Thursday, November 10, 2011

Golden times

Make new friends, but keep the old.
One is silver, the other is gold.

That saying has real meaning for me tonight. My best friend from high school is visiting for the weekend. Barbara Bucknell and I even went to off to college in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, together. As she said tonight, she loved it and I hated it. Small town, really small, really strict school--and I was in love with a young man in Chicago. Barbara jumped in to the social life and loved it; I, being a bit shy, never did as well. We still have to have the discussion about what happened to our college roommates--I  remember the name of hers, but only the first name of mine!
Today Barbara is Barbara Bucknell Ashcraft, recently widowed, mother of five, grandmother of fourteen. She and a friend, Pam, came today from Jackson, Mississippi. Neither Barbara nor I are much on driving on the highway, so Pam is the angel that brought us together.
We picked up right where we left off. Barbara's beloved husband, Don, used to complain that all we ever talked about when we got together--there have been lots of visits over the years--was things that happened in the past. I hope he was listening tonight, because all we talked about was children and grandchildren. We really caught up on each other's families, although we semi-keep up all along. I think it's wonderful that our friendship has endured for over fifty years. I was in Barbara's wedding party, and she and her husband celebrated their 50th anniversary a couple of years ago. We have so many ties, so many common memories--and yes, those come out over a glass of wine too. Some funny, some nostalgic, all treasures.
Tonight was also my memoir class, a class where we've agreed what is said there goes no farther. But the class willingly invited Barbara and Pam to sit in. Pam faded midway through and excused herself, but Barbara stayed, participated in the comments, and said she enjoyed the whole thing immensely.
And of course guests give me a good chance to cook. Tonight it was black bean soup with feta and fesh cilantro--colorful and good. I had made some of Jacques Pepin's fromage fort (strong cheese) and I spread it on a portobello mushroom and broiled it, then cut it in small wedges. Great appetizer, if a bit garlicky.
All in all a lovely evening. I'm basking in a happy golden glow. I guess maybe it's all golden, because we are in our golden years. Who would ever have believed when we were going to church together as teenagers that we'd still have so much in common and be so compatible almost sixty years later. I'm tempted to quote one of my mom's favorite sayings: "The Lord works in mysterious ways!"

No comments: