“Hi. Happy New Year.”

So. Do you ever have those phone calls where you have nothing to say, but you end up talking for an hour anyway? You know, you just call someone, not for any special reason. Just to reach out. To hear their voice. To catch up. Maybe just to say, “Hi. Happy New Year.”

My friend and I used to do that. She’d call me. I’d answer the phone, “Hello.” She’d reply, “Hi.” And then pause. I’d say, “How are you?” She’d reply, “Good. And you.” I’d say, “Good.” There’d be another pause. And so I’d say, “Ok-ay. Bye.” And then we ‘d both laugh. And talk for an hour. She was hard to get started, but once she did she could talk a long time. I haven’t heard from her in years. I kind of miss those phone calls with the awkward beginnings.

Foggy Boxing Day on the river.
Foggy December day over Christmas.

My brother, Terry, and I used to have awkward phone calls. He could talk for a long time to my older sister Carolyn. Carolyn and he were more of an age. He’d be able to ask her about her business, and tell her about his. But he and I struggled. He still saw me as the baby sister, I guess. So I used to save up funny stories to tell him. Or old memories about when he was a teenager and I was a kid.

When he was very ill, and recovering in bed it was even harder. And in the last few years, he became very hard to understand. Lying in bed, being mostly paralyzed, made audible speech too much of an effort more often than not. So I’d do all the talking.

Sometimes I wish I could still call him. Not that I’d have much to say. Maybe I’d call to tell him that we saw a deer on the lawn the other day. Or a beaver on the ice. Or to tell him I miss him.

Two sisters in white.
Christmas Eve visit at my sister’s drugstore. Who is that photobombing woman? Ha.

Mum and I talk about nothing much every other day. Sometimes when she answers the phone, I’ll ask if she’s busy. She usually replies in a mock serious tone, “Ye-es. I’m very busy. Doing very important stuff.” Then we both laugh. I am so grateful to be able to laugh with my mum on the phone.

A few days ago I was feeling down, and I told her. I’ve decided to not hold back on stuff like that anymore. For a long while, I’d never say. Then I realized that she likes to still be able to help her kids solve their problems. So I said I was feeling down over nothing. Because of course I had no good reason to feel down. Other people have far bigger problems than me. Problems which I am utterly unable to help with, and knowing that made me feel a bit useless.

Mum said she had been feeling down as well. So I said the next time she was feeling down she should call me. “So you can cheer me up and help me not to feel so down?” she asked. “Well, only partly,” I replied. “But mostly so I can help you feel less down, and by doing that feel less useless, which will help me feel less down.” “Ah, so it’s all about you?” she retorted. “Exactly,” I said. And of course we laughed. Which really did make both of us feel less down.

My uncle, my mother’s younger brother, calls my mum, from Newfoundland, every Tuesday, like clockwork. And he never has anything to say. Or so she tells me. His calls are short. “Just checking up on you,” he says. She rages that she has to maneuver her walker across the kitchen to the phone, because he doesn’t have the sense, as she puts it, to call when she’s ensconced in her big chair next to the phone. And it’s no use not picking up because he lets it ring and ring, fifteen or twenty times, whatever it takes. And when she gets there, he only talks for two minutes. He rings and rings, and she rages and tells him not to bother calling. And he still calls every week. I’m chuckling as I write this. Peas in a pod, those two. Seriously.

The therapeutic qualities of talking about nothing much are amazing, you know. Just making that connection with friends and loved ones is enough, even if we don’t really have anything to say.

Happy New year. Or it would be if we had snow.
Still no snow.

I’ve been e-mailing back and forth with my friend Joanne today. About nothing much. She was telling me how school this week is going. Today is the first official back-to-school week, except they are not back to in-person school. So while on-line learning is not most teachers’ preferred way of teaching, at least the teachers don’t have to prep for both on-line and in-person classes. And I used to think a tumbling timetable was confusing. Ha.

Jo is the master of writing funny stories about nothing much. Like the one last week about waiting at her front door with her kids, all dressed in their outdoor gear, while her husband tore apart the house looking for his phone. Which was, of course, as she predicted, in his pocket. A fact they ascertained once he had acquiesced to her suggestion to call his cell on the land line. That’s the problem with cargo pants… too many pockets, she quipped. Ha.

I still recall her e-mails when she was pregnant with her son, much overdue, impatient, and going crazy at home. Entertaining us with stories of how her mild-mannered hubby was spending a suspiciously large amount of time in the garage. You have to know Jo to really get that one.

