Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Palanca pals

Sunday afternoon we met a friend of mine from my high school years in Bellingham. When I was a senior I heard about Episcopal Youth Encounter, somewhere. I remember my nervousness going off to a beautiful old lodge in the Columbia Gorge for a weekend, not knowing a soul.

Fortunately I had an inspiring, amazing experience and I became immediate friends with another brunette guitar-playing high school senior from Corvallis. One of the most memorable things about Youth Encounter was receiving a paper bag of palanca: letters and cards from family and friends, expressing their love and prayers. I will never forget that amazing experience of receiving palanca for the first time.

Now it is nearly 29 years later, and Jeannette and I are still friends. Our long friendship has been full of palanca over the years. At the next few Youth Encounters we served on the leadership team together and spent time visiting each other, along with Jeannette's sweet Sri Lankan exchange sister Amila.

Our life paths are very different--Jeannette and her husband Jon run a boat charter business in the San Juan islands and spend most of the charter season with their adult clients. Couldn't be more different from our crazy life with chaos and three children!

After several years of not seeing each other, we met Jeannette and Jon for lunch in Bellingham on our way to British Columbia. I believe we hadn't seen Jeannette for 5 or 6 years, and we hadn't seen Jon for probably 15 or 16 years!

I'm really hoping I can convince Jette to come to the NW Women's Music Celebration one year soon so we can make music together again. I know of only one other 40something mandolin player, and I would love to do a mandolin jam with Jette and Karina!

For many years, Jette and I communicated regularly via long, newsy letters, including through college and my years in Japan. She also read at our wedding. I miss the days of letters sometimes...somehow a palanca e-mail just doesn't cut it.

It was great to see my long-lost palanca pal again! I hope it won't be too long before we can connect in person again!

Jette and Jon, with Tail-R, their dog

Palanca pals

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