A friend in the nick of time…


Ellen in particular sends lots of photos via her phone. Loveable Henry appears to have become a Minnesota Twins fan, as is Ellen's hubby Tim.

Ever have one of those times in life when you badly, sorely, really needed a friend?  I’ve had my share of welcome friends recently; Betsy, Ferg, Bob, Felicia, Ann, Linda, John, Pam, Pete.  You know the type; supportive, empathetic, helpful.

Then along comes Jane.  Jane lives in Des Moines and I referenced she and her husband Dave a couple of posts ago.  We go way back.  28 years will have to suffice for way back.  Without getting into excruciating detail, Jane was a friend in the nick of time.

In a few weeks, I will be afforded the opportunity to rekindle the relationship in person.  It’s been five long years since we’ve last seen each other, and it’s high time for a reunion.  I couldn’t let this entire situation pass without some sort of correspondence.  On top of that, they know Ellen and Reid very well;  a here’s-what-the-kids-are-doing-now update is way, way, way overdue.  It doesn’t take much to get my motor running when it comes to letters.  Just point me in the right direction and I’ll take things from there.

Here is that letter.

August 30, 2010

Jane/Dave: This has been one hell of a forgettable summer and I’ve looked for some ray of light.  You two are apparently it, and just in time.

I have been woefully out of contact with virtually everyone from Des Moines except for F_________ and a little bit with Greg K_______.  The guilty party pops up in my mirror every morning.  From the sound of things, things haven’t changed up there markedly.  For some reason I was under the assumption that you guys had jettisoned DSM entirely for sunny FLA-USA.  But the weather pages of the paper did not paint a pretty winter picture of Des Moines this past season so no one would have held it against you had you pulled up stakes entirely.

As for North Carolina, my stake seems to be a little further in the ground as time goes by.  It’s a nice enough place.  Charlotte is a good town and it was at its zenith when I moved down here in ’06.  Wine and decadence for everyone.  Those were pretty heady times for the ‘burg, and it’s been in something of a free-fall since then.  The actual timing of the free fall can be directly pegged to my purchase of a townhome at the very tippy-top of the market.  Someone has to buy at full price.  Things have fallen downhill like a rock since then.  If you looked at a map, which you have utterly no reason to do, I would be in what locals like to call ‘South Park’.  My commute to the downtown (which is called Uptown for some flimsy reason) is about 20 minutes.  Not bad by these standards.  I like it here and like where I live.

But here is the real news.  Ellen (now 27) is by all appearances very happily married up in St. Paul.  She just landed her first teaching gig (2nd grade) after a long, long time searching and applying.  She just persevered.  She and her hubby, Tim (who works at _______) live in a little bungalow not far from the main East-West drag in St. Paul.  They love it although I persistently rub it in deeply in, say, in January, when it’s -31 there and 64F here.  I have to get in my digs sometime.  She was working at a property management firm which paid well but it wasn’t her dream.  Now she gets to live it.  _____________, St. Paul, MN  55105-2409.

On the other hand, Reid (25) is fully acclimated to Chicago where none of us see him leaving anytime soon.  He’s some sort of web/pixel/digital ad campaign geek at a big ad agency there.  I don’t fully understand what he does and he’s grown tired of telling me.  He’s dating a young woman from Des Moines, Jackie, and perhaps that hastened him moving just this week to a studio apartment.  He likes Chicago a lot although we have to wean him from being a Cubs fan.

Kathy has pretty much become a Californian with her new guy.  I plead ignorance on any of the details because I don’t butt in or ask, but from what I glean from the kids and others, it’s a good situation for her, too.  Her house in Clive will go on the market soon and should stand a fair chance of selling.

My father passed away at the end of June, and a few weeks later my job at the bank passed along, too.  This will be one summer that can’t move out of the way fast enough.  That’s why your pending trip is so exciting.  I may be bothered by dropping off people’s radar screens back there, but there’s nothing like rekindling old relationships, as long as we can keep the news out of the newspapers.  I owe you in more ways than one.  See you soon.

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Filed under Contact, Correspondence, Friends, Writing to friends

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