For Lisa’s 53rd Birthday

Lisa on the scary bridge at the Japanese Gardens in Golden Gate Park

I am so blessed to call you, my friend. When I met you nearly 30 years ago, I was charmed by your easy laugh and enchanting conversation. We came from such opposite backgrounds but had a similar vision for the future. I sure wish I had pictures of us in our first attempt at gardening in the student plots at IU. All the hours we spent digging and laughing and carrying bucket after bucket of water from the creek to the plot. I have so few pictures of that time in Indiana. Things that stand out to me:

First visit in San Francisco 1994

I loved visiting you when you lived in San Francisco. I was jealous of your adventures and the courage to move to a new, big, legendary city—the cool apartment with the iconic bay window. You taught me how to ride the BART, and we stood in line for burritos as big as our heads. You could see the Golden Gate Bridge every day if you wanted to. 

Shhhh, don’t tell the kids we got ourselves candy

When you moved to Utah in 1995 (I think, or 96), I was in absolute heaven! I loved that we took up scrapbooking with a fierce passion. Definitely the reason I have more pictures of that time, it was so fun having the girls together, even though it was more war than peace. It makes me laugh now; can you imagine them having one of those drop-down-drag-out fights today?

Give me all the nickels!!!

This trip to Vegas just before you moved to New Hampshire was an absolute blast. The highlight is when you won the jackpot on the nickel machine (was it bananas?)!! I swear we took a picture of that, but I can’t find it anywhere. I do have this one with our enormous cups of nickels.

Watching the Jazz break our hearts in 1997

By our next trip to Vegas for my 41st birthday, the cups and coins had disappeared, definitely more hygienic if less fun. The highlights were of massages and pedicures and of sitting in our hotel room, watching an episode of Survivor that I downloaded from Apple because we missed that week’s episode. Do you still watch Survivor? I do! Maybe someday we’ll watch Survivor together again. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

Blowing away at the top of Coit Tower 2018

The time we spent back in San Francisco in 2018 is an absolute highlight. That perfect little Airbnb, taking the bus downtown to listen to and absorb all the incredible wisdom from the best mindfulness and meditation teachers and taking that crazy fast bus ride that also seemed like the perfect tour through the city. Meeting your brother Jordan for the first time, and feeling like I’ve known him forever. But not that part when we went for dim sum, and a hint of shellfish wafted your way – scared the crap out of me. 

This is not that shrimp meal, it was the most delicious meal we had earlier that week

I dreamt the other night that we were in New Zealand (I still have it on my calendar for 2022, I hope you do too). We were sleeping in hammocks in a treehouse. How much fun are we going to have?

found note

I found this note on a scrap of paper while sorting through my books today.

Being willing to go is different than wanting to go. Yearning, dreaming, going no matter what and under any circumstance.

On an airplane going anywhere is where I want to be. Unless it’s home, gravity must be stronger in the Wasatch mountains. The landing is beautiful to be sure, but heavy. I feel heavier. My feet are enormous in my lead shoes. The gravity even pulls tears right out of my eyes. My chest is so very heavy. I can hardly breathe.