Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Preacher's Kid

Towards the end of the week, I managed to eke in a lunch with one of my favorite gals..the incomparable Lydia Harris Donnelly. We've been trying to get this together for some time and happily, we finally made it happen. Lyd's a longtime friend who moved to our hometown when we were all still kids. Her father, Dr. George Harris and his wife Barbara moved into town as George was taking over as minister at First Baptist Church....our church. You couldn't help but notice Lyd... that little meteor of energy barreling down the aisle like she owned the place. Her family became fast friends with mine and her parents made an indelible impression on many of us. In time, I would sadly witness the ugly side of church politics for the first time and we were forced to say goodbye to this fine family as church members...but thankfully not as friends and neighbors.

Lydia became a lifelong friend. My memories with her range from her sneaking out of her parent's window to a hide-and-seek game in her upscale fine china shop. I recently reminded Lyd of her first skiing trip. I, along with Judy Webb, watched her sail down the slope her first time down, ski poles swinging through the air and leaving a long, loud and particularly inventive stream of obscenities in her wake. Judy simply watched and said in her best deadpan tone, "Yep. That's the preacher's kid."

Well, the preacher's kid has grown up and remains a force of nature. Lydia's a happily married proud mother of two beautiful girls, one who just happens to be on the ski team. She's also a well-educated, successful businesswoman. She's earned every bit of happiness she enjoys...and deserves every ounce of it.

We met at the Galley, a cool little bistro joint that's received quite the makeover since the days when I knew it best as Oliver's. The Galley now features outdoor dining, an upper-level mezzanine area and a sweet space for live music. We munched on yummy sandwiches; mine a Chipotle Chicken wrap with some awesome slaw. We commiserated on eldercare for a bit and then she surprised me by letting me know we got to spend the whole day with her! I also caught up with my old roommate and pal Greg, or Pimp Daddy as he is affectionately known. The afternoon was a joyful Marietta flashback.

Earlier, I spent that morning with my folks and helped ease my aunt's shock at seeing my father in such poor shape. Now, I returned with Lydia to see them. Dad didn't recognize Lyd but Mom tearfully did. They caught up while I tended to Dad a bit. If I needed a reminder of the fine human being Lydia has become, I had but to watch her tenderness with my parents.

Lyd and I reunited with Kristy back at Abicht's Landing. We were rewarded with pristine weather, so we slipped on the shades and hit the deck. Seeing the three of us reminisce flooded me with another flashback: the three of us, having just done our duty as wedding singer, cruising the town and looking for trouble. That's singers looking for trouble....what? It could happen.
Kristy and I enjoyed our reunion with Lyd so much, we'd decided that she was our birthday present. For me, Lyd was even more....a much-treasured tonic to a tough week.


Kristy said...

Ha! The Preacher's Kid. Aptly titled!!! Hanging out with Lyd definitely was a great birthday present. She's so great. Gotta love the Lydster.

P.S. Please no more pics of me. I look like the kid in Mask.

Lydia said...

Awwwwwww!!!! I am crying! You are simply the best. What a magnificent day we had, wish we had longer. Thank you so much for your kind words. Love you Love you Love you.

Confounded Cook said...

Love ya back, Sugar! Let's not wait so long to do it again!!

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