Deja vu all over again.
That's what it is, no matter how much it bothers me.
We all know I've got a spot in my house where things go to hide. New things bought as gifts. Old things saved. Candy bought to feed party guests.
Oh, yes, there's a story here.
My friend Dawn Thompson - well, she was Thompson but now is Bliss, which is not so much a comment on her married state as her new last name. She came home for a few days, freshly out of the Army, married and looking for a new way to spend her life.
I planned a party to let her old friends and coworkers meet her husband.
OK, when I say old friends, I've got to tell you this story, a bond Dawn and I share and laugh about often.
When she worked for The Messenger, she lived in Lehigh. One day too sick to come to work, she had to see the doctor, but was too sick to drive, so I went out to Lehigh to get her and to mother her through this invasion of her personal space issue. She didn't like people close to her.
In the waiting room I watched two young girls arrive and choose seats, one with books to study, one with a toddler in tow. The nurse comes out from behind the counter and says my name. Fairly slow to stand, I hear my name again, only this time the nurse is looking back and forth between the two young women.
"I'm here," I said. "I'm just a little slow."
She looked at me, blinked a few times, then said, "You can't be Dawn's friend. You're too old."
What the heck do you say to something like that?
She's right about the age difference, though. Dawn is nine months younger than my daughter, but we get along better than well. Still, that's beside the point here.
You never know how many people will show up from an invitation, so you've got to prepare for the most. That, of course, means enough food to go around if everyone does come. Then, if everyone doesn't come, you need a plan for the leftovers.
We had a wonderful party, but there were leftovers. Two days later, I took the meatballs, added some twice-baked potatoes, then picked up Loree Clarken and drove to Duncombe to have lunch with my aunt, Doris Hansch, and to spend the afternoon playing dominoes.
That night I decided I needed a little piece of chocolate while watching television, but I remembered sharing the leftover Hershey Bliss chocolates when guests left the party. Bliss chocolates. Get it?
I'd opened only two packages and had another somewhere. So I went to the logical spot. No chocolate. I went through every cupboard in the kitchen and two closets in the hall. No sign of Bliss chocolates.
Now, when I do find all those things hidden in that special spot, I'll have chocolates to eat while I figure out just what I planned to do with all the stuff.
So long friends, until the next time when we're together.
Sandy Mickelson, retired lifestyle editor of The Messenger, may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.