Day 196: Chuck and Mardy

19 Oct


Karen and Mardy

About 25 years ago, when we came to Ashland to attend Southern Oregon State College, my husband convinced me to take up a sport.  For some reason, I thought that racquetball would be a good sport to learn and so I signed up.  At the time, I knew little about the sport except that it was played indoors and looked fun.  Then the reality of the sport set in: you play in a closed room with people that are hitting a ball hard – which means someone can get hurt.

What I remember about my first couple of classes is that I never hit the ball at all.  It seemed to always be zooming by me or at me and I never got around to hitting it.  And then one day I was on the court with a few classmates and finally the ball came my way at a speed that I could manage and I hit it!  It was the first time I had ever hit the ball!  My euphoria was short-lived however because one of my teammates turned around to see where the ball had gone… and WHACK! It hit him in the face and knocked off AND BROKE his glasses.  Can you believe it? Instead of being thrilled that I hit the ball I was instead apologizing profusely to Chuck… who was not too taken with me at that time.

Somehow, even after that auspicious beginning, my husband became good friends with Chuck. Maybe Chuck took pity on him for living with a such dangerous woman; I don’t know for sure.  What I do know is that because of their friendship, I became friends with Chuck’s wife Mardy and we’ve been friends ever since.

Mardy and Chuck were there to help us when we moved up to Portland as they had moved up several years earlier.  We stayed with them for a few days while we searched for an apartment and they helped whenever they could with whatever we needed.  Having friends in town made our move quite a bit less stressful.

Mardy helped me out in other ways as well.  She was the one who made my first business card for me.  I’d been catering for friends for a while and Mardy often worked with me, and she kept telling me I needed a business card but I never got around to making  one.  One day she showed up and handed my a few cards that she’d printed for me with the name “Kaleidoscope Katering”.   It was perfect – and finally customers had a way to get in touch with me…. thanks to Mardy.

One of the things that I admire about Chuck and Mardy is that they seem to make the best of a situation.  They both work hard, are willing to take on challenging tasks, and are incredibly flexible.  Where someone else might be deterred, they seem to find a way to make things work out.  It’s really inspiring.

We moved back to Ashland in 1995 but have maintained our relationship with Chuck and Mardy.  Sometimes they travel down to see us; more often, we travel north and stay with them.  Last evening we arrived in Portland after leaving the coast and spent the evening at their lovely condo.  We decided to go out to eat and found ourselves at The Oregon Culinary Institute where we enjoyed a wonderful four course meal.  After dinner, Mardy and I went to the store to buy a few ingredients for a pie and early this morning I got up to make that pie.


Pie ingredients with Chuck in the background

While the pie baked, Chuck and Emile played a game of chess… while I snapped a few shots of the view from their living room.


Emile and Chuck


The view north

Once the pie was finally done, I left it to cool on their marble countertop.   I hope they know how grateful we are for all they have done for us.  We are very happy to have met them and become friends, and except for that tiny incident with the racquetball, I think Chuck would agree.


Apple Crumb Crust Pie

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