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Long Ago and Far Away

Lisa and Emma in Taipei, around 1986

Long ago and far away, two little girls became friends in kindergarten. Emma was English. Lisa was American. They went to kindergarten in Taipei, Taiwan. Because the girls were friends - and luckily neighbors - their parents became friends as well. Things change, jobs change, people move, and by-and-by Emma's family returned to London and Lisa's family returned to Oregon. But the friendship did not change.

August 2013 - Emma's parents (Shirley & Martin) with us at Lake Como, Italy

The families kept in touch (way before the internet, by the way!) and continued to visit each other - and would often meet for vacations (Disney World, Corfu, California,  England, Oregon, Spain, Italy...) wherever and whenever they could. Shirley and Martin attended Lisa's wedding in Palm Springs.

I cannot in any way ever remember Lisa taking gymnastics class in Taipei, but this photo proves she did and that Emma was in her class. I can not recall the name of any other child, except Todd. I only remember Todd because he came to Lisa's 6th birthday party and gave her a very cool silky blanket that Lisa still uses to this day. Random. (If anyone can identify others in the photo, please speak up!) I love how the girl between Lisa and Emma is checking-out Emma's backside.

So... in the "what comes around, goes around" department, fast-forward to 2015. Lisa (as you all know) is living in Los Angeles, married with two kids. Emma is married and living in London with a toddler boy and pregnant with their second child, due in August. What are the chances Emma's husband's job would have him transferring to Portland?


Matthew and Emma are in Portland this week for a look-see trip. Looking and seeing houses, his new office, meeting his new co-workers and researching areas where they may wish to live. They came up to Taylor Manor tonight for dinner and we had such a wonderful evening catching up and giving them (our hopelessly outdated) advice on Portland neighborhoods. (Lisa has enlisted her Portland gal-pals for more current advice for Emma and Matthew.)

I recreated that lovely "hen sauce" from last week at Bottega, but served it over penne instead of gnocchi (because I'm ambitious, but not crazy), an antipasto salad and baked a blueberry crostata.

Everything served tonight was organic and many items were local.

Welcome to Oregon!

Emma and Matthew will return to Portland after the wee one arrives and all the necessary paperwork (passport, visa, etc.) that is required can be gathered. Best thing? Emma's parents will be here to help them settle-in!

I am so excited Emma and Matthew are moving to Oregon, but would be feeling so sad if the situation were reversed and Lenny and Lisa were off to a foreign country. Imagine how our parents must have felt when we told them we were moving to The Philippines in 1980? Moving to Taipei (when Lisa was the same age as Leo is now)? This was before internet. We phoned our folks once a month from Asia - it was a prohibitively expensive ordeal at the time, involving international operators. We wrote letters. I wrote letters to our parents to tell them we were pregnant with Lisa. Letters! Now the grand kids can phone or FaceTime/video chat with granny every day. Though email may seem so common now, having immediate contact would have been a miraculous difference in our 1980 ex-pat lives.

Thank you, Al Gore, for inventing the internet.

Matthew's transfer is going to mean a lot of change in so many lives, but what an exciting adventure (and, seriously, if you are getting a foreign assignment, Portland isn't exactly roughing-it).

Until my next update, I remain, your "Emma and Matthew brought us a massive orchid" correspondent.