Monday, June 7, 2010

Friday Morning in Winnipeg

Today was the wedding day. We were awakened by the sound of thunder around 6 a.m. My first thought was of Pier, and what she must be thinking right now. The ceremony was set for 4 p.m. OUTSIDE.

While it looked pretty bleak and wet outside, the forecast was for it to clear up around midday, and stay that way until the next system moved in, late evening.  We could only hope. And pray.

In the meantime, I had made plans to meet for breakfast with my potluck girlfriends. Those who could make it. Tracey of course is in Texas, but the others remain in Winnipeg. Funny enough, while I had made my way north, two of the four were heading south, to Wisconsin and Minnesota, for the weekend.

We had decided on Friday morning in the hopes that those leaving town might still be around. I was thrilled that they had rearranged their schedules and taken time off work so we could be together. The last time I saw them was Christmas of 2008. So we were long overdue.

We met at Monique's new house, at 8:30. Patti wasn't able to join us as she was facing the longer drive south. But Bonnie and Brenda would be there. I got there first and got the tour, since I was the only one who hadn't yet seen the new place.

Monique made her famous quiche, Bonz made chocolate rolls, like cinnamon rolls but with gooey chocolate instead! And Brenda brought croissants and homemade jam. Homemade by her?? She says.

The tall cool beverage was also by Bonz, but I can't remember what it was. I remember that it was yummy! Everything was!

But was even better was the company. Catching up. Lots of laughing together. And a few tears.

We've been friends for over 20 years. We started meeting for potluck dinners every month or two. Almost 10 years after we had started out potlucks, I moved to PA. Two years later, Trac moved to TX. The potlucks still go on in Winnipeg, without us. We haven't been replaced, though they keep threatening! We do try to get together whenever we get back, and we did finally take to the road almost 2 years ago. Everyone came to PA, and we did day trips, one of which included NYC, which we dubbed Six in the City!

We had such an amazing time, that day and that weekend! We've all agreed that we need to do it again, but if it took us over 20 years to get it together the first time, I'm not sure when we'll be traveling together again.

That's our background. Our history.

Back to breakfast. The girls surprised me with a gift. A beautiful gift of a necklace, which I'll have to photograph and share. It's silver and can be worn two ways. I prefer displaying the side featuring the word faith. And a mustard seed.

This is where I explain the significance of this gift. And link my two blogs. My second blog, here that I started shortly after I was diagnosed with breast cancer, on April 16th.

The necklace was a thoughtful reminder of their love and support of my fight. A fight which I know I'll win. I can't lose, with people like these behind me!

I should mention that the day before we left for Winnipeg, I got an email from my friend and neighbor Elise, who informed me that my friends from Winnipeg, these girls and of course Trac in TX, and I found out later, my sister, had arranged for house cleaning, starting while we were away.

I've mentioned on my other blog and intend to elaborate on the subject shortly, the outpouring of love and support since my diagnosis. I had surgery on May 11th and when we left for Winnipeg two weeks later, hadn't prepared a meal. Gifts of floral arrangements, books, tasty treats, a prayer shawl from ladies at my church -- I've been showered with these, as well as cards and emails.

I certainly wasn't expecting anything more than good food and good company. The necklace was a surprise, but a surprise I treasure, and have been wearing every day.

Funny story about the mustard seed, is that Brenda was the only one who could recall the bible story at the time. I had brought copies of Elise's new book, Unhaling for everyone. (Trac, still haven't mailed yours -- sorry!) Brenda emailed me shortly after to let me know the mustard seed was mentioned in one of Elise's stories. Interesting coincidence.

I am so thankful for these girls. For their friendship. Their love, generosity, kindness, support, sense of humour, honesty and understanding. And that they're all fabulous cooks!

I am so thankful that we were able to spend time together. When you're far away and in trouble of sorts, you can tell everyone you're OK. But really, the proof is in the hugs.

Bonnie, Brenda, Monique, Patti, Tracey, I can't thank you enough. I love you guys!!

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