Jessica and I took guitar lessons together and taught relief society together (remember the lesson that we were assigned to teach on how Bunko is a form of gambling? Ya, that was fun), She introduced me to lemon milk made from the leaves on her own tree and taught me how to make curry (ok so there aren't any exact measurements so couldn't make it by myself, but she did show me what to do) She got me to go to the washboard festival in Southern Ohio, and she gave me one of the most thoughtful Valentine's that I have ever received. She was my visiting teacher, and she was in my children's literature book club. I love talking with her because she's so insightful and thoughtful and she's one of the few people I feel free to share my writing with. She was on the activities committee and I knew I could count on her to do a great job with anything that I assigned her. I know we will still be friends, but is it fair to say that I feel like I'm already mourning the loss of her cheerful presence in Columbus? I always knew that she and Jared would be up for anything and they put a creative twist to everything they did.
A funny story about Larry and Jared: They know each other well from their days in the Elder's Quorum presidency together. Of course Jared knew about Larry's beloved Gnome, but you might not. I HATE gnomes. When I was little I thought there was something magical about them, but when I got older my little brother loved the series Goosebumps and there was this episode when garden gnomes came to life at night and caused all sorts of trouble tying up dogs and attacking children. Ever since them I think gnomes are So CREEPY. My freshman year of college my roommate Dayna said that she also hated gnomes because her little brother loved Goosebumps too and she saw the same creepy episode.
Fast forward to 2003 and Larry and see a gnome in a store and decide to buy it to mail to Dayna as a joke. When we got it home Larry put it on an end table in the living room so it was staring at you when you came in the front door. I felt like it was watching me, and I couldn't wait to get rid of it, but Larry really wanted to keep it. He swears that he loved that thing, but I really think he just knew it bugged me. Well, we ended up compromising and I told him that he could keep the gnome as long as he kept it outdoors and in the backyard where no one else could see it and think that we have the worst taste ever!
A year late our apartment was being reroofed and the workers threw all the shingles down onto our back porch before they cleaned them up. Unfortunately the gnome got knocked off of the table and his arm broke off (Larry swears to this day that I did it and blamed it on the roofers). Larry took it inside and tenderly nursed it back to health with superglue and rubber bands. He tried to keep it inside again, but I reminded him of our deal and once it was healed it went back out onto the patio.
The next winter tragedy struck again and water got in through the crack in the arm and froze, breaking the arm off again. We moved the next summer and I told Larry there was no way the gnome was coming to the new house for all of our neighbors to admire in its armless glory. Jared was there to help the day we moved from our apartment to our house. After unloading the moving van, Jared and Larry took the van back to our apartment to pick up our basement shelves and a few other odds and ends. They were gone for ages and ended up getting back late so we were late returning the truck, and when they got to the house they didn't even have the shelves. A few days later Larry admitted that they lost track of time and forget the shelves because they were busy burying the gnome and having a small service for it! And the worst part? The couple that moved into that apartment joined our ward, and I found myself dreading the day they tried to plant something in their planters and discovered an armless gnome. Wouldn't you wonder a little bit about the last renters if that's what you found?
So last night after Larry helped Jared load up his moving van and they disappeared for a little while, I should have automatically known what they were doing. I won't tell you what they buried in Jared's yard because I'll let that be a surprised to the next people who move in and I'll leave it to Jessica to try to explain that one.
And now that I'm reminiscing about our old apartment life, guess who we ran into tonight? Our old neighbors, Jason and September Rich! Jason's doing his residency in saint Louis and loving it and they were back so he could hood his younger brother Jeremy, who was graduating. It was such a nice surprise to see them so at least we ended the night on a happy note.