So today we traded appropriate New Year greetings. “Not exactly Happy New Year,” I wrote, “Maybe “Not Horrendous New Year.”‘ “How about…. “Happy Progressively Improving (After a Hopefully Limited Phase of Awfulness) New Year?”‘ she countered. Yep, that sounds about right to me.

Ah, Jo. She always makes me laugh.

New Years day icy walk in Marlborough Forest.
An icy walk on a grey New Years Day.

It appears that e-mailing about nothing much can be just as spirit lifting as talking on the phone about nothing. Not that my spirits are in dire need of uplifting. Not dire need. Just a slight need.

This first week of January 2021 feels odd. Kind of flat. Unchanging, ongoing flatness. Like skiing late in the afternoon, when the light becomes such that depth perception is difficult. You can’t see the dips and hollows in the trail; everything is a featureless sheet of whiteness. And so 2021 seems to stretch off into a featureless future. For the moment, anyway. And I keep asking, is this really a NEW year?

Happy New Year. Snow finally on the river.
Finally enough snow for skiing.

But as I said before, I have no reason to feel even slightly down. And knowing that fact makes no difference at all. Ha. Funny that last week I was anticipating 2021 with gusto. I am nothing if not inconsistent in my moods, people. I will say that I’m grateful I’m not in bed with a terrible cold like last year. And that we have snow. Hubby and I have finally been skiing.

And when I feel a bit meh, I retreat to the sunroom with my book. It’s lovely to be sitting out there with the gas stove on as it begins to get dark. And when the light in the kitchen snaps on, and I hear noises that tell me Hubby is starting to prepare dinner, I feel all cosy inside. And then I think about coming into the den to chat with you guys, and I feel a bubble of excitement begin to well up inside me. What will I write about today?

Maybe I’ll write about nothing much at all.

Maybe I’ll say, “Hi. Happy New Year, my friends. I just dropped in to catch up. How have you been, anyway?” And you’ll say, “Good.” And pause. And I’ll say, “Okay. Bye.” And we’ll laugh. And talk for an hour.

So how HAVE you been anyway?


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From the archives


Small Kindnesses and Other Stories

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Our Curated Lives

We all have curated lives. Whether or not we're on social media. Different people get a different view of who we are. And that's okay.

59 thoughts on ““Hi. Happy New Year.””

  1. This was a lovely post. It made my cry. And chuckle. My mother and I would talk every day, even when I moved far away. About nothing, mostly. I miss that. I’m so sorry about your brother. My sister and I have always had trouble connecting, but lately, with the passing of our mother on December 1 and our father less than a year before, we have more to talk about. Or, perhaps, we talk more easily. Maybe as we get older, connecting becomes ever so much more important. The reality of mortality. And we text now as before we did not. And one friend– we may not talk for a couple of years, but when we do, 2 or 3 hours will pass and we will both be in tears laughing. Totally feel you about 2021…2020 being such a bummer and all, it is easy to feel odd about 2021 even as we anticipate things getting better. A featureless future that is yet to be written. Again, just a lovely post. Thank you!

  2. My friend and I talk a few times a week, right now neither of us is out doing much but we manage to babble at each other for an hour or more. It makes both if us happier, will be glad when we can actually have coffee together and talk about anything but covid

  3. I regularly talk to my best friend who is living in the UK. She is living in an area that was in the highest tier and now is in lockdown. We chat for a couple hours about everything and nothing. We both live alone so it has been especially important in the last year. I guess you could say we have Seinfeld (the show about nothing) phone calls. I always feel better after a chat with her.

  4. You’ve managed to hit the spot again Sue . Explaining how we are all feeling . I like it when you tell us about your mum who reminds me of my mum . She was another strong woman who got through lots of hard times with the help of a sense of humour & a lack of self pity . I think of her now & how she would have coped with all this . There would have been some serious railing against the politicians .
    Then the awkward phone calls . When we got together that time I was just a little bit nervous . We’d both had quite a journey . You had travelled a long way & I felt that I had too , after getting lost in dense traffic & having a rather ‘tense conversation ‘ with hubbie ( argument , what argument ? ) It’s one thing chatting on line but would it be awkward when we actually got together ? First impression was how tall & slim you were , like a model , your lovely complexion & that sexy Canadian voice – I was still a little nervous . Would it be awkward filling a couple of hours ? It’s often harder meeting people if you really want to get on with them & I’d never done anything like that before . Of course I needn’t have worried . You were warm & friendly & chatty . We gabbled away unselfconsciously like old friends .
    We are having a very icy spell here too , minus 7.5 the other day near here . Forty people in the local hospital with broken bones from slipping on the ice . Dog walks are hazardous & we could all do with crampons , including the dog .
    Happy New Year – what Happy New Year ? 😁

