There are friends you can drink wine with. There are friends you can take endless selfies with. There are friends you can gossip with. Eva isn't one of those friends.
Eva isn't much for gossiping and she doesn't drink. When we hang out, once every few months or so, we never end up just sitting around. There's usually a walk or hike of some kind involved in our visits. Even when we're in the city, we end up trudging through mosquito-infested trails beside the Grand River, or pounding the pavement in downtown Kitchener in -24 degree weather, on the hunt for a good sushi place. Sometimes she takes me for picnics in places like this:
One thing I especially like about Eva is that she brings her trusty camera nearly everywhere. She has a talent for taking fantastic, unexpected shots of random cool stuff like this:
And we always meet interesting characters:
Eva loves to take photos of me, too, because I am just as entertaining as little red salamanders and Alice In Wonderland mushrooms, don't you think?
This past weekend, Eva and her trusty camera came up to Someday for a visit. After Eva showered us with an assortment of funky gifts, D distracted the kids so Eva and I could do our thing. It was freaking freezing and horribly grey outside, which never bothers Eva, but the temperature thwarted my plans to initiate her into the world of sap domination: all the pails were frozen solid. So we bumbled around the farm instead. I introduced her to the cows and calves and barn cats (and to Carman) before we set off down the hill for a hike on the trails below the farm.
That's when the sun came out, turning the sky electric blue and the snow into a brilliant canvas of white. The air was as cold and fresh and crisp as my favourite wine. We trudged along the half-frozen trails, sometimes talking, sometimes not, always comfortable beside each other.
The best part about a hike with Eva is that she gets you to look at things you've seen before with a new appreciation. As soon as she whips out that camera, I know to pause and wait until she gets the shot she's looking for, and I try to see whatever it is she's seeing in the moss, or tree trunks or raindrops she's focused on. As a reward for my Buddha-like patience, I usually get a chance to act like an idiot somewhere within the frame of her imagination.
Eva and I try to sushi whenever we can. Kincardine now has a mind-blowing TWO sushi places to choose from, so after we stuffed ourselves with gyoza and agedashi tofu and dynamite rolls at Sushi Won, we went for a bone-chilling walk along the pier. I remember how fascinated I was with the lake during my first winter in the Bruce; I'd never seen the water wearing anything other than its sparkling summer attire, and it shocked me to see it looking like a setting in a Farley Mowat novel.
Eva was equally taken with the frozen wasteland as we braved the east wind and darkening sky:
I was tempted to jump down from the pier and see if the ice would hold - wouldn't THAT make the front page of the Kincardine News? - but after a horrified look from Eva, I settled for a Dorka-the-Explorer-meets-Sears-model pose instead:
We may not drink or selfie together, but Eva and I are in it for the long haul of friendship, one wacky walk at a time.