photo by Sheri Dixon

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Best Birthday Present Ever

I know my birthday was last week, and it was lovely.

And of course the BEST Best birthday present ever is having my family around me, good friends beside us, and a healthy (if sagging) physical constitution.


Other than those (very precious) gifts, yesterday I received the Best Birthday Present Ever.

The interwebs (as I've mentioned before) is a wonderful place. We've met people from all over the world here and, thanks to a love of travel and a quest for unusual family vacations, have managed to meet quite a few of them in person.

Without fail, the people we think we'd like in person have turned out to be just as they appear through our computer screen but better, because there's real sharing of coffee, conversation and hugs.

One couple who is more special to us than most (and that's saying something) are our friends Bruce and Cheryl in northern Minnesota. (Please see Bruce's Compass Rose blog- it's in my Favorites List).

We've been to Bruce and Cheryl's place twice now, tucked into the heart of a state forest and partially cradled in Mother Earth's arms, their home is as warm and welcoming and natural as they are.

Until recently, "personal hygiene issues" were taken care of in the outhouse, but what an outhouse! Perched among a clump of birches, bright, airy, and cleaner than my own bathroom at home, the outhouse was papered with memorabilia Bruce and Cheryl had collected over the years.

On my very first trip to the outhouse, I noticed the little metal button on the wall and mentioned how much I liked it.

That was six (?) years ago. Our second visit was three(?) years ago and I again mentioned the little button. (please excuse the question marks- these last eight years have sort of all muddled together...)

Yesterday in the mail was an envelope from Bruce and Cheryl. Inside was a note-

Happy Birthday. This pin has been hanging in our outhouse for years...the rust tells the tale. We can think of no one who better deserves the title than you.
From our outhouse to yours!
Love to you.
Peace, health and prosperity.
Cheryl and Bruce

And out it dropped, quiet as a snowflake, powerful as friendship, and magical enough to make me smile every time I think about it AND the friends who cared enough to remember such a tiny thing-

...and never fear, Cheryl- I may now hold the button- but you will always retain the title.

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