This is a special day, but not for the reasons I thought it would be.

Today my blog is one year old. I have drafted a half-dozen anniversary posts, but I’m going to trash them. They aren’t very interesting. I haven’t the time to navel-gaze right now (a collective sigh of relief from my readers) because I’m celebrating a bigger anniversary: fifty-five years with my oldest and best buddy, Elaine.

We became next door neighbors when we were three. We’ve traveled together from kindergarten through high school graduation and far beyond. I’m godmother to her first son, and I was Maid of Honor at her wedding . . . both times.

Hanging Out

Elaine has come to stay at my New Hampshire retreat. She used to spend a month here each summer, but hasn’t visited in forty-plus years, so we’re having a blast visiting old haunts and discovering new ones.

We’ve been blueberry picking and hiking and “thrashing in the kitchen,” as she calls our culinary efforts. We eat too much cheese, drink too much local mead, and stay up too late.

We watched the outstandingly bad 1972 “amphibious horror flick,” Frogs and then we watched Thelma and Louise.

Look closely — Elaine’s lurking in the blueberry bushes:

Lost in the Blueberry Fields

Becoming One with the Blueberry Bushes

We’ve been playing one of our favorite games, World Famous Nature Photographer:

newts nh 012

Stalking Killer Ferns

In the mornings, I work on my thesis and she works on her children’s story. In the afternoons, she does some serious work while I supervise. (Hey, my ribs are busted!)

Elaine Tackles the Apple Tree

Elaine Tackles the Apple Tree

Yesterday we visited Willa Cather’s grave, one of my holy sites, and then wandered around an interfaith peace garden called Cathedral of the Pines before taking in an outdoor classical music concert and a fireworks show in the shadow of Mount Monadnock.

That is happiness, to be dissolved into something complete and great.

That is happiness, to be dissolved into something complete and great.

I hope you have a friend like Elaine.

If you do, please honor them in my comment section!

Thank You!!

A big “thank you” to those of you who have followed my blogging adventure over the past year, especially those folks who were companions before my big Freshly Pressed moment in the sun.