It’s a gorgeous December morning. The sun is shining and the temperature is about twenty degrees above normal. Perfect.

I’m sitting in the car waiting while Diane has her hair done. I’m here every Saturday.

The Christmas decorations in the shopping center have been up for several weeks. Another year is coming to an end, a time for reflection. My own mortality is on my mind more now that I’m older. My father, a couple of cousins, and all of my aunts and uncles are gone , but I’m not alone. I still have family, people that I care about in my life.

I glance at the clock on the dashboard and adjust the dial on the radio. We’ve been listening to Christmas carols for three weeks now, although it feels more like three years. Diane will be irritated if she has to listen to classic rock.

This will be our forty sixth Christmas together since we eloped to Hillsborough, North Carolina back in August, 1970. That’s two thousand three hundred and fifty six Saturdays, my entire adult life.

The door to Hair Traditions is open and Sue waves to me as she helps Diane off the curb. The sun is warm on the back of my neck as I hurry across the parking lot. Diane is smiling and her hair looks good. I take her arm and walk her back to the car.

Two thousand three hundred and fifty six Saturdays. The best days of my life.