How’s the red?

Can you imagine that such a phrase would change your life? We might not have either. I’ve lost count of how many years it’s been since I uttered them, but those words were the ones that brought my dear friend Amy into my life.

I was in Oregon visiting wineries on a summer weekend and she was at one of them on her way to a wedding with a friend. While my party stood on one side of a bar, hers stood around the corner. Four sips into a five wine tasting menu, she’d graduated from the whites into the reds. Just making conversation, I asked what she thought. The rest is history.

n762365384_2488803_45671More wine!

After great conversation, we made plans to meet at another winery down the road. There, we sampled more, chatted more, took photos together and exchanged emails. These kinds of interactions happen frequently, but I’m sure they are followed up on only some small percentage of the time. Lucky for me, this was one of them.

Amy and I exchanged emails and shortly afterwards, she joined in with the blogging world. We spent a lot of time and energy connecting that way – sharing stories, etc. One trip to Portland and meeting for a Trailblazers game, another trip to Portland with Rebecca, just to hang out and an intro for those two who knew each other through blogs.

Amy’s college graduation was the first time I went to Portland on my own and stayed at her place. That was the only time I ever visited her apartment. By the time I started making my travels to Portland regular, Amy had become a homeowner and her house was adorable! Between 2007 and 2010, I was in Oregon anywhere between three and seven times a year. It was like my second home! I got to know her family and friends and celebrated birthdays, weddings, Super Bowls, everything with my PDX peeps. In the midst of all that, she also came up to Vancouver and hung with my crew. She taught me how to put on make-up. I taught her how to ice skate.

Skating

Since 2011, I’m saddened to say that I think I’ve only seen Amy twice – once when Kevin and I visited just after Valentine’s Day in 2012 and when she came for Thanksgiving in Canada that same year (I think.) She is so much better than I am when it comes to these details!

This is a big year for my girl – she’s moved to Washington State with her love, she’s added two gorgeous little girls into her every day home life and this fall, she’s getting married! I’m so happy for her and her happiness. I’m so excited for all that is going right for her.

Today is her birthday and, while I can’t see her smiling face, my wishes shine from one side of the continent to where she is, wishing her joy, love and success today and every day.

Hockey

So, if there is a lesson to be learned, it’s to go out on a limb and talk to a stranger. Say hello, ask how they’re doing, make conversation. You never know where it may lead!

Sadly, I have none of the best pictures of me and Amy on this laptop. I had to rely on Facebook and our old collaborative blog (which I seriously think we ought to revive!) to poach some for this post.

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