Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Kittens, Morning Glories, and Goodbye to an Old Friend

Good morning, Tina here. I have just received one of those phone calls that a person doesn't ever want to get, but unfortunately come with a bit more regularity as we grow older.

A very close lady friend of mine who I have known since my very early twenties passed away last night from leukemia. Her decline was rapid, from the time she saw her doctor last month with complaints of being overly tired, to chemo treatments, a sudden infection, the gathering of her sons and family at her side, to slipping away from us.

I was planning on showing some pictures of my flowers to you this morning, and I will, but now I want to dedicate their delicate beauty and brilliant colors to Sherry, who loved life and left it much to soon. Goodbye Sherry, you were a wonderful lady and a great friend, and I love you.
One quick picture as an uptdate on Ishi, who is settling in and causing terror to adult cats and corgis (and even husbands) wherever he goes, although he looks pretty mellow in this photo.

Years ago, I think it was over New Years in 1975, I went camping with my significant other, and Sherry and her hubby. We were young and perhaps crazy, and we were in the mountains out of Bridgeport, California. Sherry and company were in a VW camper and we were in a camper on a VW truck. The temperature overnight reached into 14 degrees below zero! Our eyelashes froze together while we slept and the ceiling of the camper had ice that formed from the moisture from our breath.

Being young and hungry that morning we gathered in the VW camper to cook breakfast. We had eggs. They were in the shell and frozen solid. I don't remember how we managed to peel them, but I do remember them in the frying pan, solid and rolling around as we attempted to heat them over pats of frozen butter. We also had canned bacon! I don't even know how to describe a can of bacon in grease frozen solid. Needless to say, cooking our repast took a long time but it was quite delicious when it finally happened.

Following Bridgeport we found our way done Highway 395 to Death Valley and had a great trip, gathering interesting rocks and hiking all over. New Year's is a great time to be in the California desert!

Sherry once lived in a cute little two bedroom house on Myrtle Street in Placerville, where we were neighbors and constantly at each other's homes. We had a "peeping tom" who lived in the neighborhood (we had our suspicions as to who it was) and both Sherry and I had memorable visits by him during that time. I looked out my son's bedroom window one time and saw khaki pants sticking out under the plum tree under the bathroom window, called the police, but he was long gone. Sherry had several incidents, which ended in finding a sleeping bag and blankets set up under her bedroom window so that the peeping tom could be very comfortable and cozy while he watched whatever show they put on unaware.

Sherry had a wonderful collection of houseplants in her dining room, which got eastern and southern light. It was like a jungle in there! I loved it and because of her started developing a houseplant collection of my own.

One of the funniest memories of my life is Sherry learning how to drive. She didn't drive for the longest time, and when she was learning, we realized maybe that was a good thing! They had a little MG sportscar, and I remember her husband yelling (not very nice, but you never saw her drive, and you know how husbands can be...) at her as they went barreling down Myrtle past our house.

When I first met Sherry, she wasn't there. That became a joke with our group of friends. We were at a party put on by the drama teacher at our local college. Sherry's husband, who I meeting for the first time, was asked by someone about the whereabouts of his wife: "Sherry's in L.A.' was his answer. For several get-togethers after that it was always "Sherry's in L.A." I was starting to wonder if Sherry existed, but she finally came home! But for a long time "Sherry's in L.A." was a running gag whenever anyone wasn't around for a party.

A quick note about the morning glories. They all came up from seeds dropped from last year's crop in the barrels on the South side of our home, where I am growning cherry tomatoes and bell and hot peppers, except they are so covered with morning glory vines you can hardly tell they are there.

I am not sure if Sherry grew morning glories, but she had a lovely little flower garden on the walkway to her pretty home in the country, and lovely plants on the back deck. Her bright home had a cozy little sunken living room centered around a woodstove, and was surrounded by black oaks and ponderosa pines.

The last time Sherry and I spent together was a trip to "Girls Night Out" in Placerville with my sister Lori and I will think of Sherry every time I go downtown to a shop since we were in and out most of them that evening.

Goodbye Sherry, I will treasure your memory, and thank you for being my friend, you brightened my life.


Heidi Ann said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Sherry, Tina.
The morning glories are beautiful.
And this was a beautiful post.

Elizabeth Holcombe said...

Oh, My friend! I am so so very sorry to hear of the loss of your dear friend, Sherry. Her short life was enriched because you were in it. The morning glory photos are a lovely tribute to her as well as your heartfelt words. Your kitty is growing like a weed, a cute little adorable weed :)~~~XXOO, Beth

lorlore said...

Goodbye to Sherry, so sorry to hear. I do remember our 'Girls Night Out' was a fun time together.

Vickie (in Sacto) said...

I think I'm intruding here as a "stranger" but I must say my heart is with you in your time of grief and what a beautiful tribute your words have given to your dear friend. Cling to those happy, wonderful times and she will be with you always. You will miss her presence, but she will let you know, in little ways, that she is with you, always. I'm so sorry.

yosemite faith said...

awww....geez tina. what lovely things and memories you had to share about your friend. i should be so lucky to have someone to that for me after i am gone. a wonderful tribute to her and to you tina. thanks for sharing. also, thanks for the ishi update.

Heidi Ann said...

Oh, Vickie - you aren't intruding at all. You are so sweet to leave such a lovely comment.
And you know what they say: "There are no strangers - only friends we haven't met yet"! Nice to meet you, friend!