I met R during orientation week at Reed. We lived on the same dorm floor and had similar oral fixations at the time. (For the record, both of us no longer have such fixations and have become very focused on good health and exercise!) During that same week, a tall, hairy, intimidating guy appeared on Mac 3 and crashed in our social room while he and his long-haired rosey-cheeked friend looked for a place to live off-campus. That hairy intimidating guy was N (his sidekick was J), and both turned out to be two of the nicest, smartest guys you’ll ever meet.
R and N became a power couple early on that year. Though N graduated when we were freshmen, he lived and worked in Portland while R immersed herself in Reed culture. We had a wonderful group of core friends, all of whom continue to be of the best, brightest, and most fun people I know, and together we all went through typical Reed College experiences: break-ups, roadtrips, Dustbin parties, senior thesis parades, Renn Fayres, bug eating contests, winter formals, hangovers, almost being evicted from our house because we brought home the Blue Meanies, and Thanksgivings (with and without the famous avocado and lime jello salad.)
10 years and 4 kids later, F and I had the pleasure of spending another Thanksgiving with R and N and N’s family — our first Thanksgiving together since those college days at Reed. R cooked an incredible meal. F and I brought mashed potatoes and deviled eggs. The little people played, the adults chatted. It was all very comfortable.
A year and a half ago, F and I never predicted we’d find a family in Santa Barbara. R and N have been living 2 hours south in LaLa Land, so we’ve been taking full advantage of our close proximity by seeing each other as much as possible. N grew up in Santa Barbara, and his parents, who still live here, have spent many hours babysitting for Ayay and Tingting. Furthermore, N’s sister was Ayay’s preschool teacher last summer, and N’s brothers have also made a positive impact on Ayay. F and I definitely feel that over the past 18 months, our friends have become family. In our eyes, it’s not just R and N and the Kornells. They’ve evolved into Daddy Nate, Mommy Renee, Grandpa Jim, Grandma Ellen, Miss Amalie, Sam and Will. They have all opened up their homes and hearts to us, and we are extremely thankful for that. To the Ridberg-Kornell Posse: Maraming salamat po!
*”Maraming salamat po” means “thank you very much” in Tagalog.