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Heartwarming Small-Town Romances and Thrilling Mysteries

Twice this past week, I went out to eat with friends. Nothing goes together better than food, friends, good conversation, and laughter. I call it my girl time, and it refreshes me. Wherever we live, I always hope I can find a friend to go out to lunch with and have a good time. I love eating out because neither I nor my friend(s) have to cook, clean, or wash dishes, plus it’s a change of pace for those of us who seem to cook the same thing all the time. For some reason, salads always taste better at a restaurant than those I make at home.

Two neighbor ladies and I drove to a nearby town to eat supper at a special restaurant called The Alpine. At night, their menu is big steak (9 oz.) or little steak (6 oz.) and both come with a baked potato and a lettuce wedge covered in the best ranch dressing anywhere. Their desserts are second to none. We’d joked about being hungry for steak and lettuce, but this meal was no joke. For less than $20 a piece, we ate royally, but more importantly, we had a wonderful time. We shared funny stuff that’s happened to us and a few serious things. One is the lady who used to be the head of all the rural schools in western South Dakota (see my blog about her here), and the other is one of the sweetest people I know who sometimes works at the front desk in doctors’ offices. The latter one is moving soon to be closer to her children since her husband’s health is deteriorating. She will be sorely missed when they leave, but until they do, we’ll try to have as much girl time with her as we can.

Later in the week, I met another friend at Culvers for lunch. It’s just a fast-food place, but they have good burgers and it’s nicely located between our houses. We find a booth and spend a couple of hours talking and talking. It’s easy to vent to each other because we know what we say will go no further. We both love to read and write. We’re at the same stage in life so that gives us even more in common. Even when I’m down south for the winter, we do Zoom calls, so we don’t miss out on our girl time. Face-to-face at Culvers is always better, but across the electronic network is better than not at all.

When I was in Boise last April, I met my friends (the other Grannies as I call them) at a nice restaurant for lunch. We were there for only a short time because life interfered with our plans, but I’m so glad I got to see them in person. We still enjoy each other’s company, reminding us of the old days when we could be together often. Boise also has several really nice coffee shops with places to visit or write or whatever. I love the atmosphere of coffee shops. When I lived there, I met a friend at a particularly nice one on Saturday mornings. We talked for at least two hours and solved everyone’s problems but our own. I still miss being with my Boise friends a whole lot.

I wasn’t sure I’d find any friends to eat out with in Amarillo, but I did. That town has a plethora of places to eat, enough to satisfy any tastes. The problem there is deciding which place to go next, but it’s always fun. They have wonderful iced tea shops, but those don’t have places to sit and visit. Someone needs to open one that does. I discovered several coffee shops, and I go there to write instead of visit. I think that still qualifies as girl time.

I encourage you to find someone or several someones to have lunch with at least once a month. Being socially active helps you live longer. I know it certainly helps me feel better mentally.

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