Interspersed with following the threats of hurricanes and listening to the Republican National Convention, I had lunch with a friend on Monday even though the downtown coffee house and the restaurant across the street were closed in recognition of Labor Day. Since I was running late, we met up by telephone and found a new place, where we could not only eat but talk for four hours. There is nothing like a good talk with a friend to make life more interesting and more bearable.
Though younger than I am, this new friend and I both have the same experience of having already lost a good many dear friends. That comes with age and is one of the sad aspects of growing older. You watch your high school class grow smaller at each reunion. You find yourself with a shrinking circle, and you don’t necessarily have the drive and energy to be out and about making new friends. With added doctor appointments that come with age, you my not even have much time for interacting with old friends. .In retirement, you don’t have the work contacts to connect with daily.
When I first retired, I had two buddies I enjoyed meeting up with for breakfast. The fact that we ate breakfast at 10 a.m. was evidence of our compatibility. Within a couple of years, one moved upstate. Last spring the second one headed to the east coast to live with two daughters.
A year ago a very dear new writing friend, who had moved here from Washington, D. C., had to relocate. We too could talk for hours even though she was many years younger than I. She lives close enough to our town that theoretically we could still meet up, but both of us have busy lives and we don’t. When I go by the road to her subdivision as I frequently do when I drive to town, I always feel the pang of missing her. She was nearer my daughter’s age than mine, and I so wanted her to meet my daughter because I thought they would enjoy each other’s personalities. I knew Katherine would relish the stories about Deb’s previous life in the Capitol. With the move, that possibility faded.
It is a gift to be treasured. to have found another new friend with numerous common interests but also a fascinating lifetime of many different jobs, events, and places before she moved to our town. It is good to discuss politics but not have to agree although we often do. It is good to share private problems and know they will never be judged nor repeated. It is good to have someone so busy with a job and travels that she isn’t available much of the time. That may sound like a contradiction, but it means this person is not needy. It means she understand my busyness also. Because we can rarely get together, we have much to talk about and many stories to share.
We can keep up with each other with email just as I keep up with many old friends around the country by email. I cherish those far-away friendships, and email allows us to share our lives with a minimum of time and no gas expense. But it is also good to occasionally meet face-to-face and laugh and cry together over a cup of coffee or a four-hour lunch.
Catching up - It has been a crazy couple of weeks of deliveries, unpacking product, bar coding, pricing, breaking down boxes, watering plants, writing orders, filling ...
2 months ago