands instead of me wearing my Maid of Honor dress or him giving the Best Man toast.

The former Best Man and I were there to celebrate not only the marriage of a beautiful young couple but to honor the bride’s parents, our individual allies from childhood, to whom friendship means so much. The people who are the first ones that you call for reassurance when you are angry at life or to laugh with when you have the most incredible story; to cry with when a child is sick or a parent has passed; and with whom you simply must share your 50th birthday drinking champagne straight from a bottle while on a boat.

Like all weddings, we reminisced about the old days together. The guys have their skiing and golfing adventures, Pam and I have a childhood spent carpooling to school, Miss Jackie’s dance classes, and the Swim Club in one of our mother’s vehicles. The days back before anyone became very successful in business, before I met and married the Old Man, and way before any of us thought about children of our own.

In the 30 years since my own wedding to the Old Man, I have learned that marriage celebrations are so much more than a couple starting their family. It’s also publicly identifying the friends who will become your life champions just when you need them the most.

So as the Old Man and I danced alongside our friends at their daughter’s wedding reception I just couldn’t help but feel just how lucky I am to have found people with whom I truly have my whole life in common.

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Working at Home: A Simple Lunch Shared

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“What did you do for lunch today?”

When you work at home it’s the one question you never get asked after a long day. When deadlines loom or the kids are fussy, who has the time, the energy or the patience for a meal? So unless we have a meeting at an actual restaurant, we improvise.

One high-powered executive friend of mine friend slams back cans of black-eyed peas between conference calls—it is unclear if they’re heated or not. A stay-at-home Mom friend tried to cut calories by only eating what her children left on their plates (didn’t work).

We also run into the problem of routines. For as long as I can remember, my 93-year-old mother makes her lunch after her daily exercise class then sits to eat in her recliner while watching The Young and The Restless. My own dirty little lunch secret involves watching The Pioneer Woman cook in her fabulous Oklahoma lodge kitchen while I eat mismatched leftovers and check emails during commercials.

But things can change!

I recently got a call from my friend, Cecelia, inviting me to join her for a last minute lunch at her home. Instead of one of the big fabulous luncheons for which she is well-known, it was a simple lunch shared. Cecelia, who also works from home, prepared  grilled sandwiches and heated some store-bought butternut squash soup. We enjoyed a good warm meal, a great conversation and, after pledging to make it a regular lunch date, we were both back at our desks in far less than an hour.

That evening we were both able to offer “I had a wonderful lunch today…”

My Favorite Grilled Sandwich With Arugula, Goat Cheese, Caramelized Onions and Fig Preserves

*Two slices Pepperidge Farm Bread (whatever flavor you like)
*Plain goat cheese crumbled
*Fig Preserves or Trader Joe’s Fig Butter (or whatever fruit preserves you have on hand)
*Handful of arugula or other leafy greens
*Caramelized onions (you should always have some caramelized onions hidden somewhere in your fridge! The next time you need an onion for a recipe, just throw some extra sliced onions into a skillet with butter on low heat stirring occasionally until they turn golden —at least 10 minutes.)

Spread fig preserves on both sides of bread, and stack the rest of the ingredients.Grill in an iron skillet with butter until goat cheese is melted and bread is toasty.

Victory Over Daily Life: Dead Car Battery

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When Pookie drove across the Bay late last night, her car was fine. This morning, the reliable old Jetta, named Sheila, decided she just wasn’t going to go.

Time for a new battery, and how hard could that be? Pookie’s friend, Sherman, came over and together they examined the German Owner’s Manual, Face Timed the Old Man and watched a YouTube video. Overly confident, they started to rip out the old battery to make room for a shiny new one.

Sherman yanked up the battery after unscrewing anything and everything that could have been attached to it. That’s when something called the battery clamp bracket flew out from underneath, fell with a clang and disappeared into the bowels of the 10-year-old engine.

Pookie and Sherman took turns climbing underneath the car, burning through two flashlights as they reached into fans, engine shelves and things that looked like they were made of grease. They pushed the car forward, then backward in hopes that the two-inch metal clamp had fallen all the way through and was hiding under a tire.

Finally, after jacking the car up with the idea of tipping the clamp out to the ground they saw it. It had lodged itself in a small compartment behind the headlight.

Now old Sheila the Jetta starts perfectly and they can count this adventure as another victory over daily life!