Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Personally yours, From New York

I have known Maria for merely ten years, still, she is one of those friends that when you meet-- you just know you have known her your whole life! Her husband and my husband were members of the same International Accounting Network, that is until last Fall.....when my husband's firm joined another network. While it was professionally a good move, personally, I was saddened that we would no longer travel twice a year with Maria and Mike. While we traveled to Argentina last October, I was saddened just knowing that Maria and Mike were simultaneously traveling to Washington, DC to be with many of our other friends that we have professionally journeyed with for more than 20 years.

When this trip to New York was scheduled, I jumped at the chance to travel with DH to meet Maria, with the sole purpose....of visiting her at her home in the midst of the towers of Manhattan. So Monday morning, I risked life and limb and walked to Maria home on 58th Street. I was excited to see Maria's home; we had shared so many stories of our children, our homes, and our lives....now I would walk into her front door, into the walls that sheltered her heart and the memories she had shared with me as we traveled around the world together...professionally.

Personally, I knew that Maria's home would be so welcoming. Once inside, the claustrophobia I had been experiencing disappated....as I left the throngs of pedestrians behind (all, disregarding those darn crosswalk signals!), I entered into her very warm and lovely home. Offering me a glass of freshly made iced-tea, Maria and I sat on her living room couch and we spent two hours catching up! She told me of their business trip to DC, I shared ours to Buenos Aires. Out came the wedding photos of both of her daughters weddings....each had taken place last summer. Soon, it was time to take her darling Cavilier King Charles Spaniel, Abby, for a walk. Maria warmly greeted each person we passed as we walked the streets of New York with her very happy puppy! Oh how Abby loves to walk; my apprehension of walking a dog through the maze of marching New Yorkers did not faze Abby in the least. With plastic baggy in hand, Maria and Abby led the way!

After returning Abby to the apartment, Maria and I headed to a neighborhood restaurant where we enjoyed a thoroughly wonderful lunch, eating outside! The hustle and bustle of cars, taxis, and limos did not even register on my radar as we shared a glass of wine while talking about...well... everything!

Mid afternoon, Maria suggested that we go to Rockefeller Center and go to the new viewing center at the top of the building, "Top of the Rock." It was just a short walk to Rockefeller Center....can you even imagine that Rockefeller Center would be in your neighborhood! The views were spectacular, made even more beautiful as Maria shared her neighborhood with me.

That evening, I took DH back to her neighborhood where we joined Mike and Maria at New York's acclaimed restaurant, Felidia Ristorante, located directly next door to their building. Felidia is owned by world reknowned Chef, Lidia Macchichio Bastianich, and while I had no clue how special that really is, by the time I tasted the first bite of my starter....I knew I was in for a culinary delight! The food was delectable....the company divine.
I'm posting in my own home tonight having returned to Minneapolis and actually drove my car once again! I smiled as I drove through each traffic light and saw the white hand signals of the crosswalk--remembering that just a few hours earlier, I had been navigating the streets of NYC. How different our streets really are, how different our homes are. My driveway is the length of a city block and the trees that surround my home are a welcome sight! And, there is not a taxi cab honking, police siren warning, or door-man blowing his whistle........anywhere within ear shot! Aw.....home sweet home!
Still, I can't wait to return to visit Maria again. The fact that our living circumstances are culturally world's apart....the real connection of a lasting friendship is personally entwined! Tonight, as I look out of my bedroom window into my back yard, lit, not by the bright lights of Times Square but, by the stars of a brilliant Minnesota spring evening, my heart is filled with gratitude. Gratitude that I live in a place that understands what to do at a crosswalk to prevent mayhem on the streets. Gratitude for the solitude of a suburban evening.
Gratitude for my own quiet bedroom, in my own home. Although it lacks a doorman, fitness center, or 3rd floor terrace, it is my home. And it is in my own home that I quietly reflect the beauty of friendship shared with one so different, yet, so amazingly the same! In fact, it is possible that our differences have only added to the flavor of our friendship. Tonight, as my two dogs are roaming on grass, looking for just the right place to 'piddle', it is quite possible that Abby is on her late night walk--she will 'piddle' on a sidewalk. Still, a bond continues to be shared between two friends; two friends who love our dogs, love our families, and love that we have spent some personal time together!


Tam said...

good story friend...glad you enjoyed your trip.

almost envious of your eating of such delectable italian food!!!

Heather Smith said...

Sounds like a great time! I think it is too cute that Abby had pacifiers! I'm with you on the country living too! Gotta be able to see those stars!

Denise said...

So glad that you enjoyed your trip.

Dawn said...

We're back from St. Simons Island and Savannah and had such an awesome time. We'll still be here in Athens for a few more days, just relaxing and doing fun stuff with the family. I'll see Brenda on Saturday afternoon at a Botanical Garden. Should be great fun.

Sounds like quite an adventure in NYC!

C. H. Green said...

I LOVED hearing about your friend and about your adventure in New York...it's the stuff dreams are made of sounds like...And yet, as you know, there's no place like home. There's no place like home...there's no place like home.

Spookie the Warrior said...

I have a friend like that, and nothing seems to break our bond. Not distance or age (she is 10 years younger than me!!) not circumstances - nothing. We know intuitively when one of needs a phone call or a visit. It is special to meet a kindered spirit like that and feel as if yo've known each other your whole life.

Thanks for sharing this wonderful story.

groovyoldlady said...

It's almost like the Country Mouse and the City Mouse, eh?