Melinda decides Santa Barbara’s call needs to be answered

For so many years, the smiling face and wise words of Melinda helped me through my days at the big daily.

Adios, amigo. See you on the left coast.

Adios, amigo. See you on the left coast.

We investigated and co-wrote big projects together. She knew her fine arts. More than that, she’s wise in the ways of journalism. Best of all, Melinda is a smart friend about what’s right and wrong in life. When steam was coming from my ears, she listened, chimed in, ducked when needed, stood up strong and told me to ease off the gas pedal, dried some tears, laughed in unison …

My dear wife Karen, friends with Melinda as well, called her my work wife.

That kind of friend.

We did lunch every couple of months after I was one of the 100 caught in the big daily layoff of 2013, and did the best we could to keep up.

I got a get a text from Melinda a couple of weeks ago. She quit the company that replaced the big daily. She’s moving to Santa Barbara. She worked at the daily there, one of her work stops before she returned to her hometown decades ago, to be closer to her mom. Her magnificent Mom passed away almost exactly a year ago.

Yes, it’s time. Friends there will take care of our Melinda, I’m sure. A less stressful job will surface.

Life will be happier.

We can’t wait to visit. We love Santa Barbara. And now somebody we love will be living there.

Do you find it harder to say so long to friends as you get older? Do you find it harder to keep friends as life goes along? Do you tend to make new friends or keep the ones you have?

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12 thoughts on “Melinda decides Santa Barbara’s call needs to be answered

  1. Melinda sounds like a beautiful soul Mark. I lose old friends faster than I acquire new – although new folks do still enter my life and stay – like yourself Mark. I’ve been past Santa Barbara but never went into the city. I once met a young woman of about 27 in Kentucky who was travelling with her 3 year old son and all her worldly belongings in an old VW Bug. Apparently there is a nuclear generating facility in S.B. and she had gotten a job there. She had a CB adio and we traveled together for a few days.

    It is hard to say good-bye to old friends. harder now because I know there is little if any chance of us ever meeting again. When you are young, it is more “see you again” than “Good-Bye”.

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    • Santa Barbara is where the mountains meet the sea, Paul. It’s a breath-taking piece of our Earth. Karen put it on our driving trip up the coast a dozen years ago, and now I know I will return. 🙂 Yes, so-long is much easier on the soul than good-bye. 😦

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  2. I always find it hard to say goodbye to friends. And I tend to hold on to friends that matter. I’m still friends with my French pen pal since I was 14 and we mail each other Christmas gifts every year. (*’∀’人)

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  3. I loved reading this your feelings for this friend of yours shone through. You have touched my day Mark thank you .
    I have new friends and old friends no so many as when I was younger. I know I value them more than anything! xxxx

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  4. yes, i think changes and goodbyes get harder. friends and family take on an even greater meaning as we age. best of luck to her on the next chapter of her life, i know you’ll miss her and she’ll miss you all.

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