This is me (left) and Paula (right) as we appeared in our High School yearbook, senior year. By then we thought we had been friends forever—8 years! We met in fourth grade when we were vying for the same boyfriend. We were in different classes, but managed to make each other quite miserable competing for this cute boy and ended up in a conflict that our teachers finally had to resolve. I still remember Paula's teacher saying, "You are both nice girls who should be friends and should not be so angry toward one another." The teachers determined that we should be made to eat lunch together for a week and get to know one another. At the end of the week we were buddies. Neither of us knows what happened to the boy we both adored. We have been friends since—through college, marriage, children and grandchildren. We started together in Pocatello, Idaho, then after college we each moved away, but always stayed in touch. In 1993 I moved to Portland where Paula lived. Today we live about 3 miles apart and see each other weekly. We have been friends for 56 years. I love her dearly and am so grateful that she is here.
The older I get the more I realize what great fortune I have in my friends.
Today I learned that another old friend, from college, died yesterday. I have not seen, nor been in touch with him for many years, but the news brought back a flood of memories of a talented, creative soul and sweet and generous friend and I am sad to know that he is gone.
Let us be grateful to people who make us happy,
they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.