“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.”
(To paraphrase: “There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with a beer mug filled with tequila.”)
If you’re wondering, this was in 1988.
“If you have good friends, no matter how much life is sucking , they can make you laugh.”
Here is Janou in her Idaho Mountain Woman Pose, circa 1991. I’d returned to Idaho to celebrate my 40th birthday and Janou figured out how I could take a Christmas tree home–on the plane–to Rhode Island! And yes, we cut one down, shoved it carefully it a tube, and shipped it as luggage.
Janou is famous for her Big Plans. Last year she organized a huge neighborhood yard sale that actually caused traffic jams on the remote peninsula on which she lives. She is an intrepid bargain hunter, a brilliant cook, a generous hostess and a fiercely competitive card player.
I met her when our daughters were in diapers. Dancing Mandolin Player and I had a gift shop; Janou had just moved to town. Disappointed that the shop was closed on a Monday morning while her husband was home with her two small children, Janou was not about to be denied some adult, female conversation. So she went to a pay phone (yes, this was back in “the old days”) and found my name in the phone book (yes, back when there were phone books) and called me.
“Remember me?” she said. “I was in your store on Saturday with my daughter? I just moved here from California?”
“Yes,” I said. I was barely awake. The boys had just left for school. The kitchen was in its post-breakfast mess, the baby was in her playpen (back when there were playpens). “How are you?”
“You’re not open today!!”
“Uh, we’re closed on Mondays.”
“But I’m here at the Hi Hopes Market! Without the kids.” She paused. “Can I come over for coffee?”
I looked around my messy kitchen. Well, if that’s what she wanted, then she’d have to deal with it. “I guess so.” I gave her directions. She arrived in five minutes, sat down at the kitchen table, and we’ve been friends ever since.
Every time she came to Rhode Island she redecorated my house, which was a good thing and such a relief.
We met in Paris for a week, after our kids were grown. We ate chocolate and strolled through parks and drank wine and enjoyed cafes. We shopped the Paris Flea Market…and we went to Mont St. Michelle. We actually hiked to the top of this monastery.
So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Janou! I wish I was there to celebrate with you! I might be tempted to create another x-rated coffee cake in honor of your birthday.
(I have searched through 7 photo albums for a picture of that coffee cake and haven’t found it–darn!!)
I miss you. I hope you have a wonderful day. I’ll call you later, after you wake up. 🙂