The Man said to me, “They don’t make ‘em like that anymore”. I just smiled to show I agreed, but I didn’t. They DO make ‘em like that! There she was standing right there, going over the vegetables with the eyes of a Farmer. She smiled at me and I knew she was real.
We went to three different vegetable stands and all the Seller’s greeted her like an old friend. With three days worth of vegetables between us on the front seat and wind and Sun on our faces, we talked about life, her big brother and our families.
It felt like talking to my big cousin. She was easily open to me. I kept thinking, “Did I meet her so many years before”, but reality said it was only our second meeting.
She said, “Do you want to see my favorite beach in the area?” It had driftwood, stones, grass and a big dune. It was a lot like her, the more time you spend, the more you find to be interested in.
When we got back to her house. She let me watch her cook but would not let me help. It felt like the family I missed with her cooking and giving out advice like what I should do with this friend or that situation.
At the end of my visit with the Manning’s I felt welcome. From the first moment that Claire took my arm to show me the view of the Bay from her balcony, to smile from her daughter Claire when I complimented her on red dress she must have worn just for me. The gift of watching a firework show on a Manhattan rooftop with Marita and Kerry. All the family Bar B-Que’s and cool restaurants and twilight wine tasting.
So as I smiled at the Vegetable man I knew he was wrong. They do make ‘em like that. They made a whole family. Allison was just the first one he met.
I was lucky enough to meet the family that helped shape such a special woman.
Thank you, Allison I miss you.