Kathy facebooked me yesterday: “I will pick you up at 12 noon!!! Sound good?!” Yes, yes it did! We know each others over ten years, first as colleagues and now past few I cherish her as a friend. So she picked me up.
“Have you ever been to Bayville?” she asked. “No, I know the name but not the village.” So there we went, thru the village of Oyster Bay, more familiar to me. Both quaint little villages by the water. She grew up there and had many of stories to tell. We arrived at a restaurant, a place where she used to hang out, I believe, where her sister worked and everybody knew everybody way back then. When we stepped in, she was delighted to see an old friend of hers, the bartender Bill. “Would you like to sit at the bar before the lunch? Can I get a drink for you?” Yes, of course! Needless to say, the man was charming. The same presence as Kathy, classy, kind of aristocratic, old family. Dignity and poise. This is an area where families have been living for generations. This is an area on the island, which is wealthy, and yet down to earth. No bragging, no snubbing, generous. Vanderbilts, the Great Gatsby, you get the picture. The drinks were on him. A beautiful place to be, especially considering that most people were busy in their offices working. The benefits of retirement, being off in the middle of the week.
We moved outside, to the beachside and to the lower terrace. Seagulls stepped back and forth in front of us. The terrace started to fill up. We had so much to talk and it took for ever to look at the menu and select! The waitress, Niki, could not have been more sweet, “Take your time.” and “Are you ready yet?” and “OK take you time” a few times. We finally made the selection, clams, salmon, shrimp. A glass of wine for me. The sun was shining on us, it was warm, barely a breeze in the air. And we talked. So much to tell and so much ponder. I retired little over a year ago and she was now a victim of organizational issues. There has been a lot of shake-ups, none good. Frustrating! We talked about the beach where she used spend her summers, right behind us. We talked about travels, people, family, sorrows, hopes. “Would you like to have an other drink?” Niki asked me. “Only if it is on the house. No, no, seriously, just kidding, I’m OK, thanks.” But we ordered a mango sorbet for dessert instead. How refreshing it was! And we lingered. I loved Kathy’s company and we had no hurry to anywhere. The sun was warm, the ocean was calm on the North Shore. “Here, compliments of me and Bill!” said Niki and set a glass of zinfandel on the table. A surprise, I have to admit, but I was slightly embarrassed. You can tell, Kathy was well liked here.
So four hours past. This was a true ladies-who-lunch day. When you are comfortable with some one, you don’t look at the watch, you don’t want to come up with excuses that you have to leave. You don’t run out of stories to share. You don’t run out of support you want to give to each others. And you’re comfortable just to be.
On the way home we quickly stopped by at Kathy’s son’s new home in Oyster Bay. It was so nice to see the young newly married couple and their new home and the new little puppy they had. Later in the evening I was so wornout and exhausted that I went to bed before ten a clock. But what a day it was! So enjoyable!
P.S. To my surprise, I did recognize the restaurant. We had lunch there with my in-laws years ago while vacationing in here. Thirty five years ago, actually. Amazing how the world goes round!