I wish that life should not be cheap, but sacred,
I wish the days to be as centuries, loaded, fragrant.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I met Susan in junior high. She was tall and beautiful, and very smart. This continued through high school where she was an honor student, president of the girls' league and eventually homecoming queen. On top of that, she was always nice and just a totally cool chick. I remember we'd get together to study and all we'd do is chat for hours on end. I have a feeling it was me that was the bad influence in those study sessions, considering she was the one getting straight A's.
We lost touch in college. She studied zoology at UC Davis, then plant ecology at the University of Alaska, while I was studying art and doing theatre in San Diego. Eventually, (I'm jumping way ahead here) she ended up in Ester, Alaska near Fairbanks running Calypso Farm & Ecology Center with her husband and their two adorable girls. Check out their website. What they are doing is pretty amazing.
Happily, we got back in touch a couple of years ago on Facebook when I was staying in Ojai recovering from my appendix. Her brother still lives there (in Ojai), not far from my sister. He does organic farming in The Happy Valley, and that is where we met up last Friday for a picnic when Susan and her family were in town visiting and taking a break from the Alaska winter. It's on the same road and just a hop skip and a jump from The Beatrice Wood Centre for the Arts.
We picked greens for our lunch and along with a few other goodies (and a little balsamic and olive oil) we were ready to go. It was a glorious day and great to see old friends!
New little lettuces coming up ...
Mmmm ... my salad ...
What a cute family, huh? Susan, as gorgeous as ever, with her brother Peter in the middle, her husband Tom in green, and her sweet girls, Addie and Elsa. (Addie's in the sunglasses.)
Hoping to go see them in Alaska some day, but until then ... we'll have our visits in Ojai.
Bloom where you are planted.
~ Mary Engelbreit