The picture of the lovely blonde above (and this picture does not do her justice because she is the most glamorous and put-together woman I know...years ago, she told me: "You need to wear more make-up, and you need to dress sexier. I don't mean 'what street corner you workin'?' but not so much buttoned up to the neck, and 'boy stuff'." I've been faithful in the first and am working on the second.) is my friend Debbie from California. She is the one whose blog, Ribbonwood Cottage, I follow, and she's also the one with the great Etsy shop. I love Debbie.
She is married to...Mr. Debbie (who would be rolling his eyeballs out of his head to know I had called him that. Mr. Debbie has been my boss not once but twice, and he is a major prince. He ought to be because he's married to Debbie.
In addition, they have two boys--Son of Debbie I and Son of Debbie II--and a lovely daughter who is as beautiful as her mom: Little Debbie.
Debbie and I have known each other for almost 30 years, and we have been through it together--rough times in both of our lives and also the sort of stuff that happens when people are friends for long periods of time. Let me tell you why Debbie is one of my BFFs (like my friend and blog-follower The Ringmaster, who has her blog at Because It's My Blog, I loves me a list...):
- Debbie is a Christian--and I mean the 24/7, 365-days-a-year with no time off sort of Christian. She's serious about Jesus and following Him, and she has been a major example to me. AND a major encouragement. I can tell her anything and she will pray for me, and if she feels that God has shown her something to encourage or help me, she will share it. And she has been such a gift to know.
- We have fun together--just put Debbie and Weltha together and we can have fun shopping, looking at clothes and jewelry, looking at magazines, watching Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald movies, and just sitting and talking, talking, talking. I miss her because she lives out in California and I live waaaaaaaaaaaaay back here, and because we don't get to talk much.
- She and Mr. Debbie have her parents live with them--if you have ever considered what it means to have your parents live with you as they age and need more doctor's appointments and just generally have more needs, you know what it takes to do this. And she is uncomplaining about it all. All right, there have been the stray remarks about the chickens Mr. Debbie keeps, but she has gotten past her chicken fixation, and does it all with...if not always with gladness, at least with willingness, and that so impresses me.
- Our famous shopping trip after she had Little Debbie--we hadn't been to a certain nearby mall, and this was the Big Trip to buy new things after the baby was born. We jumped in her Hyundai, put Little Debbie in a stroller, and ran like we were being chased by The Furies into the mall. Several hours later, we forgot where we had put the car...and ran around outside the mall with Little Debbie in the stroller hunting down the Hyundai...if you don't think this was a bonding experience, you don't know women...
- The dress she made for me one Christmas--Debbie made this really cute plaid dress for me one Christmas and I proudly wore it to a wedding. I didn't have anything new or cute, and she made sure I did. This is a friend.
- All the times I got to come over and decorate the Christmas tree--when you're single and you aren't putting up a tree, you can sometimes really miss the family things that people do. And I was always welcome to come decorate the tree and hangout for goodies and just yak. Of course, Mr. Debbie and I got into a major convo about a documentary (he's King of the Documentaries...sometimes to Debbie's chagrin...) on the concentration camp in France at Drancy and all the horrors of it until Debbie had to remind us that we were decorating a Christmas tree and maybe this wasn't the time to be discussing the Holocaust. Not to mention the time I got to come over and watch the Oscars because I had seen all the big movies and wanted to see the outcome. It takes real love to let your friend come over and stay until late on a Sunday night.
- The fact that she has stuck with me--a few years ago, I made a decision that really bothered Debbie (and Mr. Debbie)--I mean, really bothered them. Sometimes, our friends do things that seem so...crossing the Rubicon...and we wonder what will happen with the friendship. And I think that because we do understand ourselves in terms of our friends, when a friend does something that seems...really out there...it affects our sense of self. Anyhoodle, I am happy to say that Debbie and Mr. Debbie are still my friends--they wouldn't make the decision I made, and they don't agree necessarily with it, but they love me and have been extremely big people about it all. Trust me, if you knew what I was talking about, you'd understand that they have been extremely understanding and wide-thinking.
- Her blog--Debbie has the coolest blog with all these pictures of really cool things she does with her table and china and her china hutch and decorating and more. And she has an Etsy shop of really great country things. You can see her blog at the right--Ribbonwood Cottage--and you can click on that and then her Etsy shop is right there. I'm really proud of Debbie because she has created such a great outlet for her God-given creativity. And sometime, I have to ask her about putting pictures all over her blog, because putting her picture and Woodstock's picture on my blog are the extent of my ability so far...and it was Debbie who encouraged me so many years ago to start blogging...
- Her thoughtfulness--Debbie really cares about other people and is terribly thoughtful and kind. In a world where so many people are just in it for themselves, Debbie is a truly kind and selfless person. People, this stuff counts!
- Her incredible fashion sense--in all the years that I have known Debbie, I have always looked up to her in terms of really looking great--doing cool things with her hair and her jewelry and her clothes. This might not sound like much, but when a woman does this without breaking the bank, oh, let me tell you...it's major...
- I have had a rough few years--really starting in 2006 when we realized I was going to have to have surgery for an aneurism. Debbie and Mr. Debbie flew out here to be with me. And then during all of the other difficulty in my life (and people, it has been major...life is just now calming down which is why I have the energy and the mental space to lose this weight!), Debbie has been there faithfully. Faithfully. Anyone can be a friend when everything is fun and easy and happy. Very few people can and will stick with you when you are a cryin' mess for years at a time. When every time you turn around, it's another crisis. Debbie and Mr. Debbie have always "been there" for me. That's what counts in a friendship.
I could go on and on. Debbie is one of the dearest people on earth to me--her whole family is. Her children are just...outstanding men and young woman. Her husband is a great, great guy. And Debbie? She really is a Queen Among Women.
Someday, I hope to meet my own Mr. Weltha and plight my troth with him. Debbie will be one of my attendants because how else do you honor a friend who has been through thick and thin with you?
Debbie--I sure do love you, too.
And yes, I am being a good little eater these days, people. Here's a thought: who is it in your life who is a BFF--a Best Friend Forever?