Visiting with Friends




On a recent trip to the west coast I took the opportunity to meet up with a fellow blogger, Russ Towne from A Grateful Man We had a lovely lunch and got to learn a bit more about each other which was as my grandmother would say…just grand! He’s the real deal just as nice as he comes off through the blogging world. What you see is what you get…and I like that!

I also reunited with my best friend whom I hadn’t seen in six or so years. We started our day out with the most amazing killer hug that speaks volumes without the necessity of words. We both needed that physical connection that says…hello…I am here…Boy! Have I have missed you! She’s one of those wonderful people that no matter how long it has been since we last were together we can just pick up the conversation as if we had just spoken the day before. We have that special connection where there is no social veneer…just two people happy to be in the company of one another regardless of the situation. Emilie is my perfect opposite…all the qualities that I wished I had…but didn’t…she has. So being with her was always a bonus.

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After a wonderful lunch on the wharf we headed out to see the arboretum at UC Santa Cruz. Though I wanted to see this place and was encouraged to do so, I have to admit I was a bit hesitant when the first thing I see are warning signs about the possibility of running into mountain lions and instructions on how to interact with them if you happen to meet them. I knew these were active warnings because I had seen recent photos of mountain lines in the hills nearby.

I brushed off my concerns and spent a delightful day walking through the various areas which were sectioned by country. We started with Australia meandering through the various paths, looking at some really cool looking blooms…they seemed almost alien in appearance. The gardens here are in a natural state, not trimmed and pruned as if in a museum. At times, it felt like we were just walking in nature but much of the vegetation was such as I’d never seen before.

As we headed into South Africa I couldn’t help but think of Bulldog. and Linda imagining they had joined us briefly on the trails and telling us the names of the flowers as we went along. Having someone around that was used to wild anials might just come in handy. Though I did not know the names of most of the flowers, I’d recognized quite a few as they are very popular in formal, more permanent arrangements here in Florida.

By the time we’d reached New Zealand we had caught up enough with our lives that we took a moment to sit on a bench and just breath…and watch nature which has always had that therapeutic quality of washing away life’s trials and tribulations. In fact, I was so relaxed, I forgot to take pictures through most of New Zealand. And I imagined silkannthreades was sitting on the bench next to us. Oh, how I wished she was here, for she would know the names of all the plants that have captured our interest.

Knowing that we are women who have not seen each other in quite some time, it didn’t take long before we were chatting away again like two teenagers. We talked all the way though New Zealand and back to our car…then headed off to the boardwalk…still talking, talking, talking. We weren’t done yet…we still had more to say…what the heck, let’s go to dinner! Afterward, as the darkness crept into the the sky…we held each other once again…saying goodbye.