My friend of 35 years - not my 35 year old friend - moved to Florida earlier this week. She was supposed to move at the end of March but things happened that made it prudent for her to go now.
I didn't get to say good-bye. I didn't get to hug her neck. I'm stuck with her dog.
I told her I'd take the dog so "stuck" is more a whine than a truth. She moved into a retirement complex and couldn't take her 13 year old cow dog with her. Because I love her - the friend, not the dog - and because her sons wouldn't take the dog... well, I have an old cow dog now. I'm counting my blessings that the dog didn't come with a cow.
Anyway, back to the last trip. I have to go to Raton and pick up some furniture she left for me. A magnificent bedroom set. A quilt rack. Some other odds and ends. I was going to go at the end of March when some muscle was home from Antarctica. I need to go now so that her nephew can get the floors repaired and new carpet laid before the house can be sold. So I'm making that 3.5 hour trip one last time and clearing out the stuff that belongs to me now.
I'm making my 35 year old friend and her 13 year old son come along with me and my 13 year old son. They're going to work hard for that pizza buffet lunch I'm going to spring for. And with someone else along I won't cry about what I'm really doing - saying good-bye to my friend without her actually being there.