In the past week or so I have had the special opportunity to visit with family and friends far enough away that I don’t get to see them often. And, as I’m sure many of you can attest in your own lives, the connections and conversations simply pick back up where they left off no matter how long it’s been. It’s pretty remarkable to experience but even more of a treasure to have.

One of my closest buddies, Morry, and I have been best of friends for 25 years. He’s lived in Buffalo, New York his whole life, lived in two houses his whole life, been married for 28 years and has had but one employer. He’s 56 and as Buffalonian as Buffalonian gets.

If you’ve never been to Buffalo, what that means is Morry is a die-hard Buffalo Bills fan just as he is a Sabres (hockey) fan and 10-degree weather and mountains of snow don’t faze him. He’s also exceptionally proud of his snow blower which he cranks up before dawn to remove those mountains of snow just to be able to back out of his driveway … and that’s in April. From where this Texas boy sits, that’s just crazy.

Morry loves wings, ‘Beef on Weck’ (I have no idea what Weck is, but those people love it), he’s a deeply devoted Catholic and does more exercising in a church service than I do in a year. He’s pure Italian and loves his family just as a man should. He also drives the speed limit and keeps his hands at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel.

Believe me when I tell you that there have been many occasions when I’ve demanded Morry stop the car so we could switch places. I mean, going 55 in perfectly good weather is like torture if you ask me. And, that 10 and 2 business doesn’t compare to the thrill of steering with your knee in wild Metroplex traffic.

Morry is also the spitting image of one of my other dearest and closest pals, Scott Dorsett. Both are two of the most thoughtful, kind, caring, humble men I know. I can’t imagine life without them. The power of such friendships can’t be measured yet we know how fulfilling they are in life. I’m guessing you know that given the close friendships you have in yours.

Sometimes those friends are spouses or siblings or cousins and sometimes they aren’t blood relatives at all. Regardless of origin, quality friendships are necessary for a quality life and we all should be so fortunate to have them.

Waxahachie, like Buffalo, is a special place where people stay because of the kind of life they’ve built and friends they have. Buffalo has its Bills, and we have our Cowboys. Morry has his fancy snow blower, and we have the kind that blows leaves. We don’t worry with coats in April and May, but we wear flip flops in November when it’s still 80 degrees. Buffalo has the Sabres, and we have our Indians, yet we all understand the universal need and desire to have best friends.

Life is short and often times pressures us into forgetting what really matters. The power of money, however, will never trump the power of friendship and the pressures to conform to the tendencies of a wayward society will never be more important than someone who enriches our lives in immeasurable ways. It’s my hope we can all swim against the currents that can, in fact, drown the recognition of those who matter with perishable things that don’t.

During this Christmas season especially, but in all seasons, whether the kind that creates the need for a snow blower or flip flops, may we stop long enough to resume conversations that have long gone dormant and may we remind our friends just how special they are to us. There is no better time.