January 30, 2008

its a paczki

For those of you who don't know or can't tell from this grainy picture, this is a paczki, a polish pastry traditionally made for and eaten on Fat Thursday, the last Thursday before Lent not to be confused with Fat Tuesday and the French festival Mardi Gras. I know, I was confused too at first. This year, Fat Thursday is tomorrow January 31st. In my neck of the woods this tradition of doughnut gluttony isn't overly known or celebrated if you aren't Polish. So last year when I flew by myself (without three kids or hubster I might add) to Michigan to see my friend, Kelly, she introduced me to this cute little Polish bakery and this cute little "too many calories" tradition. Unbeknownst to me (until today that is) I had no idea that tomorrow was indeed Fat Thursday until this picture was sent to my cell phone from my favorite Michigander. As soon as I saw it, I smiled and missed her.

Kelly and I met about 13 years ago as co-workers for a retail establishment long gone now. Her husband was in the military and I was working my way through college and living with J. I don't really remember how we actually met or what it was that brought us together. But I do remember I liked her from the moment I knew her. She is the kind of person who makes "fun" where ever she is. Whether you are grocery shopping, hanging around the house, getting pedicures, sweating through a kick boxing class, or picking up paczkis. She moved back to Michigan about 8 years ago now and until last year, I hadn't seen her since she moved back home.

Over a year ago, I decided I wanted to fly out to see her. And at first I don't think she believed I would. I think the thought of seeing each other again after four kids and 7 years caused us both to be a little nervous that we wouldn't know what to say or do with each other. Once I departed that plane, however, and we caught site of each other, our anxiety quickly disappeared for it was like we had never been apart and we picked up as if we were in our early 20s once again.

On her second pregnancy now, I have a huge urge to jump a plane to visit her again. I often wish we lived closer for pure selfish reasons. I don't want to have to fly across three time zones to soak up her friendship and fun. Once a year, let alone 7 or 8, is too long to go without a dose of Kelly.

Today, upon seeing that picture of a Polish doughnut I realized just how much I love her. Her friendship is the kind you take to your grave wishing you had more time together and relishing the time you spent in each others company. "Like that one time, you fell out of my mom's car!!! Do you remember??" (Wink, wink! I love ya Kelly! Good luck with baby Lily. Your in the home stretch now. I'll drink a f*@#!*g caaaaazzzzzmo in your honor. Thanks for being my friend!)

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