About two weeks ago we got a call from Phil who had been one of Hubby’s classmates in the police management institute at Northwestern University in 1980/81.
Hubby is on the left, Phil in the middle (obviously in a t-shirt given to him by one of his other classmates!) and their friend Tommy is on the right.
Phil is from New Zealand and retired a few years ago as the number two official in New Zealand’s national police department.
He and his wife Jackie were in the States for a month-long visit and had tracked us down (with the help of Tommy) so wondered if they could “stop by” to see us. What an exciting opportunity for both of us! We had never met Jackie since they had married “only” 21 years ago, but we had fond memories of Phil and his sons when they had come to visit us after graduation and before they returned to New Zealand
So when Phil and Jackie got here a few days ago, we looked forward to meeting Jackie and renewing our friendship with Phil.
They could only stay a day, so we decided to eat our meals out so that all of our time could be spent visiting, and I have to say we crammed alot of that into a very short time.
Here is where I wish I was as photo-opportunity ready as I used to be because for lunch shortly after they arrived, we took them to a local Italian restaurant that is what we call “a hole in a wall” — a very unimpressive store front in the complex with a truck stop. But we knew where the food was anything but common. They loved it, of course. Then we took a drive out into Amish country, because Phil wanted Jackie to see some of the sights he had seen when he was here before. We went to the Amish store and the Grabill hardware, but of which they found fascinating, but the best part was that the Amish clerk at the store told us that her two brothers were plowing with horses not too far away (we had told her they were visitors from New Zealand, so I guess she understood they would enjoy seeing that). We followed her instructions and found two teams of horses pulling plows in a field. There were eight horses pulling each plow. They weren’t harnessed straight across but with four following four. Very impressive and oh how I wished for a camera right then. But Phil did get a picture with his phone, so they will have something to show back home.
That was really the only sightseeing we took them on, the rest of their short visit was pretty much taken up with eating and talking!
Of course, even in so short a time, Jim and Phil HAD to go to the range to shoot. So we just ate toast for breakfast and they took off for there.
Jackie was such a nice surprise for me. I don’t know what I expected, but when she left I told Hubby that I wished she could be my next door neighbor. We got along great.
Jackie is a librarian by profession, so while the guys were shooting, we went to a bargain book store and browsed and bought some books for a dollar or less! A treat for us both. And we even met an “interesting” woman who was also shopping there who wanted to become “best friends” I guess because we were looking at books too! After she had just “bent our ear” for a couple minutes, I suddenly noticed that Jackie had casually wandered (or maybe with intent!) and I was left listening to “gabby” — and you KNOW if I think someone talks too much, they really do!
I finally peeled myself away for my new “best friend”, and went and found Jackie wayyy at the other end of the store, enjoying looking at cookbooks. Who knew she was a little sneaky like that! That’s when I realized, Jackie would be a great friend to spend time with regularly.
After eating lunch at our favorite Greeks restaurant (yes, in just 24 hours, we had taken them to Italian, Chinese and Greek restaurants. If they would have just stayed another day, I’m sure we would have gotten them to an American restaurant too!
What a great short visit. We had the opportunity to re-live some great old memories with Phil, hear lots of interesting things they have done (they are sailors and spent six years sailing around the world — staying a month here and a month there and even flying home once when the weather where they were keep them from sailing for a few months) and making some nice new memories together.
Note to readers: Now I remember one of the reasons I stopped posting on my blog. I edited this post just to my liking, but I have worked for an hour for it to accept that new version. Not happening. So in frustration I’ve gone ahead and posted the first draft, which is really rough, but it’s apparently my only option!!