50 Days to 50 Years: Day 40, Mendocino Farms with Randi and Liz Lolli

22 06 2016

“I belong to the people I love, and they belong to me—they, and the love and loyaty I give them, form my identity far more than any word or group ever could.” ― Veronica Roth, Allegiant

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I have known Randi Lolli for 27 years—basically more than half my life—before she was Lolli (Lesner), and I was O’Connell (Oliver). We have lots of distinctions in common, one of them being that we had the good sense to marry men who would let us keep our monogram initials!

We have been there for each other through some great times and some tough times: From a great summer as part of a drama missions team on Venice Beach, to Bryan Duncan and late night yogurt/food/coffee runs, to birthdays and broken hearts, to wedding days and miscarriages. Randi has had my back, and when she married Brian, he became a part of that fun and faithful mix. They were there for us when Lynn and I went through the horror of the last several years, down to spending hours and resources helping us move from our house when we were foreclosed upon, to paying for a critical procedure for our now deceased fur baby, Shadow. As I have said before, loyalty is something I prize, and Randi is loyal to a fault. You cannot purchase that with money, and I pray I have returned it to her in kind.

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I correctly prophesied Liz would be a girl [pats self on back], and like AJ Danna, have delighted in watching her grow up, and see her blossom into a young woman and a woman of God.

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Randi and Liz had never tried Mendocino Farms, so it was fun introducing them to this gourmet sandwich pavilion. I highly recommend the Steak BLT on Pretzel bread! Between work and volunteer commitments, this challenge, and the awful L.A. heat, I have not been getting much sleep, while still burning the candle at both ends. So after teaching two classes today, and with one more to go later that evening, I was pretty tapped and wasn’t at my best energy. The thing about old friends is that you don’t have to be at your best, you just have to be present. The beauty of that history is that we slipped into familiar banter and laughter without much effort, as we enjoyed each other’s company, knoshed on some delicious sandwiches, and caught up on our lives.

The Lollis summer schedule is as packed as the O’Connells, so we will look forward to seeing each other again at my big blast in August.

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