There's something very special about old friends.
I've been lucky enough to collect friends all my life. Some people prune their Christmas card list of people whom they haven't seen for years but for me those are some of the most important cards to send and the most exciting to receive. I love to hear of the friends of my youth now they are grandparents and enjoying the privilege of retirement.
Even better than receiving cards is seeing old friends. A couple of weeks ago I got an email from Sue to tell me that she and Ken, her husband, would be over from in the UK from their home in France and we agreed to meet at another friend's house.
I met Sue over forty years ago and together we set up a Guide company and had great fun organising activities for the Guides. I was the first to move away from the area but eventually Sue and Ken moved to France where they have now been settled for many years. I went to their home for a holiday a few years ago, soon after I retired.
Doreen has been a friend for almost as long. Her daughter was one of our Guides and Doreen came as a helper. She's a bit older than Sue and me and unfortunately had a fall just before Christmas. Usually when Sue and Ken come we go for a pub lunch but today they took an Indian meal to Doreen's house and we got together around Doreen's dining table, As always the conversation flowed freely as we caught up on each other's stories.
On Friday I shall be meeting up with Alice and we will be celebrating fifty years of friendship as we've known each other since we were in the sixth form. Long time readers of this blog may remember Alice as Bobo's human . (I've put a link for you to click through or just check "Bobo" on my sidebar.)
Maintaining old friendships sometimes involves a bit of effort but it's well worth it.