it was a bugler monday kind of day….

so with the joys of facebook these days, we can live hundreds or thousands of miles from friends and family and still feel like we haven’t been apart. many of you know that i spent half of the year of 1997 living and studying in Jerusalem, Israel. it was one of the best years of my life. and i made some AMAZING friends that year. friends, in fact, who are very near and dear to my heart, even though i almost never see them.

ellen is one of those friends. i met her my first semester (january through may). she was a student at Taylor University in Indiana. i’m pretty sure i learned a vast majority of my story-telling skills from her. have you ever laughed at a story i’ve told? i give ellen the credit. dramatic pauses? yep. sound variations in my voice? yep. slight hyperbole for the sake of making the story even better? yep. that’s all ellen. she’s pretty fantastic.

but she still lives in indiana. i saw her back in may of 1999 when i drove across the country to move from PA to WA. she lived in her own apartment and worked at a church. when i opened the one of my car doors to get something, my basketball fell out and rolled across her apartment parking lot. and i didn’t even know it until some strange guy asked us if that was our ball. hmmm. so much for our stellar observation skills!

anyway, when our dunkin family drove across the country two summers ago (2011), we drove RIGHT PAST ellen’s highway exit. but i didn’t know it until it was too late. and dave was in a DRIVING AND NOT STOPPING mood. so bummed. so fast forward a year and a half and the bugler clan took their own cross-country road trip. so on monday, april 1st, there was a reunion like no other.

i waited ALL MORNING for the buglers to arrive (around 1). and when they FINALLY got here, i ran outside and practically accosted ellen before she could even set foot out of the van. and her poor children and husband had no idea what hit them. see, with facebook and friends like ellen, i feel like i already KNOW her kids and her husband. i feel like i’ve met them a thousand times. and since i consider ellen to be family, that makes them family too, right?

so the kids swam and played with my girls. brian watched out for the kids (theirs and mine!) while ellen and i lived in our own little world for awhile. it’s a world that involves photography, vintage treasures, crafting, bargain hunting, re-living stories from our “glory days” and more. it was fantastic. seriously fantastic.

and then i had to get davey from school and the fantasticness almost ended. davey came home and wasn’t feeling well and before i knew it, he’d thrown up. (thankfully it was mostly IN the toilet). so i sent him upstairs for a “rest” (and he promptly fell asleep) and then i broke the news to ellen and brian. no one wants sick kids on their road trip. i was terrified they’d pack up and head out within seconds. to my surprise, they didn’t budge.

WHEW!

so our visit continued.

and then dave came home. and he prepared a thai feast. ellen has been DROOLING for well over a year at the thought of eating some of dave’s pad thai. he was nervous from the pressure, but ellen was thrilled. her picky girls ate quite a bit, also. and her husband brian, who is not an adventurous eater, also enjoyed it. along with pad thai, we had prik king (green beans & chicken) which everyone also liked (dave’s version is my favorite thai dish!).

and when it came time for the buglers to pack up and head out, it felt like the day had whizzed by. too fast. too short. already over. so here’s hoping it’s not another 14 years until i see ellen in person again!

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