Friends Never Age

Saturday night Jon and I had dinner with my old and wonderful friends, Shelby and Paul.  I’ve known Shelby since 1979 and, yes, we’ve aged, but she still looks the same.  Ditto for Paul.  They just look the way they are supposed to look after all these years.  They first met Jon when he was a tiny baby and have not seen him since, so that was fun.

This non-aging phenomenon I first really paid attention to at my college reunions 10 years ago.  I hadn’t been in quite some time and yet I recognized everyone and they looked…well, the same.  The essential qualities that shine through everyone don’t change, and even if the skeletal qualities undergo some revisions, we all just seem pretty much the same.

After leaving Jon and Celina I drove to Ojai to visit more old friends–Bo and Julie, whom I’ve known since we were all in our 20s.  They moved to Ojai 30 years ago and I had seen them only once since.  It felt to me like we had last talked a year ago, not 30.  Their home overlooks the Ojai Valley, with spectacular views:

The View from my friends’ house in Ojai
The same view this morning
The view from my bed when I woke up

Gorgeous.  Their neice and her two children were visiting from Australia, and 8 year old Ivy became new best friends with Calli:

Ivy and her new friend

Calli is still sleeping off her amazing day in Ojai.  We went hiking, then I got a tour of the Thatcher School, then a delicious pizza dinner (Julie is a fabulous cook) with yet more relatives and friends. After all those years,  I should rank as an outsider, yet they made me completely comfortable and at home.  During a mid-dinner walk (after one set of pizzas before the next) we all took our wine glasses and went for a walk to see the cows and horses. Calli rolled in what Ivy’s little brother called “horse mud”.  An excellent name for an unexcellent dog body ointment.

This morning Bo, Julie, and I (and Calli) hiked up to a spectacular lookout over the school and the valley

View from the rocks to which we hiked

I left around 10 and drove through the Los Padres National Forest, making the drive both longer and unforgettable. The South side is awash in trees:

Los Padres from the south side

But on the Northern side it’s mostly rock and desert:

Getting Sparser

But with some pretty lovely flowers and views:

Flowers in Los Padres
Los Padres view into the valley

I took the slow route so it took me a while to get to Visalia. But now Jon is here and we are going to go watch basketball!