Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Looking at a previous life

A good friend came to visit and spend the night last night. Gayla is the marketing director of Texas A&M University Press, and we worked together and have been close friends for years. She had an event in Fort Worth last night, so it was ten before she got to the house...and midnight before we put away the wine and went to sleep. We caught up on families and all kinds of doings and started all over again with coffee on the deck followed by a lazy, late breakfast at the Old Neighborhood Grill.
Much of the talk was trade talk--about publishing, presses, people we knew professionally. It was good to hear about people I worked with and liked, but I was surprised at how removed I felt from that world and all the workaday problems of academic publishing. I've been retired three or four years (we couldn't decide which) but I've moved into a different world--still in publishing, but different--and I wouldn't go back for anything, much as I loved my work for thirty years. In truth, I love my life these days even more.
Because Gayla is a dog lover, Sophie was in heaven. Gayla said during the night (she's a light sleeper) Sophie would check on her and then run to check on me. We talked a lot about Gayla's dogs--the late and gorgeous Eppi, a mahogany collie that I was responsible for her getting. She told me she wanted  a dog; someone in my neighborhood knew of a collie that needed a home, and I sent the information to Gayla. She wrote to ask if I would "interview" the dog. Have you ever interviewed a dog? She had been shaved for the summer, so I couldn't tell what a beauty she would turn out to be but she seemed sweet and friendly. End of interview. Gayla came from College Station to get her and fell in love. Eppi was seven or eight, but they had four or five good years together. Meantime, one of Gayla's neighbors died and left behind Jake, who looks like a border collie mix to me but is apparently many things including adorable but not border collie. Jake, like Sophie, is an affection hog.
The whole visit made me think how glad I am to have longtime friends--even if our worlds have moved in different directions, they in some ways remain the same and our affection for each other remains unchanged. Good days.

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