A Sunny Day and a Remembrance

Yesterday was finally a warm, sunny day after too many cold, rainy days. From time to time over the past week, we have needed to turn on the electric heat. When the house is only 60 degrees, it is simply too cold for Clif and me.

But all was forgiven on a day when the sky was a cloudless blue, and it was fine enough to hang laundry on the clothesline. It was even warm enough to have lunch on the patio,which is right beside a large garden bed, where I could see that the dwarf irises were starting to pass. However, the flowers still smelled as sweet as ever.

The dragonflies have emerged, and one clung to Temple Dog’s small stoney face. “Come, little mosquito eaters,” I said. “And do your thing.”

Over lunch I perused the newest Daedalus Books catalog. I saw lots of interesting titles—some for presents, some for me. As I spotted one book after another, I was sadly reminded that my friend Barbara is gone, dead for 9 years this spring. Barbara was the one person with whom I could share all my bookish enthusiasms, and I so miss our regular book talks.

Now, it must be noted that I am blessed with a literate family and many literate friends, but somehow Barbara was the one whose tastes almost exactly matched mine. In the catalog, I saw What There Is to Say We Have Said: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and William Maxwell. We both adored William Maxwell, a legendary editor at the New Yorker and a fine writer as well. And we, of course, admired Eudora Welty. When I came to a section featuring books by Angela Thirkell, I wondered if Barbara had read her. Ditto for The Town in Bloom by Dodie Smith, who also wrote The Hundred and One Dalmatians.

How lucky I was to have Barbara as a friend for so long—12 years, I think. On the other hand, is that all? I felt as though I knew her all my life. One thing is certain, friends like Barbara only come along very rarely.


4 thoughts on “A Sunny Day and a Remembrance”

    1. I know, Kate. What a coincidence to write about Barbara, and then to have the conversation about her on the phone with you. She is missed, that’s for sure.

  1. Ah Laurie… I am verklempt! Kate told me of her conversation with you. It was only Thursday I was looking through one of her notebooks, missing her and reaffirming many things about her that I already knew to be true. Her sharp, inquisitive, searching mind, her love of study/reading, the outdoors, family and friends- with you foremost among her friends. I am so grateful that she had a friend like you to share her interests, joys, trials, tribulations as well as the many, much loved cups of tea and book talk over the years. Thanks for the remembrances.

    1. Bob, Barbara was a gem, that’s for sure. I was certainly aware of it when she was alive, but after she died I was even more aware of it. As I mentioned in my piece, a friend like Barbara only comes along every so often.

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