\ soh-DAL-i-tee, suh- \ , noun;
1. fellowship; comradeship.
2. an association or society; Roman Catholic Church . a lay society for religious and charitable purposes.
Dream catchers hang in the windows next to oranges with cloves stuck in them. The wood stove heats the three bedroom house and the three dogs compete for the spot right in front of it. The coffee is half caf so we all drink twice as much. Rachel makes her own granola with coconut and dried cranberries and it’s the best I’ve had by a long shot. Each morning while eating the memorable granola, Rachel speaks of projects that Dwayne and I can work on for the day and others that she has had in mind for years. She explains what they would entail and then sighs while looking out the window. We have a bit in common, Rachel and I. We love books, coffee, and awe-inspiring nature. I like her a great deal.
Joe (Rachel’s incredibly sharp husband from Sierra Leone), Juniper (beautifully golden Shephard mix), Pepper (black lab weimaranar mix), and Sputnik (feisty black and white terrier) are our first host family on the journey out to Napa. They offer lovely sodality. We are currently in Gallup, New Mexico on land as far as we can see. The sky seems larger. Their property overlooks a Navajo Reservation. There’s snow on the ground but right now it’s about 60 degrees and sunny.
Rachel is a college librarian. She is sharp and witty and reminds me of my old roommate, Susan. She buys wool sweaters on sale, wears them once or twice, and then unravels them and puts them in a basket full of other types of yarn and plans on knitting something later. She does not know how to knit. Yet.
Joe is instantly likable. His eyes shine when he speaks and he remembers things you say, then brings them up again. He wears a green and purple striped sweater with a maroon scarf and you like him even more for it.
As he was throwing wood into the wood stove, I said, “I’m writing a book about meeting friends in your thirties.”
Joe looked at me as he held a big log in mid air, “Oh, you can’t. It’s far too late.” We laughed and discussed why (you’ll have to buy the book to hear more.)
Joe thought hard about this for the three nights we were there. The conversation would shift to the Navajo people or Rachel’s job at the library, then Joe would come out of his daze and say, “Yeah, you really can’t make friends after thirty.”
Last night, we spent a couple hours just looking at maps and talking about places. This made me smile. How often is a map the evening entertainment? Joe and Rachel’s friend, Rob, is a professor of English at the university and he stays over at their house often. Upon hearing about my plan to head north, he ran to his car and brought in about 45 maps. We sipped peppermint tea and laughed and told stories and then opened a new map and continued.