“Francine’s here!” the kids scream, and the screen door slams as they run to greet her. Francine is my friend, who I adore, who teaches me so much about letting go, finding peace, living well, being kind, and allowing others to find their path without getting in their way. She loves people, and is tender with their feelings. She is clear about her limits, and always speaks truth.
When I grow up, I wanna be like Francine.
Francine comes every other month for an overnight visit. She pulls my little ones onto her lap and listens to their epoch tales of skinned knees and Pokémon movie plots. She brings amazing foods to share, and her African baskets and Guatemalan bags are always hiding wooden toys and beautiful pottery that find their way onto our shelves. On this trip she brought two sweet Crenshaw melons, a bottle of hours-old pressed apple cider, giant pastries, and a little silver charm she found that she thought I might like. We ate and painted and listened to the girls sing. She measured the boys against her shoulder, insisting they were taller than last time, and tousled Tessa’s shortened hair. When Francine comes, there is excitement and laughter and lots of hugs. When Francine comes, it's like a party.
What does every party need? Food. And, Oh, the breakfast we had at the hand of Chef Guy… What a perfect start to fall!
Pumpkin waffles with pumpkin butter cream spread, crescent rolls … some with bacon, onions, spinach, pecans and cream cheese inside, others stuffed with pears and chocolate and topped with slivered almonds. Next to that, herb scrambled eggs topped with pepper-jack cheese and turkey bacon. And to wash it all down, hot apple cider with a drizzle of caramel in it.
Guy gifts with food. It is how he honors the people he loves.
Francine left this afternoon. Our time with her is never long enough. We’ll see her again in a couple of months. Just in time for holiday baking!