What circumstances occur to make two persons previously unknown to one another become bonded as close friends? More than accident, I suggest. Many times it is a shared experience, one of unusual or memorable quality. For instance, I remain bonded to my freshman sorority roommates Shirley and Dolores some 66 years later because we shared the same big life transitions together.
In the case of Nancy who is visiting me now from Denver it was humor more than anything else that brought us together. Nancy is one of those people who was blessed with a funny bone parallel to her spine. Interacting with her is always such fun.
The circumstance that brought us together was attendance at an Elderhostel in Trinidad, Colorado eighteen years ago. Nancy had just retired from teaching second grade, whereas I, her elder, was still shrinking heads as well as learning to paint. Nancy picked this Elderhostel because she wanted to learn more about the Santa Fe Trail (which ended in Trinidad) whereas I wanted to learn about the small town in which I believed my father was born.
As it turned out the content of the Elderhostel was wonderful. What was stressful was where we were assigned to hang our hats. Our large group of men and women attending were housed in the aging dormitory of the local junior college, women on the first floor, men on the second. Clearly these halls had seen too many years of college freshmen. The walls of the gang toilets and showers were crawling with cockroaches. To confuse matters, the facilities were reversed: the men's john on the first floor and the women's on the second. At night we would put out a sign on the door reversing the genders to shorten the walking distance, however we were forever mixing up the order.
In the midst of all the complaining I sought out the company of one other participant, Nancy, who turned every challenge into a humorous adventure. Toward the end of the experience, on a bus trip, I stepped off the edge of a hill in the dark, badly twisting my ankle. The only surgeon at the tiny local Catholic hospital was famed all over the country for performing sex change operations (I'd seen him on 60 Minutes). I chose to avoid the hospital and limp around the last few days, learning after I got home that I had seven bones broken.
Like me, Nancy loved her Mac, and over the last decade we have emailed each other almost daily. I've travelled to Denver to enjoy her hospitality twice and she has visited me in California numerous times, this being her first visit to Oakmont. She is so easy to entertain for she loves to go out to restaurants to eat. You can see how intent she is on every morsel.