On the second and fourth Tuesday night of each month, I walk over to my neighbor’s house to play Spades with her and a bunch of her other friends. I’m usually the youngest one of the bunch (the other ladies are all old enough to be my mother). However, I appreciate having friends who are a bit older than me. It’s a total girls’ night — there’s a lot of laughter, shared food, good-natured banter and of course, card-playing. I had no idea how to play Spades, but I picked it up gradually. It’s a complicated game and I still learn something new every time.
My neighbor who hosts this (I don’t like to give specific names in this blog of my family and friends out of respect for their privacy) is also a good friend. We met two years ago, when she hosted a hidden stairway walk around the Oakland and Piedmont hills via Meetup.com. We actually didn’t talk during that walk (she was up front leading, and I was near the back talking with the other folks who had showed up for the walk). But after it was over, we realized we lived very close by and decided to meet up again to just walk around the neighborhood. Well, we did. We did several more walks together and explored even more hidden stairways in the neighborhood (who knew Oakland had so many!).
Then she organized another group walk/hike at Lake Chabot park, and the two of us went together on a trial run, and again with the entire group. Here are some photos from the Lake Chabot hike:
So gradually we bonded, over walking, hiking, our shared love for cats, occasional dinners/lunches at one another’s homes, going to the movies once in a blue moon, and of course, Spades. She was the first friend I met out here in The Bay Area, and I’m so grateful that we’re neighbors and friends, and that we have our Spades nights!