Tuesday, December 26, 2017

closing the loop

A reader once asked me if I enjoyed photographing greeting cards. The question had a slight chide to it -- as if I did it far too often.

Well, the answer is "no." What I do enjoy is receiving them.

Let me explain. (Of course, you knew I would. Why else would I have posed the question?)

I grew up on Risley Avenue just outside of Milwaukie, Oregon. The Concord neighborhood.

At the top of the street was a huge holly farm. At the bottom, the Willamette River and a forest. It was an idyllic place for a boy's life.

We had moved from southern Oregon to the Portland area when I nine. That is an easy age to meet new friends. And I did.

Stephanie Hunt lived right across the street from us. She was the first neighbor I met. Her soon-to-be boyfriend and husband, Jim Hunt, lived just a few houses away.

Colette Justice lived a few houses closer to the holly farm. Neil Hodgin lived down by the river.

The four of them were a major part of my life through grade and high school. Neil died last year. But the other three are members of the inside circle of friends I have kept since the 1950s.

And that is where those cards come into the story. They were in my mailbox today. A Christmas and birthday card from Jim and Steph, and a birthday card from Colette. All three sent in late November from Oregon, and arrived here on 20 December.

The Mexican postal service takes a lot of knocks from northerners who spend all  or part of their lives here. The complaints are undeserved. Admittedly, mail can take a bit of time to wend its way north and south. But four weeks strikes me as being rather timely.

I have received several electronic greetings for Christmas. And I appreciated each of them.

But there is something special about a card picked out just for me, signed by hand, and then taken to the post office. It shows a commitment to friendship. And I want to do the same in return.

So, thank you Colette, Steph, and Jim. Not only for the good times we have shared, but for the others that are yet to come.

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