Lori and I met almost a hundred years ago in the Granger 14th Ward. She is only a few years older than I am (one or two, right, Lori), but when I was a Beehive, and Lori was one of the youth camp leaders, the age difference seemed huge.
Fast forward about ten years. Brett and I moved to a little apartment in Taylorsville, we went to church, and one of the counselors in Relief Society introduced herself. She instantly remembered me, but my memory wasn't so quick. It was Lori. She, her husband Frank, and their three children lived practically next door to our new apartment. We quickly fell into a much needed grown-up friendship, complete with walking in the mornings, long conversations, craft days (Lori filled in my gaps in that past time), babysitting for each other, institute classes, and crying on each other's shoulder.
The first 4th of July we spent together was at Sugarhouse Park. Surprisingly, our husbands and our children got along almost as well as we did, so the fun we had was spontaneous and organic. Lori spent a lot of that first picnic studying her law book. She had just started taking a few college courses, getting back into school. I don't know how much studying she accomplished, but we had fun trying to distract her. The day was such a success (except for the LONG wait in traffic to get home), so we decided to make it an annual event.
Our tradition has survived as we have carefully tended our friendship. Lori deserves most of the credit for that, but she has always made it easy to be her friend. Together we have weathered all the storms of life and well . . . . the actual weather. One year Lori was so sick she couldn't make it, but her devoted Franky gathered their children and went ahead with the plans because Lori INSISTED that he do so. Some years thunder and rain would threaten our celebration, but nothing has gotten in the way of our reserved get together. We've changed venues a few times and some of our children have moved on to their own traditions, but we have always oooohed and awwwwwd together over fireworks at the end of the night. Sometimes those fireworks were the kind we lit in the street, but they have always represented the blessings of our friendship. So, thanks Frank and Lori, for a wonderful 20 year run. Let's hope and pray that we have at least 20 or 30 more together!