About a week ago, I was finally able to meet Ronni Bennett, the Grande Dame of Elder Blogging. We’d tried to get together a couple of times previously, but the stars hadn't aligned correctly. Finally, they came together and it happened.
Ronni lives in Lake Oswego, a tony suburb of Portland, OR, while I spend my summers in a small condo in St. Johns, an indubitably untony village just over the St. Johns Bridge in what is known at NOPO or North Portland. Whereas Lake Oswego has bird calls that tell you it’s time to cross the street, St. Johns has its resident schizophrenic who will run you over with his grocery cart if you don’t move fast enough when deciding which way to go at an intersection.
So you might imagine that I was a little nervous meeting The Ronni Bennett, especially when she suggested High Tea for lunch. People who know me well understand that I’m more a Chicken McNuggets kind of girl than one who sips any kind of tea, much less one made of High.
And then there was the beer wagon. I was able to transport myself from St Johns to Lake Oswego by virtue of the fact that my daughter and her family were on vacation that week, traveling in her mother-mobile and leaving her husband’s car for me to use. Since Trevor works as a rep for a beer distributor, his car carries lots of samples, all rolling around in the back.
But my nervousness disappeared as soon as I heard Ronni laugh. It was a gritty streets of New York City kind of laugh, a "you ain't showing me anything I haven't seen or smelled before" kind of laugh. I immediately fell in love.
We did go to High Tea at a place called Lady Di's Tea Shoppe, a sobriquet Ronni made fun of right after she complained about Lake Oswego being just "too damned clean." We began talking over our little sandwiches and kept on for five straight hours. We talked about the world and politics and aging and death and cats. Ronni's life could be the basis for at least several pages in a Who's Who of Culture and Counterculture of the Second Half of the 20th Century, and she remembers it all. I was absolutely enthralled and edified.
And to top it all off, she gave me a pastry blender! Not because she thought it would save me from Chicken McNuggets, but because she had promised me her extra one should I ever come to see her. I'm assuming she already suspected I wasn't much of a cook as she also gave me a packaged Apple Crisp mix. All I have to do is "add fresh apples and butter."
My new pastry blender (and Apple Crisp mix)
I wonder if I will need to cut up the apples. I'll ask Ronni the next time I see her.