People are moving.
Jessica my ice cream buddy is doing it. She's on a plane next week.
Flying to paradise. To commune with the trees.
You can bet I'll visit. My idea of a good time is eating ice cream in new places.
This means I'm accepting applications for summer 2022. Someone needs to fill her shoes.
Eating ice cream alone is just okay.
Jessica's agreed to interview her replacement. She's special. Bright as a star.
I'm sending her off with gratitude.
In the spring of 2019, I pitched a story to the Washington Post on Iliana Regan's memoir, Burn The Place.
I thought I'd be writing about it from my desk in downtown Toronto. Then Joe Yonan asked me if I wanted to spend a weekend at Milkweed Inn. It was just opening.
My first big break. May I never forget it.
We started talking travel.
I was so broke. I couldn't afford a flight or a car rental. But I wasn't telling him that.
I kept pouring over the map. Hoping with everything the way would appear.
I told Jessica. She said, 'take my car.'
You know the golden starburst of stamens in an apple blossom? That's how it felt.
I had enough cash to cover gas and buy some Canadian snacks. All-Dressed Ruffles and Coffee Crisps—the best way to make friends in America.
Nineteen hundred kilometres. Three days.
In a car that had been barely outside Toronto city limits. A teal blue Nissan Micra.
Farther north on Highway One than I've been before (I need to get out more).
Through a velvet tunnel of tall pines and night sky. Crossing the border at Sault Ste. Marie. Into the wilds of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Chasing a story.
Good music. Free spirit. Is there anything better than a road trip?
The story landed 'above the fold,' on the cover of the Food section. Kendra Stanley Mills' stunning photographs. We worked as a team, and it showed. (I fed her children ants from Iliana's kitchen. All of us marvelling at how lemony they tasted.)
Without Jessica it wouldn't have happened. An unforgettable kindness.
A few weeks ago while we were out walking in High Park, she shared a lesson about writing. I made her repeat it so I could record it. I now have the pleasure of hearing Jessica tell it at any time.
I see lots more rum and raisin cones in our future.
Baby, life's what you make it
Nothing can change it
Life's what you make it
I played this song on an endless loop when it was released. I still love it.