Monday, December 18, 2006

Celebrating with Friends Old and New

We headed over to Northampton yesterday to meet up with our pals at India Palace for my birthday lunch. We started running into folks right after we left the Raven, no surprise (well, only surprise is that we didn't meet them in the Raven). We also got calls from both sets of folks before we got to the restaurant, so I had a chance to thank them for their gifts as well. The staff at the restaurant was a bit overwhelmed by the thought of a table of 16, but they coped and we were easy going enough that it wasn't a problem.

I don't know if their other customers shared that opinion. It was quite a voluble crowd and like the Garden Party, everyone was there and there was indeed magic in the air. There were the Queen and Johnny 10X, Marko, Rod and Elena, the Boojums Joey and Cheryl, GK4 and Donna, Miss Wendy, Robert, and meeting them all for the first time (wouldn't that be a bit intimidating?), Dan and Krista and Kaitlyn.

It was the most wonderful gift to be surrounded by our family of friends. We're so glad to be back in the Northeast (not that we don't miss our friends down in Houston!) and with folks we have known so long. Of course, even though I repeatedly said that was the only gift I needed, they loaded me up with fine birthday swag, too. Wow -- amazing generosity, guys! The gifts ranged from the thoughtful to the personal to the wacky and all were very much appreciated.

After a long and laugh-filled lunch, we headed off for shopping around town. Northampton has the advantage of being about the same distance for all of us as well as full of terrific shopping opportunities. We kept running into one another the rest of the afternoon, and by the time the shops were closing, those of us left headed over to the Tunnel Bar for a relaxing drink. Swanky! Gene and I had never been there, so it was quite a treat. The big overstuffed chairs make a great little private enclave, so we chatted until quite late, but finally had to make our way back home (grades were due today!).

It was a great birthday! But has anyone painted their cats yet?

New friends: we headed over to (near) Peebles Island Saturday night for a Yule celebration with some new local friends. Yummy food (pot luck!) and lots of laughs, singing and a new tradition: the wraparound! Various gifts were wrapped in layer after layer of wrapping paper, which each person would have a go at it, taking off one of the layers. You never knew if you would get nothing or something fabulous. It was a lot of fun. So we're getting to know people here, too, and having a good time doing it. It's always hard to move to a new area; we're lucky to have a lot of "built-in" friends in the region, but we're also making new friends which is very pleasing.


Anonymous said...

Belated birthday congrats! Sounds like it was a fabulous one!

Anonymous said...

We have not painted our cats yet

but decorate gingerbread men tonite so Ya never know! ;D

C. Margery Kempe said...

Heh, heh -- you never know! Vegetable food coloring is surely safe... Maybe just a few green spots?

The Queen said...

What a fabulous birthday time in Noho! Thanks for letting us lure you into the Tunnel Bar.....

CL said...

Sorry we had to skip Tune It Up with you guys, but it was getting late and I can't see well enough at night to drive.

Tried painting Missy and Mr. Man, but didn't get too far. I'm still mopping up the blood...mine. :-/

Gingerbread is much safer.