Sunday, March 22, 2009

Something about the love of good friends

What an absolutely beautiful weekend. Blue sky, sunshine ... springtime is breathtaking here in Chicagoland. Winter is now officially behind us, and not a moment too soon.

I didn't do it on purpose, but it would seem as if this weekend was a time for me to not only remember how beautiful the world can be, but revel in the love of good friends.

On Friday night, Eric came over to have dinner and catch up. Although several conversations included the phrase "I swear, I will kick you in the head," we really had a marvelous visit. Too soon, it was time for Eric to head home (in Practically Iowa) but not before I promised I would spend part of my Saturday sitting in the yard drinking coffee and writing.

So when Saturday morning rolled around, I jumped into my jeans, threw on a sweater and brewed the coffee. On my way out the door, I wrapped a scarf around my neck, put on my sunglasses and a floppy hat and grabbed my basket of stuff to be returned to the library and headed out. Walking around town, sipping my coffee and reveling in the beauty of the day, I felt ... European. Really. My town doesn't feel like smalltown USA. I can walk to the market, the library, the movies, live theater, great food ... anything I want, I really can walk to. And with my basket and my scarf and my coffee, I felt like a character in a movie. You know, the end of the movie where the leading lady finally figures out that her life is just fine as it is so she takes off by herself on walkabout? That was my Saturday. It was a great day to be me.

Especially as night fell and Patrick called to say he was in the neighborhood and he was coming by to use the bathroom. Yes, I was the victim of a drive-by peeing. I haven't seen Patrick in months, and he swept in, hugged me, took brownies for the road, and he was gone. It doesn't take much, really, to fill me up with love. It's worth it just to squish his face and get a hug and look him in the eye and soak up who we are. If necessary, I'm set now for another month or so.

Then today, Amber drove down from Lake Geneva to spend the afternoon. We wandered around town, had lunch at the Grand, wandered a bit more, sat in the sun, shopped for shoes (she got two gorgeous pairs) and then she had to head home. So it's been an eventful weekend, filled with friends and me wandering about town and great food and walks down memory lane and brownies. Sometimes it's hard to believe that I have friends who will drive an hour or so just to spend time with me. Sometimes I wonder if I deserve that. But then I remember, I'm also the one they feel comfortable enough stopping by for a quick potty break, because they know they're always welcome. Besides, do we ever really deserve the people who love us, or do we just love them back?

In the final analysis, at least when it comes to my nearest and dearest, I think that's really quite fine.

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