It is funny the way life works some time.
Just yesterday I wrote a piece on friends, partly bemoaning how few earth-based friends I have in my life, and partly celebrating the friends I do have, earth-based and cyber.
Well, tonight, out of the clear blue sky, an old friend I haven’t seen in more years than I care to think about called and will coming through town next week and will be able to stop and stay the night! EEEEEK! I am thrilled from the top of my head to the tips of my toes.
I have known Laurie for a long time. Back in the day, she worked for me in a number of creative endeavors, as a floral designer, asst. mgr. in charge of the scrapbook department, and mgr. of our short-lived experiment in having a separate tole-painting store. We became more than just co-workers. Good friends, practically family.
The phone call sent me off to the studio in search of old pictures. OMG! It’s so hard to believe we used to survive without digital photos. My scanner decided not to work tonight, so these are photos of photos, so bear with me!
We had so much fun going to gift markets together – Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and to CHA – Anaheim (with a visit to Disneyland, of course!) Dallas, and Chicago. We would see displays at the showrooms and get almost giddy as we drew out how we could adapt them to our store.
This was a display we saw in Atlanta…
Then we came home and Laurie made this…
We squealed with delight over products that rocked our world and ate our way through the gourmet foods (you can’t sell something you don’t love!) We sat on the floors of the showrooms outlining promotions and making sure we had the merchandise and display pieces we needed to blow our customers minds, designing our own if we couldn’t find what we needed. We often worked the show for 12-14 hours then came back to the hotel and worked another 4. By the time we returned home, our hair was on fire with excitement! We fed off of each other. I would come up with the craziest ideas, and with her amazing talent, she would make them a reality. We made a fabulous team!
We were both scrapbookers and woodworkers, and man could she paint! I always wished I could.
This is one of our big projects, making yard stakes. I cut the wood, she painted, and I did the construction.
This was a wind chime display. Laurie painted this amazing girl after we collaborated on the idea of making her with removable flower panels we could change for the seasons.
This was another collaboration for HIA (now CHA) that ended up being featured in PaperKuts Magazine.
But life changes, and she ultimately needed to move on. Not too much later, my life changed, as well, and I traded the store in on a grandchild. I will never regret doing that, but there is still a bit of a hole in my life where all that passion used to be (although truth be told, the ember never died, and the passion is beginning to smolder once again!) How I yearn to feel like that again.
My heart is soaring as I relive those times. I am so excited to see her again. We will exchange stories and catch up. I imagine a few tears will be shed. By the time she leaves, it will be as if there were never all those years of not seeing each other.
And I will hug an earth-based friend. I need that right now.