I was napping the other day when there was a knock on the door. “Sheriff!” boomed the voice. “Can you step out here? We need to talk with you!”
I knew I wasn’t in trouble. I only drive into town once a week, and have never done anything to run afoul of the law. Yet, it had to be something important enough to bring out a sheriff’s deputy.
When I got to the door, I saw that it was Mike and his dad Jon, come to visit now that Mike and his family had arrived in the Big Bend from Colorado for a visit. As a teenager, Mike was a member of the youth group of young daredevils I used to advise.
Besides harassing me, they were here to invite me for Christmas dinner. I’m glad to have the invitation and to look forward to their hospitality. Plus, I’m especially fond of Mikes’s and Jon’s wives. I wouldn’t want to miss an opportunity to see them.
When I called my childhood friend the other night, he gave me the contact information for another friend of ours with whom he has maintained an ongoing relationship. I called him, too. Though it took several clues to jog his memory of exactly with whom he was speaking, his memory finally kicked in and he remembered me. “Didn’t you move away to a house on a creek?” he asked, and I knew he’d finally nailed it.
Once he had gotten over the initial discomfort of not being able to immediately recall his playmate of 56 years ago, he seemed glad to hear from me. He was going out the door to have Christmas with his daughter’s family, so I have no doubt we will connect again as the old synapses are activated.
Yesterday I received an email from my ersatz-daughter Sarah with an attachment of a photo (above) of Wren, the ersatz-granddaughter I have never met. I’m sure the full family photo is on its way by snail-mail (Sarah asked for my address again), but I never get tired of these family photos. They remind me of how quickly my favorite kids are changing. I suppose it is a virtue that I have no mirrors in the house and can avoid becoming preoccupied with my own aging, but seeing images of my “grandkids” somehow rejuvenates me and fills me with energy and hope for the future.
I had just begun lighting votive lamps to observe the Solstice last night (more candles than around a hot chick’s bath tub) when old friends began to check in and remember me on this, my high holy day of the year. Minnesota friends inevitably told me how much they missed our annual Solstice celebration, where the table was loaded down with food, the kitchen sink filled with imported beers and other libations, the house crowded with people. They even said they missed seeing me, which is my greatest source of joy.
I’m glad I declared this holiday recess. Connecting with old friends and family is the most important reward of the season.
65° and Clear