Mary and Debbie at lunch on Tuesday.
It used to be that my friend Debbie and I could barely squeeze in one "girls' lunch out" together every summer. We were both high school teachers: I taught up here in the White Mountains and she taught down in the Valley. Although she and her husband George come up to the cool country every summer, in the old days I'd barely be adjusting to my summer break when it seemed Debbie had to hurry back to the Valley heat for the start of her school year.
Our cozy little corner in The Bistro @ Annie's yesterday.
Then Debbie retired a few years ago (although she continued as a substitute teacher until recently) and was able to enjoy the high country until late September. Suddenly, we were able to get together twice every summer.
I ordered chicken salad on wheat, with a raspberry lemonade.
And now, I'm retired, too! Since retiring, I've enjoyed being able to go to lunch fairly regularly with my friends Debbie, Wyndie, and Karen. And, this year, Debbie and I will hit a record high of going to lunch three times during her stay in her summer home! Last month it was Darbi's, this month it was The Bistro @ Annie's, and we're all set to meet at Jalapenos in September before she and George leave the mountain.
My half of the slice of triple-chocolate cheesecake that we shared.
I should have taken the picture before we split it, but it was yummy!
It has been Debbie's tradition to take me out to lunch every summer for my upcoming birthday, and that's what we did yesterday. (I can't believe I'll be sixty-three in just two days...) She is one of those friends who is incredibly giving, to the point that it's hard to get her to let you give back!
A note from our server.
We spent more than two hours in the restaurant, just visiting. No matter how often we meet, Debbie and I never have a shortage of news to share. As we were winding up, our waiter said, "I get the impression you two are celebrating something." When Debbie told him my birthday was coming up, he snatched back the receipt and scribbled "Happy birthday!" on it. He said it was his tradition, and I thought he was adorably sincere about it.
Debbie already showered me with gifts, and it's not even my birthday yet!
I hope Debbie won't be embarrassed while I brag on her, but she is a gifted seamstress. Last month she surprised me with a handmade bag as a retirement gift. It's the one with red handles in the photo above. I'm already planning what I'm going to pack into it for our trip next month: snacks, water bottles, CDs, camera, and other things I want near at hand in the front seat for long travel.
Then she told me about her burgeoning custom-purse business and said she wanted to make me one for my birthday. We went to a fabric store so I could select whatever cloth I wanted. Right before we went to lunch yesterday, she presented me with the lovely finished product, the brown-bear purse I'm holding in the picture. And she included the cute little bag to go with it. I love it!
In case anyone's interested in my funky hairdo, here's a closeup.
Thanks, Debbie, for the lunch and the beautiful bags, but most of all, thanks for being such an amazing friend! Your friendship is a great blessing in my life.
I got this "Majestic Hair Flower" at the Renaissance Festival in February.