You can barely see it in the center of the frame, but this picture captures a total solar eclipse. I can't remember the exact date, but this would've been taken sometime in the early 90s. I do recall that I was sitting on the back deck with my friend Sandra, waiting for the event, more than likely drinking beer. Possibly even beer that I had brewed because before I started making wine, I brewed beer. All of the explosions drove me from crafting beer though. Did you know that hops adhere to stuff like an epoxy? It's bedlam and a pain in the ass, that's what it is. Wine hardly ever explodes, and when it does, it just pops its cork. It's a whimper in comparison.
Anyway, when I looked at this picture, and thought of the day and of Sandra, I felt that pull that you experience when you plumb your past. How some friends you keep forever and others drift away from you (or you from them), how you lose touch because life just gets too busy. People move away and you never know what became of them.
With Sandra I know exactly what became of her. I went to her funeral several years ago. Her decline and demise can be, but doesn't necessarily have to be, attributed to the abuse of prescription medication. She didn't OD, but she was on something when she suddenly ran into traffic on a busy New Jersey highway. A woman on her way home from work struck her with her Buick going about 60mph. Sandra was knocked clean out of her coat and shoes. At least that's what the newspaper said. I don't want to imagine what else would've happened to her slight frame in this collision.
So often I still think of Sandra, feel that loss in the knowing that she's no longer someplace out in the world and we just lost touch. I know exactly where she is, and where she will remain. But also, in memory I can trot her out and remember her still, and as she was. And as the saying goes, forever young.