Well, now, I just hung up the phone from a brief but highly pleasant talk with my friends Jane and Dave. That in our conversation Dave would reference items from letters posted here as well as the letters sent expressly to them is impressive (at least to me). Maybe there is some power to the pen after all.
Alas, they can’t make it to Wyoming in a few weeks, but it’s still good to connect. That seems to be happening with more frequency, and that’s good, too.
June 1, 2011
Jane: Miss Manners and the other correctness mavens would be aghast that it has taken me this long to send you the proper ‘thank you’ after your swell party last month. It was a really a great time with a great group of people. It was wonderful to see everyone after all these years. It makes me believe I am the only one who has aged, but unfortunately not in the same vein as fine wine. And to think that I thought only women in the South went around barefoot and wearing aprons. You’d fit right in down in these parts. How the hell you managed to pull all that yummy food together and keep your wits about you is beyond me. And that your kids were around to help you and Dave is doubly impressive. They’re a good pair.
Really, the funniest part of the whole trip was you and your girlfriends passing notes up in the balcony at Plymouth. That was just a riot. Dave had mentioned that such a hyper-social atmosphere might occur, and he was spot on. We’ll have to start post-sermon tests to see what learnings were actually absorbed by your upper floor crew. It was interesting to re-visit Plymouth after attending my small mixed-race Presbyterian church here in Charlotte. Saw lots of familiar faces in the pews on the first floor.
I’m appreciative that you would take the time to pull out all the stops to welcome me back to DSM. I miss the old sod and the people. Yeah, my stake is driven a little further into the ground the longer I’m down this way, but a big chunk of me remains in Iowa. I’m sorry to be so far away from you guys and all the others.
Now, this is a bold-faced recruitment effort to entice you and Dave (and the kids, if they’ll go) to get up to the Bridger Wilderness with us on Sunday, July 24. That’s the day we head into the back country for 3-4 nights (depending on what the group will bear). We’ve got a good crew of six coming from Charlotte (including my minister, a great guy, and his family), and for most of them it will be their first trip to the real mountains and not those bumps in North Carolina they term to be ‘mountains.’ This will be the pleasure cruise of backpacking trips. It will be far from a forced march although you’ll have to get used to dried pasta and the like, along with any fish that are unlucky enough to be snagged on our hooks. You are more than welcome – very welcomed, indeed – to join this little Western safari.
You’ll have to keep me abreast of the guys weekend whenever it is this fall. My calendar is typically wide open and at any rate will push aside whatever else would show up on the docket to make room for the boys. But thanks again for your hospitality. It makes me wonder just how often you can keep raising the bar.