To Bethany, on her Birthday

PieCertain days feel special. On Saturday we drove a little more than an hour to Lexington, Kentucky to visit a dear friend. After arriving at what I thought would be a splash park that actually turned out to be a pool and waiting twenty minutes in the snack bar watching my children pick at a grilled cheese sandwich while said friend returned home for towels and sunscreen and a borrowed suit, we waded into shallow water and comfortable conversation. We bobbed small people on hips and knees and water-slick backs. There was much tickling of little tummies and talks of recipes, families, and the things that have changed since we'd last seen each other.

She moved to Lexington more than a year ago to be with her fiance, and has since married and baked, I am sure, several dozen delicious pies. She has read books we haven't had a chance to talk about. Weeded her garden and watched it grow. Played records and danced in bare feet on rugs and hardwood and summer-starched grass.

It was a special day because it was a familiar day, a falling into the feelings of years past when we shared a city and the close companionship a short drive allowed.

I do not see you as often as I would like, Bethany, Betsy, Bets, she who taught me the art of piles, and I certainly do not call or text as often as I should, but I do admire and love you so. I imagine your cozy domestic round and you in it, eyes both sharp and soft behind vintage frames, and I am happy, even if I must be so from so far away.

Happy Birthday, friend. I hope the coming year is as spectacularly lovely as you are.