Saturday we were back in our hometown for the event Lucy mentioned in her last post. That afternoon I walked our dog, Sammy, and admired the lilacs, phlox, tulips, pansies, and other flowers that bloom along my in-laws' street. Already nostalgic from our visit to Nana's house, my mind turned to childhood days and visits with friends and their grandparents. I stood on the street corner and contemplated while Sammy made use of a fire hydrant, and then, as if conjured from the drizzle and clouds, a red Jeep SUV passed. Clara, a friend since the ripe old age of nine, drives a red Jeep and has since the high school days of cruising the twisty roads to her house with the windows down and tunes up. I couldn't see into the vehicle because of the glare, and as the car turned the corner down the street, I wondered how Clara was and if she'd gotten off work for the day.
Sammy and I walked the opposite direction, and we'd covered half a block when the red Jeep appeared again. It was Clara, who circled back because she thought she recognized Sammy and wondered if the woman with darker hair huddled inside the quilted jacket was me. (It's been a while since we've seen each other.) Clara parked on the street, and Sammy and I ambushed her as her feet hit the pavement. Clara and I talked (Sammy wagged and drooled and squirrel watched) in the middle of the road and made plans for a very loud, very loving dinner together with my family and Lucy's.
The arranged dinner time arrived. Lucy's dad drove, Adam was in the front seat, and when we stopped at Lucy's and Clara's place, the three Fantastic Spatulans squeezed into the back. It felt like old times, driving along to a favorite restaurant as we laughed and teased. That random meeting on the street corner thanks to dog whizzing and serendipity gave me a gift of time with old friends.
Saturday was a day of random meetings that turned bitter sweet memories into present joy and hope for a new future. It will be different, but the blessing of people will continue, and we'll all be just fine.