A few days ago, my friend Dawn R, who was my next door neighbor for part of the two years I spent living in rural central Washington in the mid-80s, wanted to verify my mailing address. She wrote, “Found something that made me think of you.”
I do love surprises.
Today I picked up the package at the post office. When I opened it at home, I laughed out loud:
She nailed it! The perfect door mat for me.
More precisely: Your chances of being tolerated by me increase significantly if you have a dog.
Friendships take all forms. The one Dawn and I started back in 1985 – each living in one side of a duplex, sharing many pizzas and bottles of wine, our dogs at our feet as we watched TV – has continued some 34 years despite my moving back to Seattle a year after we met. I had moved to Dawn’s home town to take my first job after law school; she still lives there. We’re very similar, and share a love of dogs. Over the intervening years we’ve seen each other only rarely, but communicate regularly, initially by email, sometimes by phone, and now via Facebook messenger. We’ve been there for each other through good times and not so good times. Shoulders to lean on, a mutual support system. It’s a friendship I’ve always treasured because it ebbs and flows naturally, without demands or preconceived ideas of what friendship requires or looks like. A rare thing.
I was going to store the mat for the winter. I don’t shovel snow from the walkway to my front door. Too much work for too few visitors. Instead, I bring people in through the attached garage. Oh, wait! Why not use it there through the winter?
I placed it on the garage floor at the (dirty) door leading into the kitchen (don’t judge; I live with two active and often dirty dogs). I then asked the boys to come check it out.
Then Conall did something I didn’t expect.
I did not expect him to pick up on the paw print shape. But maybe I should have. Conall is an expert tracker, using eyes as well as nose.
Cheers to long-time friends who get you and celebrate you. Priceless!