Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Old Friends

The best feature of my charming old Arlington bungalow was the woman next door who would become my friend. Margaret and I had a lot of fun together. Sitting on my glider watching people drive by. Talking. Helping each other the way good friends do. Margaret came by my house every weekday and let my dog Emmy out in the yard. She brought in my mail. Sometimes I'd find homemade macaroni and cheese in the refrigerator.

We went together to get her Boxer puppy, Topsy. I prepared income taxes for her and her sister Ginny. I took her places when she stopped driving. It was hard to leave her when Bob and I bought a house together. Margaret's daughter moved her to Casper, Wyoming. I visited her there. Now she lives with her son, Lee, in Florida. Last weekend I flew down for a visit.

Margaret was 92 years old in March. She has beautiful blue eyes but she can't see to read anymore or to do those word puzzles she enjoyed. These days what lights up her eyes is Patsy, her pride and joy.

"I wouldn't take a million dollars for that dog," says Margaret. "No one has offered yet," I reply.

This warm and friendly smile belongs to Margaret's son, Lee. He is a dear. He takes her to the Cracker Barrel for lunch, he lays out clean clothes for her every morning, and he takes good care of her darling, Patsy, too.

This is Lester, Lee's 22 lb. cat. I didn't get a good photograph of him, but he gave my camera a good sniff. Margaret, Lee, Topsy, and Lester live in a well-kept senior community.

Leesburg's claim to fame is the annual Bike Fest attracting over 150,000 motorcycles. Downtown there is not a whole lot to see but I got a kick out of this sign.

On Sunday Margaret and I set off to a charming nearby town for lunch. We enjoyed the drive through the countryside and the interesting shops and homes.

We stopped in the Piglet's Pantry to buy gourmet dog treats for Patsy and to bring home for Oliver and Winston. They were trying to find a good home for a beautiful retired greyhound...tempting, but we have a houseful already.

I was surprised to see that Mount Dora has two daily trains.

"My friend Susan is visiting me today, where she is?" Margaret said scanning the quiet street. I looked at her quizzically. "How interesting. My name is Susan." We talked and talked like old times. "I wish you lived closer," she said. She kept looking for her friend. I realized that she didn't know me. Even if the pieces of our lives don't fit together the way they used to, I think she liked me anew and I loved her as always.


  1. HI Susan - It's Kathleen from SAW.
    I loved this entry . I knit every Tuesady am with ladies at the local OutReach house. I lost one of them two months back . She was 94. Now I have my two 92 year olds. One can not knit anymore but she talks with us. My Tuesday mornings are a gift I give to myself. I love my time with these women.

  2. Lovely post, Susan. Memories of my mother, blinded by glaucoma for the final 20 years of her life. I wish she had faded so gently as your friend; I wish I had been a better daughter. But she didn't and I wasn't. And now she is gone.