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Yesterday I learned a new definition for the word FRIEND.

A friend is someone who drives with you, –no, drives you– to an unfamiliar location 2 hours away, waits in an overcrowded, hot, stuffy bookstore for over 5 hours, keeping her cool the whole time, listens to you prattle on about a million boring things, ends up sharing some of her life experiences that make you realize she is even more wonderful than you ever thought, stands by your side when you get to meet your from-a-distance-mentor and laughs at all your stupid jokes, then while driving you home and realizing way too late that she got on I-5 south instead of I-5 north, doesn’t blame you even though you were updating your facebook status instead of being the navigator, which was the deal you made when she offered to drive in the first place. She loves to shop even though you don’t, and offers to help you shop when it’s time to update your wardrobe, she even offers to help you shop when you fulfill your promise to your daughter to take her shopping. She is smart and funny and kind and loving and beautiful on the inside and out…

…and her name is Theresa.

And when Ree Drummond of Cofessions of a Pioneer Woman came to Seattle yesterday on her book tour for her new cookbook, that is exactly what my friend Theresa did for me.

The day was supposed to be all about getting to meet Ree. And it really was fun and exciting, especially seeing literally hundreds of other women, some dragging their husbands along (poor saps) carrying around that beautiful cookbook and all of us knowing the same stories from Ree’s blog, having cooked many of the same dishes, knowing her daughter’s face immediately because we’ve seen hundreds pictures of Ree’s kids, and sharing what we love most about her, her humor and down to earth style, and the ability to make each of us feel like she knows exactly what our lives must be like.

And, although that part was great, and the 2 minutes we got to say hello, get our books signed and our photo snapped with the Pioneer Woman was fun and memorable, what the day really ended up being about was finally getting a day to spend with my friend, uninterrupted, with lots of comfortable silence, and lots of gabbing, talking, laughing, sharing from our hearts, and just plain enjoying each other’s company.

It really was the best kind of day.

And of course, PICTURES! Lots of pictures!

Hmmmm

A very  rare photo of me. Theresa was practicing using my camera so she’d have it down when it was my turn to meet Ree. It didn’t turn out too bad, but I’ll admit I worked a little photoshop magic on it, so my inherited dark circles under my eyes don’t look so drastic, like I’m on my deathbed or something.

Paperazzi

I call this my stalker shot because it was a good 4 hours before we actually got to see her and I poked my camera between book shelves, kinda like the paperazzi. It felt a little creepy. But I did see dozens of other people do the same thing. So there.

The Beautiful Theresa Reavis

The beautiful Theresa Reavis! This was taken within the last hour of our wait. We were sitting in the cookbook section and Theresa thought this was the funniest title for a book:
Cooking for ONE??Theresa

There was no mistaking this face:
With PW's daughter

PW’s daughter was so gracious, milling around and letting people take her picture. She was sweet and cute and was looking forward to some downtown shopping today. She looks exactly like her Mom describes her, tall and lanky and walks like a cowboy. Adorable.

Theresa and I were sitting at a table in the food court of this bookstore and had been chatting, unbeknown-st to ourselves (I don’t think I’ve EVER used that word before), with Ree’s Mother-In-Law. Such a lovely woman, sweet and down to earth, adoring of her family and talked so easily with all of us. Such a nice chance meeting!

And finally, the reason we had been sitting in a bookstore for so long!
Theresa, Linda, and ReeSomeone please fix my bangs….

Ree was very sweet and patient with people. She engaged in conversation and acknowledge each person. I had printed my pickle photo and had it tucked inside my book, so when she opened my book she saw it first. She said “Oh! Is this yours? You took it? I just LOVE this picture, it’s so….green”. That’s exactly what she said. Then I told her my husband wanted her to sign it, which is true, but which was also my fall back line in case it was a really stupid idea, which apparently it didn’t turn out to be, and she did sign it for me.   A little odd, I know, since I should have signed it for her since I took the picture, but it is a cool thing since she did choose it for group 5 of the Green Assignment.
AutographAutograph 2

Thank you Theresa for hanging out with me all day, for making that experience so much more meaningful than just trying to meet someone famous who doesn’t even know me, for being such a great friend and such a beautiful woman.  I love you.

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