Pinky Pie

A doorknob, friendship & Me

Posted on: May 14, 2011

A prominent place on the wall.

As Nancy likes to tell the story, she left for the parents’ meeting for La Crosse Montessori Preschool with instructions from her husband, “Do not volunteer for anything.” Thus, she had plans to sit on her hands.

But she couldn’t resist, which is so typical Nancy, a reason there is a Nancy speed zone sign that lists something like 176 mph. That would be Nancy.

She couldn’t resist catching up with us after the meeting. We had passed out a letter asking that parents let us know if any of their kids came down with chicken pox, a disease that could be fatal for our son, Matt, who was on chemotherapy for leukemia. We became great friends, as did our daughters. And they became the friends on call, helping us out of this difficulty or that.

They took Maggie a couple times when she was exposed to chicken pox and had to be out of our house for a couple weeks, including one time that came after a middle of the night transfer of her from one house to another.

And then they took her when Maggie actually came down with chicken pox, for which Nancy created a sign, “Welcome to Spring Camp Chicken Pox.” She and Dan took Maggie for half the summer that Mat was trying to recover from a bone marrow transplant.

And then there were the hilarious night that we called because Dick and I were locked in the bedroom and couldn’t get out.  We had a lock on the door that had malfunctioned. Soon Maggie was outside of our door upset because she couldn’t get in. I told her that Dan was on the way and that she should open the door for him when he arrived.

As it turned out, we were able to jiggle the door open just as Dan was coming up the stairs with his tools. It became one of life’s stories.

When Nancy and Dan moved to Indianapolis, we exchanged gifts. They gave us a bungee cord and an axe. We gave them the 1992 Great Escape Award in a Hessel-Mial Category from the “Friends-on- Call Foundation.” The award was a doorknob implanted on a board with an engraved plaque.

We stopped to see Nancy and Dan on our way to Washington and can report that the doorknob is still on the wall.

Nancy leading the decoration of the chuppah.

The Weisses moved when the girls were in middle school. We visited a few times and then did not see each other again until Maggie’s wedding in May 2008. We had just discovered that the chuppah – marriage canopy, would not go into the stand. It was just two hours before the ceremony and the wedding party was off having photos taken. The hotel then was under remodeling so staff offered eight-foot poles that might work. I didn’t realize it at the time but the poles were for scaffolding. Naturally, Nancy arrived at just that moment, assessed the need and ran off for decorations to hide the metal poles. It was classic Nancy.

We saw them a few months later at their daughter’s wedding. And we will see them again in October when their other daughter, Stacy, has a celebration of her wedding to a German man named Wedding, which will make it the Wedding Wedding without redundancy.

The best thing about our visit to Indy in May was that our friendship picked up where we left it. We laughed and told stories and caught up once again.

As we were getting read for bed, we heard the news report that Osama Bin Laden had been killed. We recognized then that our trip to Washington, D.C., and New York City, would prove interesting. We had no idea how interesting.

This trip was all about family and friends. Lots of them.

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