Sunday, May 10, 2009

Evenings on Billie's Porch

Hanging out on Billie's porch

Freshly-cut lilacs in a vase standing next to one of my old oil paintings
I gave to Billie many years ago

Here is where we sit at night to visit and watch some 
great Kansas thunderstorms

This porch is a source of many great evenings, sad discussions, pep name it.
My dear friend, Billie, has hosted me for so many of the years I traveled to KS to spend time with my mother during the last years of her life.  Billie's hospitality and many kindnesses made a difficult situation more bearable.  Try as I might, I don't think I'll ever be able to adequately thank her for the great gift she has given me:  a shelter in the storm (literally and figuratively).
It is a ritual to spend time on the porch.  It has to be REALLY cold to keep us from it when I come to visit.  We have witnessed many thunderstorms from our vantage inside that porch.
When I arrived this weekend, Billie had vases of her lilacs in the house.  The aroma is such a "scent memory" for me, having grown up with lilacs in the spring.
Today we decided to drive by all the places we have lived in Topeka.  What fun!  We grew up in the same neighborhood and lived close to each other in various parts of town.  We even stopped at one of her houses and talked to the woman who bought it from her, walked through the garden, and she got to see her old dog, Dickens, who stayed with the house when she moved.
Despite the fact that I was not with my own family today, I really had a great Mother's Day with Billie.  I talked to all my girls, and the guy who made me into a mother.  It was a lovely day!

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