Every month or so, I have dinner with three ladies I’ve known a long time. Tonight, we had reservations at a restaurant that has a lovely, shaded patio with lots of fans. I love patio dining and had lobbied for that tonight. I lost. One has bad allergies and doesn’t like the heat; another is adamant to the extreme about heat (I think 70 is her cutoff); the third agreed the temperature on the patio was fine but the whirring of the fans bothered her. Honestly, ladies! Really?
We ate inside, but the patio was a great joke. I had emailed them earlier to suggest that I am as uncomfortable in air conditioning as some of them are in heat. They sort of got the message, enough that when I ostentatiously draped a wrap around my shoulder they laughed. And made jokes about patio dining and the like. Finally, one said, “I can tell we’re going to end up in the blog tonight.” So here you are my wimpy friends. Note that I am kind enough to omit your names.
Inside/outside controversies aside, we had a lovely evening. They are interesting ladies—two are docents and one is knowledgeable about museum quality art, which sometimes leaves me in the dust in the conversation. I went armed tonight with a report on the Netherlands art investigator who thinks he can solve the Gardner Museum thefts and return the art work undamaged. Never had a chance to throw my knowledge into the discussion, but we talked about cruises—one had just been on a cruise and was at best medium enthusiastic; the other is getting ready to go and taking lots of books. I, who have never cruised and hope not to, recommended sitting on her private deck or patio, watching the ocean go by, and reading. Of course, I’d have my computer with me.
Lunch today was a different story but equally lovely. One of the joys of my work at TCU Press was that I often made friends with authors. Chloe Webb is one of those. Her book, The Sacred Harp Legacy, was one that touched my soul, and she and I became good friends, occasionally going to lunch at the deli where we both ordered egg salad sandwiches. Chloe’s husband is in iffy health, though doing well right now. But she has suffered a great loss and been in a dark tunnel of her own, probably darker than the one I’ve just emerged from. I hadn’t seen her in a while so it was good to connect when she came to the cottage for lunch today. I had lunch at the deli earlier in the week and brought home egg salad for her as a surprise. With sliced fruit and a pickle (odd combination but it worked), it made a delightful lunch. And the conversation was interesting, reassuring, thoughtful. We share a strong faith that has carried us through our tunnels.
So tonight I am grateful for friends who sustain me—old friends and new, those who share my tribulations and my joys. Thanks, y’all.