Posts tagged ‘old friends’

5
Aug

Of grapes and wrath

I arrived in wine country in the middle of the afternoon and it was harshly bright and hot and even a little dusty and I was, I am sorry to say, not in a mood to enjoy it. I wandered around downtown Sonoma for about an hour, looking for a place to let Rennie be himself, but all the No Dogs signs were making me think they did not want such a thing to happen, so I finally gave up and found a shady spot to park the car, where I could leave him for a moment, while I went to get a bite to eat, before driving us both over to my friend Pomona’s place.

My mom is, as Pomona puts it, her oldest living friend. That is: the friendship, not my mom, has seen some years. They lived in Paris, France, at the same time for about two years growing up, when both their families were in the military. Then they reunited back in Virginia sometime around high school age and managed to stay in touch ever since, despite Pomona’s moves to Maine, Colorado and British Columbia, because my mom has pretty much always stayed in the South. The first time we met that I can actually remember, I was about eight years-old and she and her husband at the time came to visit us at our home in Jacksonville, Fla., parking their camper in the driveway and sleeping there at night, after they had sat at our kitchen table inside and entertained us with stories all evening. And I remember someone had on a bright yellow T-shirt and there was a warm glow and lots of smiling and laughter.

I never saw her again after that night, though, and for the rest of my childhood, I grew up just hearing the name of Pony, as she is called by close friends, and seeing her handwriting on the beautiful homemade cards she would send my mom several times a year, and then there would be phone calls to catch up every once in awhile, but it was not until this past May that I actually saw Pomona again and it was because I had just flown into Atlanta, Ga., to pick up Marco, and Pomona was flying in about two hours after me to meet up with my mom for a girls’ trip to Paris a few days later, and so my parents came to the airport and scooped us both up and took us out to eat and then back to their place in Athens, where I spent one night before heading out the next day in my new wheels, West bound again.

Now the Paris trip has since been completed and Pomona, widowed last year for the second time in her life, has returned to her old home on Vancouver Island, packed up her things and moved south to California, which is where I found her, standing at the end of her driveway and gazing up the road in the direction from which I was coming.

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