Do you have a great friend...that one person is always there for you...but you don't often have the chance to socialize with that friend? You both are so busy. But you are within easy driving distance of each other. But you are both so busy. And so it goes.

I do have that great friend. Actually I have many of those great friends.

The one I'm specifically talking about is someone I've known since I started my career in real estate. She has been there every step of my life, through thick and thin, through death and life. Through Carl passing on (over 13 years ago), and when Cadel was born (almost 1 year ago); helping me clear out my dad's and his wife's home in 3 days in S CA along with her good friend Donny; through real estate transactions, through my kids' adventures and marriages, through the body massages that we get when life gets just a bit much. She is my dear friend, Debbie.

Debbie is a clean freak. She makes me look like a complete rag-doll-mess. A couple of years ago I wanted to do something for Debbie, but then she beat me to it. She bought a new vacuum. Ah shucks! I wanted to do that for her! And then recently she told me she was very disappointed in that purchase.

YES! This was an answer to my prayer! I ordered her the best vacuum I could...and for me, that's a Dyson. I've written about my own Dyson. The Dyson also sees me through thick and thin (dirt, grime, dust bunnies, bugs, and various frustrations that I seem to solve when I'm vacuuming).

When I think of what this friendship means to me, this purchase is chump change for what she has done for me for so many years.

The vacuum came as expected 3 days later. I called Deb up and said I needed to see her. Could she come over after work? Did I need help? Yes, she could, and yes I did. She works late because she wants to avoid the early morning traffic so she stays late. Okay, I can wait until Friday...just show up whenever you can.

She showed up late that night. For the first time in years, we sat down and just ran with whatever came to our minds. It was amazing. Now it was time for her to go...but I said I had something I wanted her to see. From behind the couch I pulled out a long box. And she knew exactly what it was...and I was the one who was crying .

And then she started crying. The one thing I remember Debbie saying, as she was putting that vacuum into her car, was "I may drive an old car, but I'm going to put the Rolls Royce of vacuums in the front seat of my vehicle!"

And over the last few weeks I've listened to how she vacuums twice per day and never has the machine stopped because the roller is clogged up!  She has told me how much she loves the RR of machines. She waves to her neighbors and says 'See my Dyson!"

I called her today...because I found a new way to use my own vacuum. I decided to vacuum my circa 1898 tiled front porch. Then I vacuumed the cobwebs way up top, on the porch. I've never used this vacuum this way. I was quite proud. Deb said to me..."I've done that too!" Really? I was so deflated, I think the canister of my vacuum may have stopped just for a micro second.

But nothing, nothing, can ever replace giving a friend a gift that means so much, that the goodness is instantaneously reflected back to the giver.  Ah...a vacuum. Who knew?

Live richly, marilyn

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