By Nancy Moldt Sugges / 10 years ago

With nothing but apologies to relatives I am reminded of the phrase, You can pick your friends but not your relatives.

This year I have had the most amazing Feast of Friends and it is early March.  I hardly know how to digest the delight seeing friends brings.  Each of them harbors a special place in my mind and when in their presence and long afterwards all sorts of memories are brought forward.  It is truly like living a very fine novel in present tense!

The first thought on friends isn’t really a personal experience but just the small part I played.  I mentioned a birding festival in the last Note I wrote.  At that festival I happened to sit next to two couples who had come together and they had been friends for years.  As is apt to happen in these chance meetings a good opening line is, Where are you from?  Now I am from a lot of places but Lime Springs, IA is the first on my list(forgive me, Chester, for your few years).  Imagine my surprise when the two husbands lifted off their chairs to stand by me and ask if I knew Don Lyons and Wayne Roberts who they recalled as being from Lime Springs.  The four of them had been fraternity brothers at Iowa State many years ago. (I had the notion those days were a story it would be fun to hear!)   One of the wives asked about Maxine Montgomery.  To make a long story short I quickly sent Donna Ihns an e-mail from the laptop and she sent the info on how to reach Don, Wayne and Maxine.  I have since heard that recent contact has been made among the men and these old friends have renewed and refreshed friendships.

Kareen and Earl Johnson spent some time in Laughlin, NV in Feb.  Pete and I were able to meet them and we found a Mexican restaurant in Bullhead City on the internet that sounded like an interesting place to connect.  Interesting does not begin to cover the full amount of adjectives that could be used.  Old river joint character might better describe it.  But we met and toasted each other, our decent health, kids, grandkids, great grandkids and anything else we felt like.  Kareen and I have been friends for over 60 years.  It seems like yesterday we first met.

Kay Joan Jones Daly was in AZ staying at her daughters’.  She called and we agreed to find The Village Tavern to have lunch.  We forgot how old we were and chatted and giggled and covered all the topics necessary.  I sang at their wedding nearly 50 years ago.

A nursing classmate from 1961 and her husband were in town and came to have dinner with us.  A friend I met when our daughter was in marching band from 1990 was in town from Colorado and we had lunch.

And while all these things were transpiring I was making plans to join 4 other nursing classmates in Las Vegas for a mini-reunion.  It seems amazing we came from Montana, Maryland, Minnesota, Iowa and myself from Arizona.  Next year will be our 50th reunion.

Ah, yes, it has been a feast of friends.  We chuckle about the new metal knees that set off the security monitors at airports, the fading eyesight, the need for hearing aids, the medications for blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, heart conditions and the clicking of the pill boxes at meal time becomes a symphony of testimony to life.

I treasure all these friends and love e-mail that keeps even many more in all corners of the globe in touch.  Whether we toast with champagne, wine, spirits, water, tea or coffee the thought is always the same.  Thank you for being my friend.