I borrowed Rosie's water dish for this picture to reminisce and to share a crazy story.
About 35 years ago I woke up one morning and discovered a stainless steel dog's dish, very similar to this one, on my kitchen counter. It was upside down and had a bright pink balloon taped to the top.
After a brief moment emerging from the brain fog of a Saturday night, I suddenly pictured myself leaving the home of friends (let's call them Mac and Nancy).
I don't remember the walk home, but I know I did it - a mile across town and right through downtown - wearing a ballooned dog dish on my head.
Later in the day when we got together again I was met with laughter and Polaroid pictures of me decked out in that silly helmet.
"By the way, " Mac said. "When you disappeared last night you were drinking a glass of wine. Do you know where my glass is?"
"Oh, yes," I replied immediately. "Part way home I ran out of wine. I was just passing a construction site so I walked over to a big pile of gravel in the middle of the lot. Had a hell of a time, but I climbed all the way to the top and put the empty glass there so I could find it in the morning."
We went looking. As is often the case, things look different in the daylight, but we eventually did find the glass, perched precariously but upright and safe atop a six-inch high shovel full of sand.
We had many memorable events during the next few years. Mac was even my best man when Mary and I were married in 1982.
Mac and Nancy moved across the province - 1200 miles away - 30 years ago. We haven't seen them since, but the friendship has held with occasional cards and phone calls.
Last week I was devastated when a friend told me that Mac had died. I felt especially bad that I hadn't made more attempt to keep in closer touch and fretted over things left unsaid, and regretted I didn't know about his passing when it happened.
This morning I called Nancy. We chit chatted a bit awkwardly. She told me about the kids and we wandered aimlessly through a couple minutes of talk.
"How are you doing, Nancy?" I finally asked.
"A lot better now," she replied, then told me of the struggles she has had with allergies for the last three years.
"And Mac's doing pretty good too. His arthritis causes him some pain but he gets along just fine."
"Is he there now?" I questioned.
"Yes. He's out in the garden. Hang on, I'll get him."
Moments later I heard the old familiar, "Hello" of my good friend and best man.
"Mac, you'll never know how happy I am to hear your voice," I shouted.
That was some exquisite moment! !