"A friendship can weather most things and thrive in thin soil; but it needs a little mulch of letters and phone calls and small, silly presents every so often - just to save it from drying out completely." ~Pam Brown
|The Dog & Doublet Inn, courtesy of S. Horton|
Scottish by birth, she knew what I meant when I would say, "Time for a cuppa." I love that she plays an annual game of Haggis Hunt online, for which she has even won a prize, and more amazingly in my book, Sally can cook Haggis!
She arrived in the States in 1984 to study at University in Illinois. An invitation to a bar featuring Celtic music brought her into contact with Joe--a native of the flat landscape of Illinois--a lovely, kind, quiet, thoughtful man who shares Sally's wry wit. They fell in love and saw each other through advanced degrees, Joe's service in the military, and the birth of a son and daughter. She is a semi-retired academic who served as associate dean of her department, and he is a semi-retired licensed pilot and flight instructor, and both are great at telling stories, having lived interesting lives with lots of travel involved, with bi-national opinions on it all.
Les and I have enjoyed fine meals cooked by Sally and Joe, who introduced us to the delights of Grand Seville Cocktails, espresso with a "wee dram" of Drambuie, and Joe's incredible home smoked Salmon and Steel head trout. Joe holds the mantle of making the best carrot cake I've eaten--hands down, no holes barred!
When I was going through cancer treatment in 2008 I was searching out someplace locally in Pullman or Moscow, Idaho with sauna facilities. Those few I found required a membership to a club which was more expensive than I could afford. Sally found out about my search,. She and Joe kindly offered me the use of their dry sauna for as long as needed it. They blessed me with their generosity and kindness when I was feeling very vulnerable, walking through the world with my head up and my shoulders squared for a fight to win against that dreaded disease.
When Les came into my life, Sally and Joe folded him into our friendship and we've dearly enjoyed spending time with them both. The Hortons travel back and forth over the pond because Sally has family and friends in England and Scotland, and they both love to travel. I was thrilled when Sally contacted me to say they would be in England in September and they wanted to visit--and "oh, by the way, can I bring you anything?"
|Me. Les and Sally, courtesy S. Horton|
The next morning Sally and Joe turned up at the boat and we cruised for several hours--Joe on the stern with Les, talking about boaty things, while Sally and I sat on the bow and caught up with things happening at the University, mutual friends, and life in general. We enjoyed showing Sally and Joe how life aboard a narrow boat works for us, and they enjoyed the slow pace with an opportunity to really see the views along the canal.
|Les, Sally and Joe|