Life can be amusing! A group of my extended family who live in Europe are in our area for their winter vacation, attending our family reunion. The amusing thing about this family of four brothers and two sisters is that they were my and my sisters’ friends as we were growing up in Tehran. Their mother was one of my late mother’s best friends, too. We were each other’s “Bacheh Mahal,” riding bicycles in our neighborhood and taking the same bus to school together and learning life a few doors down from each other. One of their boys married one of my sisters. One of their girls married another boy, four doors down on our street.Seeing them last night had all the joy of a family reunion, plus opening the floodgates of childhood and adolescence memories and nostalgia. We laughed hard remembering each other as the scrawny young boys and feisty young girls that we were. We reminded each other of the tricks we used to play on each other and on our parents, and how we would ward off our nosey neighbors who liked nothing more than to gossip about us! We reflected on some sadder memories and rejoiced in realizing that some of us had kept in touch with yet others from our neighborhoods. It was such a good time! It won’t come as a surprise to you when I tell you that I was one of the noisiest ones, telling the most stories and reminding everyone about our moments of mischief, discovery, embarrassment, and first love. We had a blast and that felt so good. Such is the texture and feeling of old friendships—even if you don’t see your old friends for a long time, when you do see them, it feels as though the years of separation never happened, such is the feeling of continuity in friendships. I am expecting my family for dinner tonight (yes, all those 30 people from last night), so I will go do what needs to be done about that. I will see whether I can also post another part of my Yalda story later today. With so much to do, I’m not hopeful. Happy Sunday!