    1. Ah, thanks, Wendy. I remember being nervous about meeting you for the first time as well. And yet we yakked up a storm. That was a lovely afternoon.
      P.S. Stay off the ice, eh. We walked on New Years Day and the trail was so iced over we mostly just slid our feel along. And were glad to have walking poles. 🙂

  5. As always, you’ve hit the nail on the head. My best friend and I have facetime happy hour 1-2 times each week. We talk about everything and nothing for an hour and it’s wonderful. We “check in’ via text in between those calls and I do that with other friends & family and perhaps one of those will also turn into a longer (phone) conversation. Having those little connections is what’s important, not so much as what’s said, especially since we’re all staying home. I don’t think we’ve seen the sun in over a week and the gray days at this time of year are hard, even in the best of circumstances. No beachy winter vacation to look forward to this year but we’re healthy and grateful.

  6. Agree with Wendy,I love to read about your Mum, too!
    I’m so grateful about so many things that we have during the pandemic ,among them are phones (and friends). Not a fan of long calls,even now,but I speak with my son,his girlfriend,my cousin,uncle…..almost every day and check especially on my friends that live alone,every day with texts and weekly by phone.
    This year has started with a couple of State Days of Mourning, news are bad,with earthquakes and Covid,but on the other side ,very slowly, vaccine is coming……one has to find some things that could keep us carry on…making donations,walking,reading,watching Bridgerton……
    Skiing sounds like good news for you and Stu!
    Wendy,take care,I hate ice spells!

    1. We managed to get home in one piece D . I hope your lovely city is recovering from the recent earthquake . I was worried about you

    2. Ah… my mum… she is an original. So glad she’s weathered COVID okay… so far. Cases are rising down east, mostly due to stupid people travelling. Makes me so angry. You take care, as well. No more spills this year, please.

  7. This made me smile. Sadly at moments, but smile nonetheless. Indeed, talking about nothing much is a great deal. It’s all about connections. And I think we all need those connections more than ever these days.

    Writing about nothing much serves the same purpose, I find. It’s about reaching out in order to connect and hoping to receive a willingness on the other end to meet in that connection. What could be more lovely than that? Or more necessary, really?

    In addition to missing my children, I’ve been missing my female friends lately. Missing them badly! I connected with one of them, my oldest and dearest BFF, just yesterday, through text. It turned out to be a really good day for that. I think we both needed it.

    Somewhat related to all this and to the conversation you had with your mum – there is the need to be needed. I find I miss that, too. Especially as a mother with adult children. (It’s bad enough being laid off in a career; empty nest feels like yet another layoff!)

    Seeing the images of your tree makes me smile, too. I pretty much ignored the holidays this year. Didn’t decorate. No tree. I did string one strand of lights on a Norfolk Island Pine, but that was about it. Hopefully the holidays can return again in my little household next December.

    Wishing you and Stu the happiest of New Year’s.

    1. Thanks, D.A. Hopefully next year you will feel more festive. Although after yesterday in DC it seems there are still tough times to get through. I feel for your country, and for you, my friend.

  8. This is the stuff of life here, Sue – not necessarily the big moments, but all the in-betweens. Talking about nothing is almost as good as companionable silence. It says “I love sharing space with you”, even if it’s the “virtual space” of of telephony.
    Agreed about 2021 and the big white void. I’m concentrating on all the things I can control, one day at a time. I’ve also set up some larger goals, and what needs to be done daily or weekly to make those happen. Some interior work (exercise and meditation) and exterior – involving farm and family. Travel is a distant dream. Enjoy skiing and that chef husband!

  9. This piece about “nothing,” was really something! Thank you for the reminder that when we stay present in the small moments of life, we often find joy and gratitude.

  10. Happy New Year Sue. Your blog has been a most wonderful conversation for me this year. A little “talk ” to look forward to a couple of times a week…thank you. I always tell my daughters, that if their Father had to court me by phone, they would not exist, the man does not talk to me on the phone, period. Now that he’s retired a phone call with the old buddies goes on for a hour! Just glad, in these times to have some sort of contact with others…phone, email, text…we all need connection. Until our next conversation….happy blogging.

