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Today my baby girl and I had some time to visit with my best friend Debbie, her hubby and her grand kids at her house. It was great to see her in person rather than over the phone and e-mail. We talk just as much, no holds barred, but in person it’s always infinitely more satisfying. She got her haircut, just as I did, and it looks fantastic on her. She complimented me on my haircut as well. What was funny is that we both decided to get rid of our longish hair because it was making us look old and our new haircuts have made us look a lot younger but we did it without knowing that the other was doing it as well.

Her grand kids have grown so much, they are still little; five, four and a year and four months old, all very cute but still a handful, so my Debbie is exhausted by the end of the week after babysitting all three of them. Even with the oldest in all day kindergarten, she still has the younger two to contend with, and did I mention that she also takes care of three dogs and a cat. Wait, I forgot something, oh yes, she also takes care of her mom and her hubby as well. I am exhausted just typing this part of what she does. When I pulled into her driveway, I told the baby girl that I hadn’t needed the GPS after all, I couldn’t have missed her house at all, it was the most decorated house on the block.

One of the things that I miss about not having her next to me is precisely that; her very special way of decorating her house into a Christmas winter wonderland. Now for the past two Christmases, my corner of the world is much darker. The new next door neighbors don’t put out all the stops like Debbie did, they try but it is very tame. The neighbors on the other side are pretty festive, but Debbie was famous in our town for her decorations.

I also miss just having her there. She was great to cook for; I would often make cauliflower gratin for the kids and I always made sure that I took over a bowl for her because she loved it so much. She never made it because her hubby wasn’t a vegetable man; he is a solid meat and potatoes guy, so I really liked to make her things that I knew she wasn’t going to make for herself. Whenever I made chicken pot pie, she got enough for her and her hubby. The same went for pies, cookies and cakes. I was often knocking on her door and entering with some kind of goodie for her to eat. Good times.

Part of the reason I loved cooking for her was obviously it made her happy but also because she did do so much. She is the hardest working person that I know, so I was happy to help lift a small load even if it was only a meal.

I miss having her next door.