Sue Mowery and I are so close we can finish each other’s sentences. We find it to be a quite natural thing, but Sue’s husband does not appreciate a long conversation in so many half-sentences. Sue is a gardener and has taught me a lot about planting native plants in my garden and why that’s important. Sue journals almost every day, and I have always enjoyed sharing writing pieces with her. A decade ago, it would have been hard to find her at home. Sue traveled the state as a literacy consultant, living out of her suitcase to help teachers with their reading/writing workshops from Pittsburgh to Scranton.
Often, I wish she lived right around the corner from me so I could pop over for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and a good chat. We live about ninety minutes apart – not impossibly far from each other – but just enough to make it difficult to visit regularly. Over the past several years, we have not seen much of each other, and I blame myself largely for that. In two weeks, my husband and I are traveling to Smoketown to see the Mowerys, and I am very happy about that!
I remember on Friday we went out to dinner before attending her husband’s art show in Lancaster. Bill is also a dear friend, and I was eager to see his artwork in the hopes of purchasing something to take home with me. Their daughter Maggie, also an artist, was going to be there, too. It was going to be a great night!
We arrived at a restaurant new to me. It was really cool – we actually sat over an old well – kind of nerve-racking, but interesting – it looked like we were sitting on Plexiglass reinforced with steel bars, but it was still disconcerting. The well looked bottomless, and what if….
We had a great meal, and as we were putting on our coats to leave, I started to tell Sue about Nancy’s trip to Australia and New Zealand. I shared some details about her trip, including the fact that Nancy would travel on to Okinawa before returning home. But I never finished the sentence. “OKINAWA!” Sue screamed at the top of her lungs. I momentarily froze as I felt all eyes turn to look at us. I blushed fire-engine red, but Sue just laughed out loud.
We finally arrived at the art show, and I did find a piece of abstract art to purchase. I owned a piece of Will Mowery artwork! When Bill asked about dinner, I told him about the well and ended with the embarrassing moment we had – or rather, I had. Bill turned to Sue and queried, “Sue, do you even know where Okinawa is?”