    1. Ha. The same thing happened to Stu. He talks to two friends regularly. And he never used to talk on the phone. Yet when one or the other fellow calls, they natter about hockey, politics, and skiing for ages. 🙂

  11. I so enjoyed your post about nothing, and all the comments as well. My BF and I will email through the week, and have a phone call usually once a week. Some times we think there is nothing new to talk about, then an hour later realize it doesn’t matter. She calls these chats her sanity calls and therapy sessions. My mom and I used to call a few times a week, and sometimes she would be telling me all the details of what she had for lunch, I think just to have another person to connect with. Even with others in the home she still needed an outside connection. It is funny, even the familiar names in the comments are beginning to feel like friends we haven’t seen for a long time. I was just thinking of Dottoressa last night and wondering how she is coping with the aftermath, and how much it effected her. It is because of the wonderful writing and story telling that we are a glorious little group of fascinating women just trying to cope.

  12. Loved your post today. What lovely sentiments and you express them in such a relatable way. I, too, am feeling blah right now even tho we are in sunny AZ. I talk to my 95yo mom every other day like you do. She’s back in IL and pretty much locked down. She’s kept up her spirits well, though. Very proud of her. I hope things start getting back to whatever the new normal is going to be during this new year.

    Keep your posts coming! Love them!

  13. I love this post, Sue! So funny and true! You really are a talented writer. Your post brought back memories of me and my mum talking often on the ‘cheap’ long distance rates, when that was a thing. When we got together in person, we couldn’t stop talking we were so excited that it didn’t cost more money to talk longer. I would talk to my dad several times a week but we really had nothing to say. It was just to call and affirm that we were thinking about each other and cared a lot about each other. Now that they have both passed away, I deeply miss those calls about nothing. They were not really about nothing, were they? – Margaret Grant

    1. Thanks, Margaret. I hope that you and Brian are weathering the lockdown okay. I remember waiting for Sunday to call my mum because the calls were cheaper. Now it’s any day anytime. 🙂

  14. It always struck me, the “Happy New Year” exhortation is an entirely unrealistic expectation to maintain for the next 365 days, along with those never kept resolutions. As the joy and bustle fade post-holidays, I embrace the peace.

    As a small child, it seemed the worst possible life had befallen me, when my mother remarried and we moved to a large working farm in rural Kansas my new step-father’s family homesteaded in 1861. I felt like Anne of Green Gables! Books were my solace and imagination, my salvation.

    Now a newly minted senior citizen, those first 2 decades of my life prepared me for the ebb and flow of life. Pandemic? Bring it on, I’ve got this! My grandmother survived the Spanish Flu Pandemic (which began in Kansas) and I was born during the Polio epidemic. It was drilled into my mother and me: Wash your hands. Stay home when ill or many others are. Character matters. Read a book to expand your mind.

    The simplicity of your post today is such a pure moment to reflect and share! Today, I pray our nation is finally washing their hands of such a divisive president! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Nan. Conversely, I was over the moon when we moved to the farm when Mum remarried. I thought I was Anne too…. but in a different way. I hope things go well for your country. Especially after the most recent events.

      1. Shortly after posting to you yesterday, everything went heart-wrenchingly awry in our Capitol! I am counting the hours until President Biden takes office, restores our democracy and the soul of our country. This four year long nightmare must end.

        A wonderful benefit to growing up in the country was the 1 room/1 teacher/8 grades/16-20 students school I attended a mile from our farm. Our teacher remains one of my favorite people on earth, though he passed on just a few years ago. A joyful saint of a human being! He found a similar primary school in the Rosa, Manitoba area and we individually began a several year long pen pal correspondence with their students. I kept every letter and the cancelled stamp I got from my pen pal and still remember her name.

        1. I remember our grade five teacher had a friend in the UK and we did the same thing we were paired up with a pen pal. That was a wonderful experience.

  15. As an introvert, staying at home during the pandemic has not been as difficult for me as it is for others. I get it, but my grandmother endured the Spanish flu with toddlers and an infant as Nan’s grandmother did. And she lived in a tiny rural town (having grown up in suburban Boston) and there was no social media, Netflix, or other modern distractions that are available to us. She cooked, kept her wood cook stove going herself, cleaned a three story house, and attended to her family day in and day out-no dishwasher, no air fryer, no take-out. And her husband was what we now call an essential worker-a pharmacist who kept the store open six days a week and hand-mixed most of the prescriptions himself.

