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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

A Long-Ago Friend Surfaces

sinaiAs a young man, Benedetto was an archaeologist living in Jerusalem. There, he had a friend, Richard, a young architect who also worked in archaeology, drawing site plans. The two had numerous adventures and misadventures, shall we say.

Richard had already left the country, heading back to the U.S. by the time I arrived on the scene. I worked with Benedetto for several months in the hills of Judea, eventually returning to America and Benedetto followed suit about six months later.

Long story short, Richard became the best man at our wedding within the year and we were part of sinai2Richard’s wedding some seven years later in Grosse Pointe. Quickly, work and family obligations and travel took over. We tried to get together, swapping schedules and who would be at which beach home, but our getting together just never materialized. Both men moved into other professions as time passed and we lost touch.

Fast-forward decades later and Richard contacts Benedetto. Turns out that their family lives not far from Benedetto’s sister’s family and his mother who lives in a nursing home. The next time we would be in the area, they wanted us to stop over.

And so we did. Kids, dogs, and all.

thTheir children were mostly grown, the youngest in her late teens and still at home. She got along with our girls and our two dogs took turns in the lushly-landscaped backyard with their two dogs inside, then vice-versa. As the guys swapped story after story near the grill, his wife and I had tales of our own to tell in the state-of-the-art kitchen blended beautifully in their historic fieldstone estate, benefits of having an architect in the family.

We laughed over the number of similarities with lives spent apart from one another, yet pursuing similar tracks:

  1. Still married to the same mate after 30+ years.
  2. Each with four children.
  3. Similar memories and perspectives of the past.
  4. Living in historic, renovated homes.
  5. Both in good health.
  6. Love of the symphony.
  7. Did I mention– married to beautiful, bright women-?
  8. Two dogs and two dogs.
  9. Connoisseurs of honey, interestingly enough.
  10. Pursuing spirituality.

It was uncanny. While not close enough to be “twins” per se, the two men possessed similaritiessinai3 that could not have been imagined long ago. These guys had excavated in the Sinai Desert and in green, hilltop towns of the Galilee. They survived lean bachelor days and cheered colleagues who progressed to become leaders in their field.   The two shared how, when they were roommates, Richard would do the shopping in the open-air markets, while Benedetto did the cooking.

Sure enough, Richard still couldn’t cook. The turkey and salmon burgers on the grill grew charred under his supervision, sending the two into further fits of laughter. The more things changed, the more they became the same.

A pleasant couple of hours were had by all, catching up on things that count in life. Do you have an old friend it’s time to look up?


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