I have a lifelong friend named Cricket. She didn't start life with that name but she adopted it once she turned 21 because everyone called her by her nickname, anyway, and because she loved the quirky idea of being a seriously competent doctor with the rather frivolous name of Cricket. Once the judge pronounced her legally Cricket, she charged penalty fees if we forgot to use her new name. Whenever I think of her before the name change "Linda" comes to mind; my memories after age 21 are all labeled "Cricket."
Cricket and I have been friends literally from the playpen on - our mothers were great pals, our fathers were close and dear friends, and the two families each had four children of roughly the same ages, so we all got along like a house afire. Their big, rambling house in Michigan was a home base for us, one of the few unchanging things in a Navy life.
Crick and I have taken very different paths in life - she to medical school and obstetrics; I, via a somewhat wandering and checkered route, to career counseling with college students. She had three kids; I abstained. She chose Seattle; I left the west coast for Rochester, NY. But, whenever Crick and I get together, our friendship blossoms like a flower. Even when we haven't seen or talked to one another in a long time, we pick right up where we left off, as comfortable and easy as if we had seen each other just the day before. We differ politically but we share great memories and a sometimes wicked sense of humor.
All this as prelude so that you can imagine what a pleasure it was to get a call last week from one of Cricket's sons, a young pilot who was in the area getting some additional flight time. We met him out in Danville at a restaurant called the Peasant and the Pear, which we had heard about on "Check Please, Bay Area." It's a good show and has steered us to some very good meals.
As we caught up with Peter's doings and learned about his plans for the future, My Beloved and I each enjoyed a dish of Lobster Carbonara. Although it was the most expensive thing on the menu, it was only a couple of dollars more than the other choices, so we each ordered a glass of prosecco and went for it.
The restaurant lighting does wonders for my complexion, not so much for the photograph - but the dish was as close to heaven as I expect to get before dying. The sauce was creamy and lemony, rich and delicious. The pasta was wide, thin and silky. The lobster meat was generous, tender, perfectly cooked and simply out of this world. The carbonara had little squares of crisped pancetta and a handful of fresh peas, topped with a sprinkle of chopped parsley. And the serving was so fulsome that I had to bring some of it home.
I enjoy a chance to know Cricket's kids as adults, now that they are all grown up. It's another frame in the film of memories we have unreeled over our lifetimes. I have always respected Cricket's ambition, profession and quirky sense of humor, but it's fun to learn through her children that I respect her parenting, too.
I'll have to call her soon - it's time we caught up.