    I really don’t think that I am entitled to complain when I get a little down, not that I am criticizing, Sue,…my daughter has occasionally heard an earful. And I admit I’ve have indulged in a few online 70% off clothing sales. But, like you I was happy to see the snow arrive a few days ago. Not that I ski (not allowed: artificial knee) but my husband does and those few hours that he is out of the house are…valued. I enjoy looking out at the yard, the birds visiting the feeder, and taking short walks in the woods.

    There are other issues that I just deleted because I am, as usual, long-winded. Thank you for such a thought-provoking post. Carol in VT

    1. No… I don’t think I’m entitled to complain, either. But some days knowing that does not cheer me up. Today it will be -3C with sunshine and I’ve packed a thermos of coffee to enjoy outdoors after my walk. I need a day off from skiing… my arms are killing me. 🙂

  16. Yes, I agree with the phone calls and moods. My husband and I are talking about changing our Galapagos trip to 2023 and hoping we get to Ireland in September. We got snow shoes from Santa and not enough snow. We are enjoying being able to walk outside though. Trying to be much more thoughtful about clothing, shoe and purse purchases in 2021. You are great inspiration. Wondering when I’ll get the vaccine, two nieces in healthcare have shot 1 and one online study says 83% of the population gets one before me. Oh, well. Our politics today are leaving me quite angry and may just go back to bed with my book.

    1. I can imagine you feel like going back to bed with a good book. Yesterday was shocking in DC. Hope you get snow so you can use those snowshoes.

  17. I occasionally get very nostalgic over those phone calls on landlines, sitting comfortably and chatting about something/everything important as well as about nothing-at-all. I’m not sure when or why I lost that habit completely. . . and now I find myself avoiding phone calls unless they’re absolutely unnecessary. Years of deferring to the efficiency and convenience of answering machines, then emails, then texting . . . My dad used to call to remind me (and all my siblings, I suspect) that it was so-and-so’s birthday (or sometimes even the anniversary of an aunt or uncle’s death, back in his natal England) . . . and those calls were generally made before 7 a.m. and almost always elicited a groan. . . I remember laughing 20 years ago when my daughter and son-in-law chided/teased me for a too-early phone call (before 9!) saying they knew it was me because who else would phone so early. . . These days, of course, they’d have the Do Not Disturb function turned on! 😉 Happy New Year, my friend. . . .and weren’t we going to schedule a chat? xo

  18. A lovely post. I called my Mom every week until she passed in 2012. Mom loved to talk and I learned to be a good listener. Occasionally my Dad would answer the phone. Our conversations were brief, and we always joked about them. The usual pleasantries, then a pause, and, “Well, you know your Dad, not much to say.” I miss them both and treasure those calls.

  19. Sue, what a wonderful post. As one commenter wrote, the names of others are very familiar, and it feels as if we are all friends.
    The phone calls about nothing are the best. Those are the times when we reveal the most of ourselves. We are relaxed. There is really no agenda.
    How wonderful, all these women from around the world connecting.
    Thank you!

  20. Great column, Sue. My sisters, both in Ottawa, and I, in California, have tea (or other drink of choice)over FaceTime once a month. We too don’t always have too much to say, but we always end up chatting and laughing for at least 2 hours. We talk about the family, books, tv, movies, weather, you name it. Nothing terribly exciting, but it’s so lovely to connect with them. It gives me such a huge lift until our next chat.

  21. Indeed to all of that. I am so grateful for modern technology which lets me see, chat with, message my friends and family and there is no doubt that I have been doing a lot more of this over the past year than ever before. It is the one good thing that has come out of our present diabolical situation. Last night my local friends and I Zoomed away as though we were all together – bit of gossip, chat about knitting, displays of finished work, nattering about family mishaps – and it raised the spirits hugely. Chatting is so important, the vocal equivalent of going for a pleasant walk or enjoying a hot cup of tea. Nothing earth-shattering but deeply pleasing.

