Friday, September 08, 2006

Life’s Unexpected Twists. . .

The city girl from Kansas and the country girl from California met in 1984 in Italy of all places. Both of our husbands were in the U.S. Army and that was our duty post for the next 3 years.

We arrived in Italy on the same plane that September day. It was beautiful and warm in Aviano, Italy, right on the southern edge of the mountains. My family had been traveling for 24 hours by the time we got there and my husband had to literally drag me up off the tarmac, which I wanted to kiss in thanks for us finally arriving!

There were 3 other families that stayed in the Hotel Ellen for close to 2 months, waiting housing. We all became each others families during the tour, and we were thankful for the friendships.

One girl and I hit it off really well. I had lived in California for a couple of years as a child and told her about that.

“Where did you live?” she asked me.

“OH, you wouldn’t ever have heard of the town. It was tiny, called Delhi, in the San Joachim valley.” No one had ever heard of it before.

“I’m from Ceres, a couple of towns over!” she excitedly told me.

In the San Joachim valley, a network of small towns bump up against one another along highway 99, from Modesto to Merced. The fact that for the first time ever I had met someone who actually not only knew where Delhi was, but also came from that same small valley was miraculous. That began our bond and it grew steadily stronger over the years.

At times we laugh about the fact that she grew up on the farm out there, and was involved in things like FFA (Future Farmers of America) and raising pigs and such. She would talk about how much better pork was when you grew it yourself!

That always made me shudder. I KNOW that they kill animals for us to eat, but I don’t really want to meet them first. How she laughs at me about that, the city girl from Kansas. Here in Wichita, when I want to see pigs or cows, I go to the zoo!

Isn’t that how it’s supposed to work?

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