Suzy and I have been friends since we were ten years old and lived across the alley from each other in University Park. That would be almost fifty -five years ago, for the tacky few who are counting backwards right now. Without sounding cliche' or soupy, I treasure these really old friendships that survive the years. She and I don't talk every day or even every week, but there is never a strained minute or hard feelings. She's been to all of my weddings, listened to me as those dissolved and been there with dinner for 25 when my beloved father died five years. ago.
Today I am taking her out for her annual birthday lunch. We try to give each other really special presents. Suzy is tiny so it's fun to shop for her. Of course, I secretly marvel that she is still a complete beauty even as the mother of five and grandmother of seven, almost eight and counting grandchildren. She missed the wrinkle gene.
Four years ago I had my last really big Christmas open house. Here we are then.