Friday, January 27, 2012

Allie

Whenever I travel, I steal collect the shampoos, lotions and conditioners from the hotel in which I am staying.  I used to bring them home for my personal use. 

Now, I donate them to a battered woman's shelter in Northern California.  You see, I am a sentimental fool.  Before I was born, my parents became life long friends with Bob and Allie. I E-Mailed my mom last week and asked her to remind me how they met..I remembered the basics, but had forgotten the details.  This is what she wrote back to me. (Dad had just been hired as a U.S. Forest Service District Ranger)
"We arrived in Mt. Shasta in the middle of a record setting blizzard......just the new boss and his wife. The movers left and the next day I was unpacking, when there was a knock on the door. There stood Allie, with half a cake that she had baked. She lived across the street and had waded through the snow to bring us a smile and a welcome gift. She said, 'I am sorry this is only half a cake, but I had a baby 6 weeks ago and this is the first baking I have done since Jeff was born.....if I gave the whole thing away, my family would kill me.' That was in Jan. 1965 and we were the closest of friends for the next 45--whatever years until she died"
And Allie loved babies...any babies...
(This is me at 14 months of age)The friendship remained strong through long, handwritten letters and phone calls after both families transferred to other towns.  We would visit when passing through Redding to visit my grandparents.  When my parents were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary, my sister and I wanted to do something special.  Hubby and I were dating at that time and my sister was in college and dating her future husband.  We decided that a party wouldn't be practical, but celebrating with their closest friends would be.  I called Allie and Bob and told them of our plan.  There was another couple to be invited as well who were just as close to my parents.  Long story short, Bob and Allie made the 9 hour drive to surprise my parents for dinner.  My sister and her beau met us in the restaurant lobby and Mom and Dad were over the moon excited to see them.  We were shown into the private wine cellar for dinner where Bob &Allie and Sharon & Dick were waiting.  Needless to say, it was truly a night to remember.   Over the next few years, we saw each other at weddings...mine and my sister's...Jeff's.  We then decided that we needed to make our visits an annual occurrence...which we did every year until Allie passed away several years ago.

 When that happened, we all felt a profound loss. She was a friend to all of us and the sister my Mom never had.  She was a mentor and a kind and caring woman.  When she and Bob travelled, she stole collected the shampoos, lotions and conditioners and took them to her local battered women's shelter.  So each year, I pack a box of goodies that I have collected and mail it to the shelter in her home town. This year I wrote a note on my Mom's note cards.  Seemed fitting.
I am merely carrying on.


4 comments:

Ann said...

She would be as proud of you as we are.

Twisted Fencepost said...

What a sweet lady!
Both of you!!
Great idea!

Rebcam said...

I should not have read this during my lunch break at work! Thank you for such a loving tribute. She was a special lady, and so are you.

Denice said...

What a sweet story....thank you for sharing!