Friend #52: Lindsay and Friend #53: Adrian (and Kathi and Anthony)

From Des Moines, I headed toward Kansas City.  Unfortunately, my friend Michelle was in San Francisco working for the summer, but she offered for me to stay with her family, who generously opened their home to me for the night.  I had met Michelle’s parents, Kathi and Anthony, at Michelle’s going away party when she moved from Los Angeles back to Kansas City, where she grew up.  It was a pleasure to get to know each of them better and enjoy their warm hospitality while visiting my Kansas City friends.  Thanks guys!  I did get to see Michelle once I was back in Los Angeles, and today is her birthday!  Happy Birthday, Michelle!

I met up with Lindsay for coffee on the afternoon of July 12th.  I moved in with a house of girls in LA a couple years ago, and Lindsay was friends with all of them.  She actually used the garage of the house as an art studio, so she was around a lot, always being creative.  She is a painter and photographer, and has also taken up jewelry making.  I always loved it when she would come over because we would get into the best conversations.  Lindsay has this way of being comfortable in her own skin that makes me more comfortable in my own.

By the time Lindsay moved to Kansas City, we all had moved out of the house with the art studio/garage, and Lindsay and I had lost touch.  So I got to hear the story of the crazy and fairly epic transition from Los Angeles to Kansas City.  Lindsay has lived in Kansas City before, and also had another epic transition moving from Kansas City to Los Angeles.  Lindsay is definitely one to follow her heart from moment to moment, which I can totally identify with.  She followed her heart halfway across the country.  Twice.  Our conversation involved a lot of comparing what it was like for her to live in Kansas City before versus now; what it’s like to come out of a place where you’re fighting and struggling for every little thing all the time to a place of more rest and comfort.  We talked about the transition of finding friends and community in a new/old place and the tension between settling down and adventuring.

Lindsay is involved at IHOP, the International House of Prayer (not pancakes), which has a round-the-clock prayer room.  People gather to pray 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Lindsay works at the coffee shop adjacent to the prayer room, which is where this picture was taken.  You can actually watch a livestream of the prayer room online.  Literally, they pray for everything.  One time, I happened upon the livestream when they were praying that cancer would be eradicated in Peoria, Illinois.  They get that specific, apparently.  Whatever your thoughts on prayer or religion or spirituality or IHOP, I think we can all get behind those prayers for Peoria and beyond.

High school friend Adrian and I met for lunch over on the Kansas side of the city at Blanc Burgers and Bottles, a place that only uses local ingredients to make great burgers and salads (sadly, I had to ix-nay the Kansas City BBQ due to some dietary restrictions).  I think I told him I’d forgotten what a vegetable looked like, and should probably become reacquainted with them, but when the time came, I totally caved and got a burger.  And it was beautiful.

I remember having the utmost respect for Adrian in high school.  He was on the drum line, two years ahead of me in marching band.  I had been selected as drum major just before Adrian graduated, and I will always remember him saying, “I think you’ll be one of the best drum majors to ever walk the halls of this school,” which would have been a high compliment coming from anyone, but it meant so much more, since it came from Adrian.

He was confident and such a natural leader then, and it has definitely continued into his life now.  Adrian attended the University of Kansas to study architecture, and now works for a company that designs lighting.  Kohl’s is one of their major clients, so if you’ve ever been in a Kohl’s, look up at the ceiling, and there’s Adrian’s work!

While at KU, Adrian met his now wife, Aida, and 9 months ago they welcomed daughter Elia.  Unfortunately, the ladies weren’t able to join us for lunch, so Adrian told me lots about them in their absence.  And, it appears that the little girl has daddy wrapped around her finger just a smidge.

One of my favorite moments with Adrian was when I asked him what he did in his spare time.  His response?  “I grill.”

As Adrian told me about the different grills he had and the smoker and the preparation of the meat and the enjoyment of the eating, he got so excited.  And he did something a couple times that I notice myself doing a lot.  I realized in our conversation that it must be something cultural for where we grew up.  Adrian has 3 grills.  And immediately, he began to explain what the purpose of each one was, almost making justifications, lest I think it was excessive or pretentious (which I didn’t).  And I totally do that, too.  Oh, I have this thing that could be seen as too much, but I got a really good deal on it, so it’s OK.  Oh hey, you like my shirt?  Well, I’ll tell you how much I got it for, so you’ll like it even more and respect me for my frugality.  It’s such a value for where we grew up, which I knew, but when I saw it in Adrian, I recognized something so familiar, it was like I was looking in a mirror.  Except that I don’t grill.

Like Omar, Adrian offered any help that I would need while I was in town in such a heartfelt way as we said goodbye.  It meant so much.  And he said he’d pray for me–which makes it a Kansas City theme, I guess.

From Kansas City, I decided to cancel my next few days of travel and just head home sweet home to St. Louis to rest for a few days.  More on that tomorrow!


2 Responses

  1. I love BLANC Ann, I ‘m glad you got to go!

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