  22. Such a lovely and timely post Sue … just what I needed! I think you’ve captured the feelings of so many of us …
    I’m struggling a bit with headaches … or one long headache atm … think it may be to do with my neck, so I’m trying to have a rest from my phone … not so easy at the moment, as we’re back to a full lockdown and staying at home …
    I love hearing about your chats with your mum … I used to give my mum a quick call to let her know to make a pot of tea … then
    I’d make a coffee and we’d settle down for a good chat … as this would be a few times a week, never much to say but we always found plenty to “chat about” take care Sue.
    Rosie xxx

  23. I meant to ask … how do you find your Vince sweaters fit, size wise?
    I spent too long debating about one I’d seen online and the size large had sold out … so I ordered medium but I’m hoping it won’t be too small!! 🤞( I can return it, but I really like it 😂 )
    Rosie xxx

    1. Hi Rosie. I find that I usually take a large in Vince sweaters, and always in tees. But I have also bought a size small on occasion depending on the style of the piece. Hopefully yours will fit so you can keep it. 🙂

  24. Cynthia Blaylock

    Wow, I just found you and love your writing. Cried over this one. My mother was diagnosed in 1999 with ovarian cancer and passed away in 2001. During the first year she and my step-father were able to enjoy trips to Hawaii and Europe and she plied me with chatty postcards, much like the cards she sent me when I was a kid at summer camp – she used to mail them before I left home so they would be there when I arrived. During the second and third year, when she was undergoing difficult chemo treatments, I had a one hour commute from my office to home each evening and we would talk almost my entire trip. I would ask how she was doing and she would always answer, “I’m fine honey.” And then I would tell her about my day, about my aggravating opposing counsels and difficult cases, and she would listen and make suggestions that were not at all helpful. I like to think it helped take her mind off her pain but I’ll never really know because she wasn’t a complainer. She was a widow at 30 with two small children for twelve years before she remarried and whenever I whined, her motto was, “Don’t give it a voice.” That adage got my mother through a difficult life and it has governed much of my approach to life as well. Most people don’t really want to listen to another’s complaints for long. But I wonder if not “giving it a voice” is always a good idea. We were meant for fellowship, in the good, the bad, and the ugly.

    1. Thanks so much, Cynthia. I’m happy you enjoyed the post. I agree about giving voice to whatever is bothering us. But a tempered voice, I think. I remember working as a department head on days when stressed teachers had to talk to someone, and that was often their head… me. That was part of the job and a part I knew I could do fairly well. But sometimes too much venting can be wearying to the person who listens. At least it was for me. Especially if I was unable to make the problem go away. I love that your mum would offer solutions that were unworkable for you, and you let her. I’m sure she felt more a part of your life that way. 🙂

  25. Thank you for (another) lovely post, Sue. Connecting on the phone – not always easy, but even when it’s awkward can strengthen bonds with friends and family. My best friend died (way, way too young) on December 28th from a very aggressive cancer detected partway through this horrible pandemic. I already miss our conversations so much and wake up with a start thinking “Oh my gosh, I haven’t called recently”. If only there were phones in “heaven” or wherever our loved ones are.

    Thank you again for your work on the blog – so often, your posts resonant with me.

    1. I am so sorry to hear about your friend, Kristi. That sudden jerk into reality in the morning can be quite devastating. I remember feeling that a long time after my brother’s death. It’s faded a bit now. But still, grieving is such a process, isn’t it?

  26. Dear Sue,
    yes… I’m late with my wishes for a better new year for you, your beloved ones and of course all of your wonderful readers and specially the commentators.
    It will be getting better, slowly, slowly, but things are getting easier. From the distance, maybe at the end of 2021, we will be wondered about this totally dull months behind us. Yes, and than we can make new plans. Like Mary Katherine previously wrote “travel is a distance dream”. And specially in January I hardly miss my travel plans. My calendar is empty, no events to plan for the office, no congresses, no meetings, no birthday celebrations, no CARNEVAL in Cologne – huhuhu only great emptiness. Enough of that whining!!! Cheer up. Sue, this comment was instead of one of “those” phone calls. Thank you for reading…
    I have a suggestion: lets hear a bit of “happy music”. What do you think of ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” or “Fernando”? Better times are ahead…
    I wish you luck,

  27. Wonderful post and such equally wonderful comments from your readers. I was late in getting to it but rewarded with all your comments. Thank you.

  28. My long-distance friend of 30 years and I used to talk on the phone all the time. We had a system. I always called her, since I worked and she was home with kids. At any point, either of us could just say, “Oops, I have to go now,” no explanation, no apologies. We could call each other three times a day, if we wanted. And when our kids grew up, if they came home, it was fine if we didn’t talk to each other for the whole visits. I miss her every day. <3

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