Imagine a strawberry cheesecake without cream cheese. Or brownies cooked without oil. (Hint: they will look normal but actually be as hard as bricks. Trust me.)

So, what ingredients make friendships delicious? And if omitted would leave them bland and hard to swallow? Certainly time.

This week I intended to tell you a lovely little story about time and friendship that features my dog, Ringo, and his pal, Chase. But that story will have to wait for another blog. Something happened this weekend, and I just have to tell you. It all has to do with the gifting of time.

First, my college roommate, Linda, arrived on Wednesday night. Instead of heading directly down to see her daughter, Kate, who lives two hours south of us, she gifted me with several days of her time. We drank lots of the flavored coffee she brought with her, walked, discovered a clearance sale at the Vera Bradley outlet (!), and had lots of honest conversations about life, God, empty nest. . . . And then Kate arrived on Friday evening to fetch her.

And then when my husband walked in the door from work that same evening, he greeted Linda and Kate and then immediately insisted I go upstairs with him to discuss a measurement for a home improvement bathroom project. Hmm. We had already made these measurements. And dinner needed attention. But I obliged.

Meanwhile . . . someone sneaked into my kitchen.

She too had come to give me the gift of time. She had taken the weekend off work, depleted her gas tank, and driven four hours just to be with me—a surprise for my birthday the next day. This just might be my best birthday ever!

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