Thursday, August 02, 2018

Being There

What is the measure of friendship? How far would you travel to help decorate for a friend's party? And did I mention that the accommodations include sleeping on a couch or an inflatable mattress? And the morning after, you get to wade through the debris and help scrape said debris into appropriate bins for recycling or decimation, just prior to climbing back on an airplane and heading back to the life you were leading that was already in progress?
For some people, these aren't really questions so much as a statement of fact. This is what they do. What they did. Faced with the task of entertaining a couple dozen folks as a celebration of our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, we called in the shock troops: friends from high school who should know better if they really expected to drop by the Bay Area for some free and easy sight-seeing and socializing. Sure, they got to see the part of our neighborhood between here and the grocery store, and we were willing to stop the cuckoo clock from hooting all through the night to allow our guests a little extra shut-eye, but mostly the visit was all about party planning, dispersal, and reclaiming.
Both of these ladies were part of that long ago high school band experience that was the eventual bend in the fabric of time and space that brought my wife and I together. They are the ones who stuck, having been there at the joining and the continuation of that relationship. And what am I doing here? I am making as public announcement as I know how to proclaim my love and thanks to their efforts because it was not required.
That is what makes it friendship, I know, but I am totally capable of forgetting that bond in many cases. But not here. These are tried and true friends, the kind you can't get on social media and don't expect to meet online. Sure, there are plenty of emails. There is the occasional text, but aside from all that hanging of silver spirals and slicing of vegetables, there are the conversations that go on for hours, filling the time we spend together, making it sad when we have to say goodbye since there is still so much left to say.
So goodbye for now, and thank you both.
And if you have a friend like that, don't forget to say "thank you," and next time there's a streamer that needs to be hung, Be There. 

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