To Life! To Life, L'Chaim!

For nearly a decade, I've been having lunch with Jim​​ about once a week.

Jim came to the services department from sales, and when he arrived, I sent him an e mail of that basically said, "I'm glad to have another adult in the department".  There weren't many of us on the team over the age of 30.  We went to lunch the first time because his car was in the shop, and either he needed a ride to the dealership, or just needed to get out at lunch and needed someone with a car.

We had Greek food at a place that no longer exists - well, the place exists - it's just an Indian place now, and apparently quite good.

But back in the day, we ate Greek.  And talked, and got to know each other a little.  I don't really remember how we decided to be friends, or how it evolved.  I do know that shortly after that first lunch, he came to a party at our house.  And that even after that, he decided to still be my friend.

But even with time off for travel, holidays, vacations and whatnot, but that's lot of lunch and a lot of years.We went to eat Thai one day after my manager/org chart changed again, and he knew I needed to panic and vent in a safe place.   We went to Molinari's a number of times just to get out of the office and eat carbs.  We ate at Logan's and watched the service go from stellar to pitiful.  The last time we went, we said, "We're never going back!" and we didn't because they closed it down a week later.  We knew.  We always knew.  We ate sushi, salads, sandwiches and stir-fry.

The day I got offered my current job, we celebrated at Yat's - a Cajun place with gooooood food.  Really good, heavy, fattening Cajun.  YUM.  I was in shock.  He was in shock.  We were both excited.  And in shock.  I had Chicken Maque Choux.  So good.

When I left UL and came two exits north, we managed to continue meeting for lunch.  That is in large part because Jim was able to meet me near the office here.  We found some new favorites, and managed to stay connected.  And honestly, because I was actually in town more, we stayed in better touch.  I am proud of both of us for making the effort.  We are worth it.

But all good things must end.  My office moves near the airport at the end of the month, and that makes weekday lunches impossible due to time and distance.  I won't say forever - I still have doctors near his office, so I may make use of half-days to still meet up for the occasional Jim and Allison lunch.

Of course, in the space of nine years we have managed to become good friends, and basically family defined by more than convenience, the need to eat and a mutual love of tolerance for Newk's.

And that is why there is the weekend, breakfast places and texts.  We have committed to finally trying the extreme milkshake place downtown.  That's how we roll.  I was also given some tickets for next month to go see SpongeBob SquarePants:  The Musical - so we're going to do that as well.

But like anything that has become part of your routine, it's tough to change.  Honestly, it all changes, really - even the lunches I have with my current colleagues will change.  New venues, new menus.  And a breakroom with the good Sonic-type ice.

I'll bring my lunch.  Although I had this lunchbox as a kid, I'll make do with a Kroger bag, now.

Sunrise, Sunset.

I'll miss the lunches with Jim, though.