We spent the time catching up on 45 years. I cannot believe it's been so long. We didn't know each other well, but we enjoyed the friendship that we had. When we parted company that morning, I asked her what her husband thought of all this - he is Iranian and they had trouble getting back to America after they were married. He was pretty amazed by the whole reunion, I think. She said she was going home to tell him that we closed the gap of 45 years in about 45 minutes. Pretty close to true!
I just noticed that V is the only one with her eyes open! It was early, but it's ridiculous that we appear to be falling asleep at the breakfast table!
V headed back to Ann's apartment to meet up with our parents and take them to Monticello, where they met and fell in love when they were only 14 and 17, to be married 3 years later. I had told Diane that I would be wearing red crop pants. It's a good thing I did, because I was watching for her on one street and she arrived on a perpendicular street. But I did stand out in the crowd! You can read her version of our time together here.
As we headed out of the city, Diane told me to grab the bag on the back seat. Oh, my goodness, she blessed me with such a lovely assortment of gifts, beautifully placed in a basket shaped like Minnesota! Everything in the basket had a Minnesota connection.
Front and center you can see a bear at a computer - more about that later. Just behind the bear and to the left is a beautiful moose bookmark - what more appropriate gift could there be for me, who always needs to mark a place in a book?? To the right of the bookmark is a Minnesota-shaped chocolate sucker and beside it is a fish-shaped chocolate sucker. These were for the grandkiddoes - what a thoughtful friend. The red package is wild rice soup mix -I can't wait to taste it, but will wait till it's a bit cooler. Behind the soup are two packages of wonderful-looking truffles with Minnesota scenes on each of the four sides of the package - these are for my kids and their spouses. There was one more goodie, which I had already eaten when I took the picture - pretzel sticks covered with white chocolate, to look like birch tree logs. At the very back is a CD called "Minnesota Morning and Timeless Favorites" - piano music, which is one of my favorite types of music to listen to at work. I played it over and over yesterday as I remembered the good time we had together for those short hours.
Isn't this just the cutest thing? It's called "E-Bear." I have it on my file cabinet at work in a very prominent spot. I had it on the table to take this picture. I must have been really distracted the next morning, because in the middle of the day I got an e-mail from DC asking me if I had meant for him to have it at his desk. I had left it on the table, and it's right where he eats breakfast - he thought I was going to let him have it - HA! I asked him to please, please remember to bring it back to me!
As Diane said, we had to make a stop at the Mall of America. I wasn't sure I was going to make it to this major landmark in Minneapolis, but thanks to Diane, I got to see it. I'm not a shopper in any sense of the word - give me a catalog and my easy chair any day. I would rather return stuff than try things on in a store dressing room! Even though it costs more that way. But you can't go to Minneapolis and not see the MOA - it's like going to Arizona and skipping the Grand Canyon!
I know we didn't even scratch the surface, but we had fun walking around, chatting several miles a minute as we did. We talked of how much fun it would be to bring the kiddoes there and spend a whole day. It's an amusement park as large as any you've probably seen. Amazing. The Lego display is unbelievable. We asked several people to take our pictures and they were all so willing to do so.
We then headed for Diane's home town and had lunch at a lovely place on one of the thousands of beautiful lakes that Minnesota is famous for. What a great time we had eating delicious salads and making new memories. As she said, we talked about you, our friends, and wished you were there with us.
Diane is a very generous person, as you can tell by the gift she gave me. She also took me to Monticello. I can tell you that there were very few silent moments in the 6 hours that we were together. As she mentioned, her 2:00 appointment was cancelled as we headed to Monti, so we had a bit more time than we anticipated. What a blessing. She told you about meeting my dad - the ultimate story teller. I am so glad that she enjoyed his memories so much.
When I began this blogging adventure a little over a year ago, I never dreamed that I would have the privilege, or even have the great desire, to meet someday. As Groovylady said in a comment to Diane, if we never meet on this earth, we will have a great Bloggy Get-together in heaven someday. Shall we set a date 100 years from now??
Diane's son is embarking on the journey to wholeness. It is because of our prodigal sons that we became acquainted. She hosted the big "Welcome Home, Kevin" party when he returned from Tēēn Challenge last June, before I even had a blog (Kristen soon took care of that!). So many prayers have gone up for so many of us and our life crises in the last year. What amazing answers to prayer we have seen. Now we get to watch God work in Diane's son's life.
I have a few more pictures and stories, so I'll quit for now and say "Part 3 - To Be Continued."