October was a friendship-saturated month.
When I had an empty day in a city far from home, I contacted Faith,
an online friend. We picked up as if we had known
each other forever, drinking pots of tea and talking nonstop.
A week of solitude meant garden clean-up, reading, walking,
and a trip to the wildlife refuge to feast on the Harvest Moon.
My husband and I had a few days in the middle
where our schedules synced. The joy of reuniting, ah!
I met two year old Max and his mom on a flight to Minneapolis.
When he got antsy, I snapped a photo and let him see.
Take another, he urged. He drew in my journal with many colors;
years from now his drawing will remind me of our brief friendship.
A fire is a great conversation accessory. On my cousin’s
back deck we not only caught up on our 17 years apart,
but I—thanks to her transparency—got a tutorial
on life as a new widow.
We gloried in fall colors.
Our dads were brothers. We talked through our
family history, all those quirks we recognize.
And we laughed.
Then to Chicago for my annual visit.
I enjoy studying each my sister Dorothy’s dozen grandchildren:
their gifts, what motivates and aggravates them,
their unique personalities.
My sister Margaret soldiers through many infirmities.
Cancer and a stroke have attacked but can’t quench her spirit.
Through the pain I never hear her complain.
Several other friends blessed me with time and attention,
a precious gift. Our friendships span the years.
Stories jogged memories.
Tender mercies, all.