Letter From New York 01 18 15 On the value of friendship…

It is a quietly miserable day in Claverack. When I woke yesterday the temp was 8 degrees; when I woke this morning it was nearly 38 and a steady, dank rain has been making an icy mess of the driveway. All through the Northeast, the roads are reportedly terrible.

I only ventured out to make a quick trip to the grocery store for supplies for tonight’s dinner; friends are coming over.

The rest of the day, I have huddled inside and stared out at the grey and misty mess outside my windows. I can hear rain steadily falling on my roof. It’s a day that could feel quite hopeless. Returning from shopping, I put on some big band music to lighten the mood and turned on a bevy of lights to combat the dark.

It was a typical Sunday, waking to read the news on my NY Times app while sipping some dark, rich coffee. Waking early, I dozed back to sleep for an extra hour despite my best intentions to get the day going. It is that kind of day.

The fall in oil prices has not been good for Wall Street but it is making a huge difference on Main Street where winter heating prices are being alleviated by the fall in oil. In Maine, it could make up to a difference of $3,000 to the average family of that often brutally cold state.

Days like this are meant for contemplation or conversations with far away friends, which I did this morning, having a long call with my old, dear friend Tory Abel. We met in Los Angeles a long time ago and are still close despite not having lived near each other for a long time.

So it was good to catch up with her and plan a get together in the summer.

Ah, it is 4:15 and my deer have just crossed the yard, picking their way slowly across the ice. It’s what we’ll all be doing in the morning, I’m guessing, picking our way carefully over the ice.

Shortly, I will light a fire in the Franklin stove and settle in for the evening. I am fixing simple things for dinner this evening, salad, chicken, risotto, green beans. Tomorrow I go back to the city to have lunch with an old friend who is in from Minnesota on some business. Kevin went to high school with me and we reconnected some years ago and see each other whenever he is in New York or I am in Minnesota.

I’m lucky. I have friends who go back to grade school and high school and one from college days. I always thought that I would have more friends from my college days but almost everyone seems to have scattered across the globe and fallen out of touch.

But it is good to have old friends who can commiserate with you on what it was like to have Sister Neva teach you in third grade – an experience that is indelibly etched into the psyche of everyone who was her student. Ah, Catholic Elementary School!

But now as this grey day grows darker, I will wrap up and begin to prep for dinner and be grateful for the coziness of the cottage, while reminding myself of the luck I have in friendship.

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