Great Friends – M & D

February 8th, 2011

Two of our favorite people live north of New York City about an hour. They were great friends of my mother. Mrs. P I really got to know in Kenya during the Mid Decade World United Nations Women’s Meeting in 1985. I was there with my mother who was a speaker for an NGO (non-governmental organization).

M is a major force behind the scenes in human rights. Even still. In her late 80’s.

We had a great time in Kenya. One night we headed to a local eatery and tried all the local faves: giraffe, zebra, and kudu.

M had gone to Kenya with Good Housekeeping. They had magnificent suites with very high ceilings and shared with us – inviting us to feel at home in the very large livingroom.

What fun!

That was an amazing trip. We went out to The Horseman restaurant. It was the first time I had venison that I liked – it wasn’t gamey. Felt like an English colonial dining experience. Small croissants.

I also remember going to the giraffe rescue place just outside Nairobi. It was pretty funny – you had to go to the second floor to feed them. I had never been that close to a giraffe’s face – a bit taller than me.  That face was HUGE. Thank goodness they aren’t aggressive. Gentle, majestic. When they walk.

When they drink, a bit nerdy looking. Fortunately, they can’t bend down very long, less than a minute, or they would choke apparently.

These rescued giraffes – feeding them from the second floor. High on the cool factor.

The meeting was amazing. There were several women and a few men genuinely together trying to solve some of the world’s problems.

My mother died less than a year later. And M/Mrs P became like second parents to me.

I would visit them fairly often, going to stay with them for a few days each year. M is a great cook – fresh, local, healthy. And M and D, her husband, are extremely intelligent, well-read, involved, interesting, and alive.

One summer I was desperate to go back east and body surf in the Atlantic ocean, a childhood summer pleasure. I love body surfing.

I stayed with M & D. And went to one beach one day. No waves. Lots of people though. My goodness. On the beach and in the water. It certainly wouldn’t be safe anyway. I could get lost and drown and the lifeguard would never notice in that sea of….people and a little water imbetween.

I went to another beach. No waves. But again, lots of people. In fact was I at the beach – couldn’t see the water it was so full of people. Wow.

I called my friend Mike, a big surfer, all through business school and investment banking. He said there had been no waves all summer. And he didn’t expect any in the next week. It was quite the bummer of a summer for him. He had retired at the ripe old age of 45 – gotten out of the rat race after succeeding very well. He had said early on he would retire early and sail around the world or at least the Caribbean with his family. Said I could come along. Each year I’d say, when are you doing that?  – just trying to figure out how much he needed to make so he could live off it. And then he got fed up and said that’s enough.

I really admired him for doing that.

Back to the waves issue: Yikes. The one summer I come back east. For the waves. And it’s the one summer there are none. Nowhere to be found on the east coast.

Once while staying with M & D, I was determined to go to a show on Broadway. We got to the train station and I changed my mind. I just preferred to hang out with M & D.  I really enjoy listening to their points of view about life. They have so many experiences.

Their house is one big library too. Lots of great books. My favorite kind of house.

The next day I thought I’d try again. Re Broadway. I figured it was a quick half day…So I took the train down to NYC and checked the TKTS booth. I really just couldn’t get myself to pay $150 to sit still for 3 hours in the dark when the outdoors was so beautiful – a gorgeous summer day. And the musicals today, as an old friend once said when I was in London going to every single play and musical (less expensive than NYC); You just don’t walk out humming the tunes like “There’s a Small Hotel……”

So I walked along 5th Avenue and went into one of my favorite museums, the Morgan Library, for a quick look and then back out to get some ice cream and check out some of my childhood haunts like the Plaza Hotel.

Broadway, smroadway. I had moved on.

I took the train back and was glad to get “home”.

For a while I was living out west and didn’t get back east so was a bit out of touch.

Then, after I met Gen Yeager, we would travel back to New York about once a year. And we would get to see M & D. The first time we went to a local diner. They had very kindly driven the 45 minutes to where we were. Gen Yeager was opining about how rude Northeasterners can be while three Northeasterners were perhaps considering defending themselves.

They didn’t get a chance because immediately after Gen Yeager finished his statement, a car raced out of the parking lot sat on the horn honking at us in the crosswalk making our way. A well-timed illustration.

Gen Yeager truly enjoys M & D.

So do I. I hope to see them again this summer.

And hearing about their latest adventures.


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