After 36 hours without internet, I learned late last night that my friend Susie, the oft-mentioned "S" of Schnauzerland, has passed. She went peacefully in her sleep at home, and her loved ones are saddened, but not overly surprised, as her conditon (both mental and physical) was precarious for some time.
I find myself distracted and remembering incidents and factoids...the time we changed a flat tire on her convertible in eleven minutes flat because she had a term paper that HAD to be turned in within an hour. How she always got patty melts at Dennys and Eggs Benedict at Perkins. Her wedding (She was 20 minutes late, which was totally par for the course) and the reception afterward, where her dog Grover attended wearing a cumberbund. How she'd usually forget to mention something during a phone call and would ring right back, beginning without salutation, "And another thing---" Garage sailing together---it was truly amazing how much stuff she could pack into a two-door Camaro!---ceramic shows, and the jaunt we took to West Palm Beach for molds.
In the interests of not speaking ill of the dead, we will not discuss the disasterous time I tried to vacation with her, or all the times she'd chew me out over things that happened weeks before. My memory was always better than hers; I remember a fair amount of acrimony, mostly over trivia, but it's all meaningless now. Better to remember the canasta games where we laughed til it hurt, the cuddly puppies, the companionable hours spent doing ceramics, soaks in her jacuzzi and the way she included me in her holiday plans as a matter of course. She helped fund my trip to Brooklyn when my brother died unexpectedly, for which I'm grateful.
Susie, I'm going to miss you.