Saturday, November 12, 2011

Today I'm grateful for ...

I may get repetitious in this daily gratitude thing, but today, once again, I am grateful for friends, old and new. Today my "new" friends (we've been friends at least ten years) Jean and Jeannie came for lunch with my "old" friend, Barbara, and the new friend she so nicely brought to me, Pam. I made a pot of pulled pork chili--watch for the recipe on Potluck with Judy soon because it was really good and also easy. We had a good time visiting--they found lots to talk about, lots in common.
After dishes were done--not hard at all--I took Barbara and Pam on a short tour of my corner of Fort Worth. Barbara had wanted to see Fairmount because it's the setting of Skeleton in a Dead Space, She asked why I chose Fairmount and I tried to explain it's the interesting nature of the neighborhood--all those imaginatively redone old houses with fewer and fewer falling down ones, but still some--and the history. So pleasant and comfortable in its day, Fairmount began a slide into rental and neglected property in the last half of the twentieth century but then was reborn as a fashionable neighborhood because of its proximity to downtown and the hospital district. For a while there, newcomers moving into the neighborhood called themselves urban pioneers. We drove by Lili's, which is mentoned in the second book, and Nonna Tata, mentioned often in the first book. Of course, we'd eaten at the Old Neighborhood Grill last night, which is the most frequently mentioned restaurant in the book.
Tonight we went from folksy neighborhood grill to upscale Patrizio's. Barbara treated us to dinner, and I suggested Italian. She and I had cheese-filled ravioli with artichokes and tomatoes in a lemon/butter sauce--delicious. Pam had penne caprese--a similar sauce on penne. We came home with doggy bags and sat in the living room exchanging stories about our lives and laughing a lot. I can't believe two naive young girls from Chicago have had the adventures and complications--mostly with relatives--that we have had. What's nice is that we're upbeat about it, optimistic about the future, and so lucky to be surrounded by children.
Barbara's visit, made possible by Pam, has been a real blessing for me, and I am so grateful to both of them. It's wonderful to talk with someone about a life now long gone and to remember its joys and even its funny, embarrassing moments. And this is repetitious too, but I feel so thankful that we're so "in sync" probably almost sixty years after we first became friends. Doesn't happen often!
I will see "the girls" (Jordan's term for them) off with a bit of sadness tomorrow but the hope they'll be back soon.
And then I'll get back to work! I've had fun but I have a full week ahead of me.


Betsey said...

and I am grateful for you, Judy, even though I don't believe we have ever met. I am Barbara's cousin, Betsey, in Iowa. I am so thankful that Barbara and Pam were so welcome in your home, and that Barbara, especially, had such a great time and such good conversations with you. Thank you for providing her with a very special weekend away. Betsey

Judy Alter said...

Betsey, how nice of you to write. I have heard your name many times, so now I feel I know you a little bit. The weekend was pure plesure for me. Barbara is amazing, and I am so proud of the way she's moving forward. For me, it was as if we'd just seen each other yesterday. We reminisced and had lots of laughs.
Next time, you come too!