David and Thom have returned to Eastport after David's mad dash to Florida. Thom's mother was in the hospital in Pennsylvania, so David flew home in order to be with Thom and allow him to go to Oil City. David thought he might have to follow by car with the dog. It turned out that the mother recovered enough to leave the hospital, so all three of them(Thom, David, Duncan) drove up the East Coast, stopped for a visit in Pennsylvania, and then continued on to Eastport. So begins Thom's annual summer visit.
Last night I had dinner with them, although I had to leave part way through the festivities to attend an Art Center Board Meeting. I returned after the meeting and we feasted on Thom's signature meal of sauerkraut, which I don't know how to spell, and pork with apples. Dumplings, too, and salad. Fruit with whipped cream for desert. It was delicious and I have come to look forward to it's arrival along with Thom's. The evening was casual and fun, which is always the case when I get together with them. How does it turn out that my best and most comfortable friends are men? This is where I turn first for conversation, comfort, acceptance, and entertainment. I am more myself, feeling an emotional sigh of relief when I walk through their door that all pretenses are left behind as I cross the threshold.
David and I got off to a bad start years ago, a start of which I was not aware. Apparently it had something to do with my dogs, and my attitude, and he was prepared to never see me again. Thankfully I was not privy to this knowledge until our fledgling friendship had developed enough for me to ignore that first impression. Had I known about it, I would have put on a suit of armour when I was around him, watching steely-eyed from behind a cold, metal mask. Things would have been so very different. I would have missed it all, all that has come to be so important to my life. Then Thom entered the picture and there was danger that I would be shoved asside. I worried and held my emotional breath. But Thom landed open and ready to accept David's friends as his own without any reserve or judgment. He slid into our lives so easily that it was immediately impossible to remember when he hadn't been there. There was no getting acquainted time. He was just there and I had always known him. He was not to be feared but to be welcomed. He added another demention, and rather than diminish the quality of our lives, he augmented it.
And, certainly not to be underestimated, Thom turned David into a dog lover, albeit a rather selective one. Because he now has his own four-footed darling, he can now at least tolerate the trait in others.