Friday, September 26, 2014
A Day At The Movies
Steve and I used to throw parties at the drop of a hat for a coterie of friends known as The Wild Bunch. None of us had little kids, so no babysitters required. We celebrated holidays, of course, but some parties were for no good reason at all. Deb, single at the time, was a member in good standing of The Bunch. We all went camping together for Thanksgiving and at New Year's (campgrounds are nearly empty then and we had the park to ourselves). It was at one of our Halloween costume parties that Clay became a welcome addition to the family. (Like the Man Who Came To Dinner, he came to the party and virtually never left!) The Millennium celebration was a gala affair. All women in evening wear and men in tuxes or fancy dress. Champagne and dancing. Midnight buffet while listening to Kenny G. playing Auld Lang Syne. Toasting each other with memories of other good times. Burying a time capsule on New Year's Day with artifacts contributed by everyone. Dolly and Dan, Deb, Steve and I used to go to every little local fair in the valley: the Courtland Pear Fair, the Dixon Lamb Fair, the Yolo County Fair, and every Highland Game, etc. Just after Thanksgiving, we'd all go down the river road to a Christmas tree farm and pick out our cut-your-own trees, then come home in the blustery weather and have a hot Irish coffee (or two). The guys played lumberjack closer to Christmas and that was cause for another party. Poker games; many, many of those.
My birthday gift to Dolly for years was a two-week vacation up here. Steve was working, so it was pretty much a girls-only time together, special for both of us. Deb and Craig were married here, with close to 200 guests expected. Dolly volunteered, and we spent two weeks before the wedding planting fresh, all white flowers on the deck and in the yard, setting up the bridal arch, and the myriad other details for such an event. I did all the cooking that could be done ahead for the wedding brunch and breakfast the next day. Dolly and I laughed like loons, exhausted, and I never could have done it without her. My God, we did laugh.
The photo was taken yesterday afternoon when the rain Dolly brought had stopped and the sun came out. Bess and I took a walk, breathing in the scent of newly washed pines and damp earth. Some of the memories brought tears, but most, like rainbows, brought joy. I realized I didn't need to say goodbye to my friend; she'll never really leave. My mother used to say that you live as long as someone speaks your name. Mother was wise in her way.