How calming it is to be in the presence of older long-time friends with strong values. That is what we came away with last week, as our family of 5 was invited to dinner at the home of a couple now enjoying the retirement years.

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I’ve known this couple for almost 30 years, having introduced my husband to them about 20 years ago, and we’ve exchanged many a meal over the years.

What I didn’t know this night was that Faye had made it a celebration dinner for my new book, The Reluctant Entertainer.

After hours of talk and the best food in Medford, we settled around the table and I heard stories that were brand new to me. People live interesting lives and when we open up and share, we leave with such a warm feeling in our hearts.

This particular couple has been a *”Balcony Couple” for our family, having raised their children many years ago. And I love how they like to serve others and they still wear aprons in their kitchen!

Just knowing that they’ve made it through the parenting years – and their kids have turned out wonderfully – gives us hope and perspective.

Their stories are also very inspiring to our children, which in our minds is something we need more of in America.

The older teaching and modeling strong values for the younger. (You can tell how cozy their home felt to our kids, who knew exactly how to make themselves at home.)

I have to tell you that Faye gave me the most beautiful card, so beautiful that I had to read it again and again to take it all in.

If you don’t mind, I’ll share with you a couple of profound statements that she made:

Your whole attitude about focusing on others is extremely important.

Perfection is often more about appearance than substance.

Amen, Faye. And thank you to a wonderful couple for a fabulous evening celebrating my new book. I was humbled and grateful for so much that night!

When’s the last time you dined with a couple that you felt you learned a lot from?

(As I refer to “Balcony People” you can read about my new E-Book, “Balcony Girls” HERE.)