Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thank you, Mark Zuckerberg

We only got Facebook because the kids made us. Same with text-messaging. All with the purpose of staying in touch with them. Well, there are some added benefits. This past summer, Joann, my friend from high school, was coming through Omaha on her way to Minnesota from Denver. We went to school together for four years, worked at Kessler's in Aberdeen together, and just lost touch - as so often happens - after graduation. We had reconnected on FB recently, and she called to see if we were available for dinner since she and her family were spending the night in town. YES!

Why yes, that is a copy of our yearbook, the Roncalli Lance, circa 1973. I'm a huge dork.

We met Joann and her husband and spent a wonderful evening, laughing and talking and eating and drinking. And all because of Facebook.

Time for an story: I lived in Devils Lake, ND when I was little, and moved to Aberdeen, SD the summer before first grade. Kindergarten was not required in DL, so I did not attend. By the time we moved, there were four kids in our family; I was the oldest. We didn't have much money, and apparently not many toys. Why I'm telling you this will become clear in a minute. On the first day of first grade - my first time ever in a classroom - in Mrs. Berger's class at O.M. Tiffany, we had "playtime", where we could play with the collection of toys in her classroom. I chose a puzzle to play with, and when Mrs. Berger told us to put our toys away, I had absolutely no idea what to do. I didn't know you were supposed to put the pieces of the puzzle back together! I just sat there, absolutely mortified, until two kids, Steve and Genola, came over and helped me put my puzzle back together.

Fast forward 40-some years: I found Genola on FB a few years ago. It had to be her because, really, how many Genolas to YOU know? It turns out that her brother lives in Omaha, as does her daughter and HER family. Genola is here helping her daughter with a new grandbaby, and Facebook-messaged me the other week to see if I wanted to meet for lunch. I tell you, my eyes welled up a bit when she walked into the restaurant.

Fifty years just dropped away and we sat and talked until we were the last ones in the restaurant and the kitchen had closed. It was SO nice! As Genola said, it is comfortable talking with someone who knew you from back in the day, who knew the house you grew up in, knew the neighborhood, knew all the same kids, and even your pesky brothers and sisters.

And we had lunch again yesterday, this time at Jimi D's. It was REALLY COLD out (by Omaha standards) so I know I needed to start with a cup of soup:

It was a broth-based (I made sure to ask) bean, kale, and sausage soup. There was a little bit of a kick from the sausage (andouille?). I could have ordered a whole bowl and been satisfied with that; next time I know. I need to try to recreate this at home.

I had a half-salad to go along with it; the bread salad. Bread AND salad?!?! Yes, please! Seriously, though, I have been passing up bread baskets when we have gone out for the past several weeks, and I figured they couldn't cram enough bread into a salad to make a HUGE difference, and I was right. The pieces were more like soft-ish croutons. The dressing was almost a watery pesto - I could have licked the little ramekin.

We spent a long lunch visiting - some about old times, and some about catching up since we had seen each other just the other week. It's so nice to have found a new old friend!

And all three of our kids are very good at puzzles.

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