Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Saturday Morning Breakfast Club

For well over a decade now I have been having breakfast every Saturday morning with a group of friends I call The Saturday Morning Breakfast Club. Originally there were two of them, Harold and Pete, who I think ate breakfast together every morning. In those days I worked with at-risk parents who either had their children in foster care or were in danger of the state stepping in. I worked one-on-one helping them to improve their parenting skills, and on Saturdays I gave a parenting class. Since I was the only one in my agency working on Saturdays, I would get into the office at 7:00, put in an hour on files from the previous day's home visits, and then treat myself to breakfast at BaCar's (pronounced Baker's) when they opened at 8. I would usually get there a few minutes before they opened, and Harold and Pete would also be waiting. We would nod. We would smile. One morning we chatted until the doors opened. Soon, we were exchanging comments between tables. Before long, they invited me to join them and I never left. After a few years, Pete came in one morning with a woman (Jann) and then we invited a woman who had always been at another table when we were there (Christina) who happened to be Jann's boss, and a couple of months later Jann's mother (Barbara) moved to Juneau. Then Pete and Jann got married and eventually they stopped coming (Jann likes to sleep in on Saturdays), but Christina and Harold and Barbara and I continue to meet every Saturday morning.

For a good number of years, I walked there and back -- BaCar's wasn't far from my apartment or my office and although in those days I rented a car for home visits two days a week, I turned it in Friday afternoon. Then I injured my foot and Harold started picking me up and dropping me off at my office. Somewhere in there, I changed jobs and was no longer renting a car and so couldn't pick up groceries when I had it and at just that time, I was on a walker with sciatica for seven months and Harold started taking me to A & P after breakfast and the Care-A-Van would pick me up after my shopping. Then Harold's step-dad began to go downhill and Harold moved in with him and wasn't sure that he could come every week and so Christina started picking me up. Now Christina picks me up on Saturdays and drops me at A & P (which is downtown and near the restaurant and my apartment) after, except for about once every two months when Harold takes me to Fred Meyer (which is out in the Valley and close to where Harold now lives) and I do a huge shopping for non-perishables (48 cans of cat food, 12 bottles of Hot and Spicy V-8 among many other things) (A & P is horribly expensive and I buy an absolute minimum there) and Harold takes me home and carries this great weight of stuff up my stairs for me and empties this huge bag of cat litter into a container that Pippin can't get into and spread about and whatever else I need. And on the way home, we stop at the dry cleaner and I exchange dirty clothes for clean ones. And today we stopped at Christina's to see how the work she is doing on her new deck and garden is coming along and at the cherry stand.

And so, when I read something like this, I truly appreciate these staunch and loving friends. I am amazed at how lucky I am. Not only because of Harold and Christina. I really have a good number of friends who are prevented from helping me only by my not asking them. I still have Kate after all these years, who took care of me in California last summer for a week after I had surgery even though it meant packing my wound and she is squeamish. And Robert, a dear friend from my second high school, and his wife Fran who drove for six hours to visit me while I was recovering at my mother's. And Jane, another dear friend from my second high school, who drove to Sacramento in the horrible heat to see me.

And one day I will tell you about my family and the blessing that they are, but they deserve a post of their own, just as The Saturday Morning Breakfast Club does.


Gina said...


As one of my friends likes to say, "Friends are family that you get to choose!"

Tabor said...

I remember years ago when television came into homes there was a lot of discussion about how it was going to ruin evening conversation and visiting neighbors and bring about a society that sat in front of a glowing screen and didn't communicate. All the technologies that followed seem to have helped push this cultural change along. I know I no longer have as many close friends as I used to. BUT I also have moved a lot.

Maya's Granny said...

Tabor, You are correct. We got our first televisin when we moved back from Puerto Rico when I was 11. At first, neighbors still came to visit, but not for many years. Soon, we were all isolated in our own homes watching the tube. Soon, they stopped building houses with porches you could sit on in the evening.