Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Best List Part II

Last year at this time, it would have been a huge stretch of imagination to think that my dear friend Janet would be my upstairs neighbor. Janet was part of the creative staff in our art department at Victoria. She worked three days a week and I always looked forward to those days. It was my habit to check in the art department first thing after arriving at the office. It was the place where there was most early day activity. When Janet was there, it was an even happier place.

As it happened in 2009, Janet's husband changed positions and they were looking for a new abode in my neck of the woods. Of course, I suggested that they look in my building. The chances of them settling here even then seemed quite remote. However, to sweeten the possibilities, I introduced Janet to my favorite real estate agent, Laureen Paul. With the patience of Job, Laureen worked to find the right place for them and their two beloved dogs, Dixie and Willy. The latter not being lap dogs at all, but nice big hefty ones.

I never tried to influence Janet, other than to tell her how much we loved living on the Hudson River when in residence in New York. When we are in Ames, it's a nice walk to the banks of the Skunk River, but even Iowa proud folks can't compare it to the mighty Hudson. This summer was the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the river and it didn't hurt to have boats from around the world and a replica of Henry Hudson's own ship, The Half Moon, often drifting graceful by our building. Additionally, we have "our own" train station at the foot of our building with "our own" post office in the 19th-century station. A few years ago we were able to go from the building directly to the train platforms. Now, we have to take an extra step or two, but it is still mighty convenient. One can leave our station and be in midtown Manhattan in 35 minutes. We have even taken the train north, and with one transfer gone all the way to Canada.

My new neighbor Janet and I call ourselves "Ethel and Lucy" because of our madcap adventures--like getting lost in the parking garage at the Westchester Mall this holiday season. We were laden with shopping bags...and Janet even had a small tree! I guess we had some explaining to do to our husbands who couldn't understand how we managed it. It is truly the best to have Janet so close, even though she still does spend time in her country house. It's like the magazine days; I look forward to the time she's here. I'm more content knowing that upstairs is a bright, funny, talented and beloved friend ready to lend a hand or a pinch of nutmeg! And my Kitty Foyle has tender, loving care when I'm away. It's just the best! And now it's your turn to share a best with a friend from 2009....


  1. Nancy, what a perfect story! I too have a best friend just like yours with Janet. Sadly, she now lives 600 miles to the north of me. We manage to visit eachother several times a year, but we often have "some splain'n to do" too! (: Vicki

  2. Oh, I am such a lucky gal to have quite a few friends, many who have come to my aid this past year alone. My friend, Kathryn, however fits the bill. She is ready for an adventure at a moment's notice, is a water-colorist extraordinaire and her work graces many spots in our home, she is loyal and true - and she is so much fun. We have had some entertaining adventures, Kathryn and I, and when we are together we are always laughing, even when one of us starts out in tears.

  3. Hello Nancy,

    I was so delighted and warmed to find your blog. Oh welcome back dear friend, though we have never met ... you have been such a big part of my life for so long.

    You see, I have almost every copy of Victoria magazine and treasure them so much. Still now, virtually every day I read one, as they are stacked near my white wicker chaise by the bay window overlooking the little creek that runs by my place. Victoria magazine has been such an intimate part of my life since I first saw and picked-up it up.

    While being a caregiver, each copy was my magic carpet; during stolen moments I would sneak away and crawl into an issue and be carried away to another world, anther place, and was, for a moment ... that person I dreamt about.

    I so needed those tiny and very precious respites, Thank You! You saved my sanity so many times I can not count.

    I am not sure if you are interested, but, I have taken the liberty of nominating you for the “Kreativ Bloggers” Award. If you are at all interested please see my recent post for more details. You certainly don’t need any accolades or awards for your work, but I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know just how very much you are appreciated, and I know I am defiantly not the only one who feels this way.

    I hope this message finds you well and starting this New Year 2010 in good health filled with excitement and joy for the coming months.

    Lynda at Elegance Reclaimed

  4. Nancy, I am catching up and loving your winter journal. What a wonderful story of your good fortune in having your friend come to live so near. I belong to a local garden club, the Morning Glories, which is a group of delightful ladies who enjoy getting together and sharing their love for everything from gardening to baking to decorating. But of this group I have a couple of close friends, kindred spirits with whom I regularly have lunch, coffee, or tea. One of our husbands dubbed our smaller group 'The Azaleas' since we are all three native Southerners. The three of us are parents of older teens/young adults, so we share our experiences in the challenges... highs, lows and in-betweens... of parenting this age. My children are the youngest, so I am intent on gleaning all the wisdom I can from them. But no matter how serious the conversation gets, we always manage to laugh and enjoy one another's company.