"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Friends for Life

I can't remember how we met--it was a very long time ago. We went to the same elementary school, but she was a year younger (and still is) so we weren't in the same class. But we got involved in the same activities at the local science museum and were in a youth theatre group and eventually ended up at the same private day school (yes, we were preppies but we didn't act like it). At some point, we became Best Friends. For one year, we attended the same college. (Still not in the same class, but in the same dorm.) Then she transferred, and I went off to grad school. We each moved away. Stuff happened. I published novels. She moved ahead in her chosen profession.

Over the years we've seen each other but not often. Now that she's moved back to the hometown with a super nice husband and a really important job and an adorable house, I can see her whenever we visit my parents. (Plus, her parents have moved down the street from mine.)

Last February we got together during my trip to the South. When we she told us she had a conference in Boston in September, it was the best of news, because that meant she could come stay with us at the Lodge.

And she did. That's why I haven't been blogging much this week.

As soon as she arrived here, Lola and Ruth recognised her as a Best Friend.

I admit, I was sort of jealous about the way they monopolised her, especially Ruth. The way the two of them snuggled on the sofa at night, I started to worry my friend would try and smuggle the wee dog out of the house in her luggage. I never saw such a love-fest!

Part of the fun of having her here was touring around New England--in gorgeous weather. On Thursday we spent the day in Maine. Our first stops were Kennebunk and Kennebunkport. Then we went to Ogunquit, were we saw some very intrepid boaters heading out of Perkins Cove. The wind was really blustery!

brave boaters in Ogunquit

Next we visited that wonderful beauty spot, Cape Neddick, for photo ops in front of the Nubble Point Lighthouse. It's hard to take a bad picture with a background like that!

Photo Op at Nubble Light

Some people were making their pictures the old-fashioned way.

Artist at work

Our final stop of the day was Newick's at Dover Point, where we enjoyed a delicious seafood dinner.

Yesterday, I drove my friend up to the Cottage on the Big Lake. The loon must have known how special she is, because he came to greet her. She took this picture of him with her fab new camera. (Photo credit: H. Hamilton)

The loon on the Big Lake by H.Hamilton

Last night we cooked dinner at home. She taught me a new way to cook salmon steaks--she modified her recipe, substituting maple syrup for honey, to give it that local flavour. It was the best salmon I've ever eaten....

Using her fab new camera, she took this most excellent pic of me and Ruth in my office. (Photo credit: H. Hamilton)

Author photo by H. Hamilton

Even though so much has happened in our lives, it's like time stood still. Sometimes we felt thirteen and fourteen again. And sometimes we didn't.

Years ago, whenever we had sleepovers at my house, we would make the most decadent, sinful fudge in the universe. Last night, I dragged out the old cookbook with that very same well-used recipe--on the page with all the chocolate smudges. And then I got out my candy thermometer....

We could make fudge again!

Today I found my old high school yearbooks to read what she'd written at the end of each school year. My favourite sentence is this one:

"Remember the time I spent two nights in a row...and making fudge...that was great fun, let's do it again this summer. At your house."

Although we didn't make the fudge this time, we've now broken the long-standing previous record for the longest sleepover at my house! In our guestroom we have the very same maplewood twin beds that were in my bedroom as a child and teenager. Meaning she was sleeping in the very same bed that she did back then.

The Chap and Ruth and Lola are missing her already...and so am I.

She'd better come back...next time, we're making fudge, and going for another longest sleepover record.

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