Nancy

Obama got health care passed. It's a miracle. I'm thrilled.

It made me think of my friend, Nancy because I know she's going to be unhappy about it. She found McCain too liberal and thought Sarah Palin delightful. It's true. What she thinks and that she's my friend. I have a friend with whom I don't see eye-to-eye. Not even eye-to-chin.

Nancy and I violently disagree about all things political. She votes right, I vote left. I live in a world of art and music; she lives in a world of hardware. Literally. She works for her family's hardware distributorship. You'd think we wouldn't have anything to talk about but that isn't the case.

I call Nancy my oldest friend because our mothers were friends when my Mom was pregnant with me. That makes it all old: her, me, our Moms and our friendship.

I love Nancy's humor. She gave me a card last year for my 50th birthday. She took a print of "The Allegories of Music," a painting by the French artist Vanloo (1705-1765). It's a painting of three very cherubic children: a girl playing a pre-piano keyboard, and two boys looking on adoringly. It's sweet, but what I adore are the speech bubbles added.


The girl playing the keyboard (carefully labeled Diane H) says, "Someday I will play Carnegie Hall!"

To my right is Paul H, (my big brother, who has just adopted his fourth child, two from China, one from Nepal and the latest from Ethiopia,) who says, "Someday I will save the world...one exotic baby at a time!"

The adoring boy on my left, Carl W (her big brother) says, "Someday my sister Nancy and I will sell hinges and slides to all of the custom cabinet shops in the State of California!"

Inside she inscribed,

Dear Lady Di,

May our childish dreams continue to be fulfilled.

Love, Nancy-girl.

I have lots of friend now, both new and old. I have people with whom I can talk about music, art, literature, parenting, gardening and politics. But if I really want to laugh and feel like there's someone really there hanging on every word, I call Nancy.

I called her when my Dad passed away a few months ago. She used to laugh, "My parents have been married 55 years and you are the only person that doesn't impress."

My parents were married for 68 years last June. She knew that 55 years was nothin'.

It was my Dad who went first. We'd both been dreading the moment when the first one went. We knew that all four of our parents had been living on borrowed time, especially our fathers.

She may vote for all the wrong people. She may cancel out every vote I'll ever make, but Nancy is my oldest friend and my dearest. I hope that when my daughter turns 50 she'll have a "Nancy" to write her a card that shows her understanding of her life and everything that matters to her.

Old friends are hard to find. Especially funny ones.