Sharon is a dear friend of my husband David. They go back over 30 years to when David was finishing college and volunteered at the Santa Barbara County jail. He was in a unit where he and the staff there interviewed new arrestees and wrote reports recommending either release or continued incarceration. Sharon was his boss, and he was surprised at how much he enjoyed working in criminal law. In fact, it was in large part this experience working there with Sharon that inspired him to become a criminal defense attorney.
Over the years, David and Sharon have shared a real compassion for people who had fallen on the wrong side of the law. They also share a birthday – December 11, which I think has probably already started in Australia, where Sharon has lived for many years now. David has stayed in touch with Sharon pretty closely over the years, especially around their joint birthday. I’m connected with her via Facebook and this blog, which she has been generously following for much of the year. In fact, I know when she’s reading it, as she is my only Australian viewer!
Luckily for us, Sharon is in Southern California right now visiting friends and family. So, last night, we were able to enjoy her company last night and celebrate her (and David’s) birthday a little early at a local Italian restaurant. As always, Sharon was the life and soul of the gathering, not only sharing images of her playing wacky characters on Australian tv shows and pictures of her beautiful and brave daughter Becky, who is a pilot for the Australian Air Force, but also her anxiety about crazy politics in the US and Australia, which has been leaning worryingly rightwards and selling land and strategic ports to China. A conversation with Sharon is never dull. She is a truly radiant human being, full of compassion for others, a love of life and hilarious sense of humor. Yesterday, as a little thank you to Sharon for reading my blog, I gave her a necklace that I liked but doesn’t really work on me. I was delighted that she liked it and put it on straight away. Now you may well be thinking, dear reader, that I have cheated with today’s Giveaway by giving this gift yesterday – December 9th. Well, yes and no. Last night, when I gave her the necklace, it was already December 10th in Australia! (But not to jinx my blog so close to the finish line, I will make sure to give something else away quietly today…)