I am glorying in spring right now, despite the fact that my book draft is due in just a week. I just can’t get enough of those tender, green trees and all the temperate, fragrant air.
One of my favorite things is when friends from different spheres of my life meet and become form friendships of their own. Recently, my favorite cheese writer and the most intelligent and fun wine guy I know have become friends. Tonight, they organized a group of us for a deeply indulgent tasting of cheese, wine, preserves (mine) and beer (selected by this guy). It was an amazing night.
Yesterday, I learned that an old friend died far too young. I met Mike Malsbury through the First Unitarian Church Young Adult Group sometime in 2002 or 2003. He had recently moved to Philly and like so many of us, was looking for friendship. The first time I met him, he met up with the group of us at a happy hour at the long-since-departed Independence Brew Pub. He was wearing a vintage leather jacket and was so relieved when he finally tracked down our table in that cavernous space. Soon after, he was just one of the group.
When I knew him best, Mike was still working out where he fit in the world. He hadn’t quite grown out of that gawky phase that so many guys have in high school and so struggled to connect. And yet, he was so sweet, so generous, so smart and so quietly funny. He was always willing to help someone move or paint a room. He rode the unicycle. He had depth.
About a year ago, after not seeing one another for a while, we reconnected over Facebook. There was talk of getting together for lunch or dinner, but after five or six back and forths, I didn’t hear from him. And in my busy-ness, I let it go. I didn’t realize that would be it.
Mike, wherever you are now, know absolutely that you were loved and valued by your friends. You will be missed and you will be remembered.
My friend Kate Payne recently published a book called The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking. It’s a fabulous book, full of tips on how to make your house appealing and livable, even when you’re faced with financial limitations. I hosted a potluck for her at our apartment tonight and it was so lovely. To read more about it, click on over to this post on Food in Jars.
My dear friend Ingrid got married today. A cluster of us started out the day with her, getting pedicures and eating doughnuts. Cindy and I went with her to the salon for her updo and later did her make-up and helped her into her dress. I spent the day on the verge of happy tears, feeling such jubilation for my friend.
Ingrid and I met at the UU church here in Philadelphia in the fall of 2002 and instantly became friends. Truly, there were no preliminaries. One moment, we were strangers and the next we were friends who felt like we’d known each other for years and years. Soon Cindy joined us and we spent the next four years nearly inseparable (we were often joined by Una, Lara, Jen or Georgia).
There was a stretch of time when we spent nearly every weekend together, from drinks out on Friday night, to thrifts on Saturday and brunch on Sunday. Of course, life always changes. In 2006, Ingrid moved back to Texas to be closer to her family. Soon after, Cindy moved to Washington, D.C. to take a job at Georgetown. And I headed off into grad school and my relationship with Scott.
However, we are still so lucky. Time and distance have not dampened this precious friendship. When I see Ingrid (or Cindy too), it’s like no time has passed all. We pick up like we’d seen one another the week before. I realize that it’s cliche to say, but they are more sisters than friends.
And now Ingrid is married, to a man she adores and I just could not possibly be happier for her.
If you’re curious, there are more pictures from the weekend here.
Jars are something of a fluid object in my life. While there are a few that I am loathe to part with, the bulk are anonymous vessels that drift in and out of my life as I share my preserves and pickles with friends and family. Lately, the tides have been bringing jars back to me. This cluster on the dining room table is the result of some recent returns. I look forward to filling them up again and sending them out into the world once more.