Our old friends Dave and Janet and their twin girls stayed with us over Thanksgiving. Dave and Chris have been buddies since high school (and I’ve known them both that long too, which is sort of a scary thought.) Dave and Janet got married the month before we did, back when we were in our early twenties and most of our friends didn’t have dates, much less marriage plans. We had our first babies within six months of each other–although they had two to our one. And when they moved to Portland, we followed them up there and for a year-and-a-half lived three doors down. We ate dinner together most Thursday nights. Those were the days.
Since then, we see each other every few years–in the last two years or so it’s been more often. And what great times we have.
The kids have gotten in the habit of filming a movie each time they’re together. I think they’ve done five now. It’s fantastic–instead of vegging out on Guitar Hero World Tour on the Wii, they’re coming up with plots, filming scenes, editing. This time, perhaps to keep Mr. T from being a bother, they gave him the lead role.
As James Bond.
They actually convinced a bartender at the Palace Hotel to take his order and serve him a fake martini on film. Shaken, not stirred, of course.
There was also a brotherly fight scene on the Golden Gate Bridge which may have slowed city-bound traffic temporarily.
And no, I’m not thrilled to see my seven-year-old swigging martinis, punching his brother and wielding a machine gun, but I guess he’s pretty much ruined anyway. And he does all those things with such style…
He and Dave got to play in an interactive art installation at the SF MOMA. And we posed in front of the Union Square Christmas tree like good tourists. (No fighting or machine guns involved.)
Dave and Janet are some of the most positive people I know. I always end up feeling inspired after spending time with them. Janet teaches at a wonderful private school in a farm-like setting outside of Portland, and I always get exciting homeschooling ideas based on what she’s doing in her classroom. The four of us love sharing recommendations for good books, recipes, vacation destinations, films. (This time they brought down King Corn. Fabulous!) And we love sharing bottles of wine and Zachary’s pizzas.
On Sunday morning before they left, I came downstairs at 6:30 and found Dave in the kitchen, filling up water bottles. He didn’t complain about having to be up at 6:00 a.m., or about the 10-hour-if-you-don’t-stop drive home, or at the fact that he was schlepping bags down our stairs and out into the morning cold. Instead he looked at me and smiled and said, “It’s beautiful out there today.”
It was just a typical line from him, but it made an impact on me, especially on the first morning of Advent. I’ll say more about that later this week.
Good friends are gifts. But friends who also inspire? They’re gifts with a ribbon on top.