Nothing beats a good burger. Or good friends. We’ve spent this week in the Adirondacks with friends from long ago. We met them through a couple who were mutual friends back when they first moved to California in 1986. I was instrumental in connecting her with her California job, so we were off to a good start.
The six of us spent a lot of time together over the next three years before they headed back to the East Coast for career reasons. They moved around while the rest of us stayed put, but we always stayed in touch and sometimes vacationed together. Thirteen years ago, she and I discovered the lifeless body of our beloved friend who had introduced us. She had lost her battle with breast cancer.
The sudden death was traumatic to us all. We all huddled with our friend's husband and family for the next week, stunned and distraught, grieving together. We never talk about that week now. But we remember the good times.
It’s hard to believe it’s been nine years since we’ve seen such dear friends. We have certainly aged and three more of us have battled cancer. So far we are winning. This week we have enjoyed hiking in the forest, swimming in the icy waters of Lake Champlain and watching the ever-changing character of the lake from our porch. We have laughed at each other’s jokes (both good and bad), caught up on our stories and languished in comfortable silence.
For our final dinner together, they chose their favorite vacation burger joint. I chuckle to think they were worried we would not find the Bay View Diner fancy enough. We’re the ones who eat street food in third world countries. In Peru we dined on dried potatoes tossed on a blanket in the dirt when offered by an indigenous tribe in the highlands. A burger joint is pretty high class in comparison. And the burgers were top notch; served with Adirondack fries – sort of like warm potato chips. But nothing beats sharing the burgers with the people you love.