I had a wonderful Sunday morning. I woke up a tad late, but not too late. We're going to my sister's meeting this late afternoon so we weren't in a hurry to get up. It was nice to leisurely cook breakfast while listening to my U2 Greatest Hits CD and drinking wonderful Hawaiian coffee that my friends just brought us while visiting from Hawaii. I made Rey and I a delicious egg sandwich. We had that with our coffee.
Then I did some reunion work. I'm trying to get the word out to old classmates.
Friday I received a heart warming gift! I received an envelope from Denmark from my childhood best friend. She sent me an old charcoal drawing of the Paris opera house. The drawing belonged to her grandmother, who was also my bus driver when I was a little girl.
I loved Tata and so did my sisters. We were in awe of her because she was French, from Paris, and she spoke Spanish with a wonderful French accent. She met her husband, who we all called Pops, during WWII. She lived in our neighborhood and she was the bus driver for all of my four sisters years before I was born. My sister tells me that she too was mesmarized by Tata and she used to love to learn French while Tata drove her to and from school. When I told her that I was talking to Monique again she got very nostalgic remembering Tata.
She quit driving a school bus for a few years and then when she was raising her granddaughter she started again. When my mom bumped into her at my elementary school she was delighted. My mom took me to school all through Kindergarten but when she found out Tata was driving a school bus again I started riding it too in first grade. I was so excited to follow in my sisters' tradition.
That's when I met Monique. The sun rose and set with Monique when I was a little girl. I loved to listen to her speak French with her grandmother. Most of the time she sat up front in her grandmother's kind of red truck but sometimes she would sit on the first back seat next to me. And best of all she was in my class! We became inseparable in school and we were in the same class from first until fifth grade. I used to love to watch her color. I thought that no one colored as beautiful as my friend Monique.
I also loved to visit Monique. They lived right around the corner from my uncle's bakery. She and her grandmother were the first to introduce me to artichokes. I found her great aunt so mysterious. She lived behind them on the same property and she had come from Paris after Tata and she didn't speak to us much.
Monique had a wicked sense of humor and was mischevious but she never seemed to get in trouble. She always had an innocent look to her so she hardly ever got in trouble with our teachers. I was the one always getting in trouble with my big mouth that could never shut up. I have such great memories with her, laughing and laughing until our sides hurt. We used to have so much fun on the playground playing hopscotch and swinging on the parallel bars.
After elementary school Monique and I went to different middle schools. Then they moved out of our neighborhood. I missed her so much. We didn't speak again until 12 years later when we were both working. I was at the Chronicle and still single. She was married and had 2 little boys. We had dinner and I went to visit Tata. For some reason we didn't stay in touch.
Now 14 years later we found each other through Classmates.com. It was so great to hear from her. She lives with her new husband in Denmark now and she has a teenage daughter. Now as an adult I had so many questions about Tata. It was really nice to learn more about her and her sister Marie.
Friday Monique really surprised me with that charcoal drawing of her grandmother's. I am going to frame it and put it up in my living room.
That was so sweet ShoeGirl. I miss my grandparents so much. I am glad you like the charcoal painting.
OMG! I commented on your laundry blog about having a pretty wicked sense of humor, that has gotten "wickeder"(I know this might not be a correct word to use, but I really like it... and I know that the quotation marks should of not been used, but hey, I like the fact that it's a "point-out" word)... before I read your added entry.
That's because I KNOW YOU woman! You know that our personalities are pretty much formed in our childhood. You and I were friends in some of our most formative years. You do realize I saw you ever day for nine months at a time for 5 years in a row??
I love this post. I think I love Monique too.
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