About Debbie

    Debbie is from Opp, Alabama, a unique town that was the setting for her childhood dreams of traveling.  Aboard the front porch swing, she imagined she was traveling on a train to the Wild West and she thought she was ready to ride horses on the wide-open prairie.  Her first travel adventures were underway on “The Opp Express Train”.

Later a young man, Jim, asked her to marry him as they swayed on the front porch swing, and he took her away on a 1957 Chevy, not the romantic train.

Debbie’s home has been Florida for most of her life, along with Jim who she claims is “directionally” challenged; but he still finds the important things in life plus most of the places on the map, given enough time.  They have three children a lovely granddaughter and an active grandson.

Debbie began her studies at Enterprise Junior College aspiring to become a schoolteacher.  She received honors and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa.  Detours sent her in another direction.  For several years she has worked for a major Florida Construction/Development Company in various capacities.

The Traveling Swing

Debbie thoroughly enjoys travel, and France is at the top of her destination list.  Photography and gardening are special interests along with baking — especially when blackberries, peaches and blueberries are in season!

She says: “Writing has always been either a joy or a pain, depending upon which day you ask about it.  I knew I wanted to write from the moment my high school English teacher praised me and posted on the bulletin board an essay I had written and titled Simplicity.  I’m fond of travel storytelling, sprinkled with humor, a few tears and lined with my southern speaking habit that is stuck in my brain with super glue mixed with Brer Rabbit Molasses.”

Debbie is the author of “A French Opportunity” a travel memoir available at Amazon.com.

30 thoughts on “About Debbie

  1. Congratulations on your new venture! I think its great that you are now able to do what you enjoy doing – I wish you much success!!

    • Thank you very much. I have very much to learn about the blog space, but I am enjoying it. I hope I find a great agent who is a perfect match for my book. I appreciate your support.

  2. Dear Debbie,
    Thank you for sharing your website, I have enjoyed going through it so much that I have added it to my “Favorites” list.
    It is always great to hear from you!

  3. I’m looking forward to reading your blogs. Please share more of your daily adventures in Opp. Opp was the wonderland of my childhood.

  4. Debbie-
    This is wonderful! I love the header and how you’ve cropped the photo. And of course, the content! Look forward to more of your daily (?) posts.

  5. I am so amazed and proud of you! You are doing what you always talked about when we would sit and talk in the middle of our hectic day! I am very blessed that I got to work with you and know your amazing spirit. Congrats! Live your dream! You Rock! Lots of love and light!

  6. Love the site! Your writing is beautiful to read. Look forward to seeing more of it. I always loved your fabulous travel stories-so glad you started blogging! Glad we reconnected too 🙂

  7. So thankful that you have invited me to your blog. In spite of the distance, I can still enjoy your warm words and your intoxicating thirst for life and new experiences. I plan on going with my wife this fall to Paris for our anniversary. She really enjoyed the pictured book you sent me last year . My wife holds a special place in her heart for France and she is aching to share the experience with me.

    While time will not afford us the opportunity to visit the country, I look forward to getting the French feel of life. I have recently discovered that I am 1/4 French, so it will be a double treat for me.

    Good luck with your blog. I look forward to hearing from you here and not be limited to work emails!

    • I’ve always enjoyed visiting with you. What a romantic idea for your anniversary! However, your wife may return and turn your home into a French chateau. Check the apartments at http://www.ILoveParisApartments.com for some gorgeous places to stay. Tell Mr. Porter Scott that Debbie with A French Opportunity suggested that you send an inquiry. Otherwise, I’m sure you can find a lovely hotel.

  8. That pie looks really good. Where is the recipe? Your site is very pretty and informative. Looking forward to reading more about your French Opportunities!.

  9. I enjoy so much your Website! I can’t wait to hear you write some more. I will keep you posted on Miami’s activities. Saturday, Coral Way Cong is getting together in a park taking school stuff for the children. I will let you know. I am suppose to take hot dogs and buns.
    See Ya!

  10. Mom, I am so proud of You! I love this site. Tell Dad to start his cookbook, including; short-cuts, the recipe for “hush-puppies”, and any advice on every use of pepper. The best Blueberry pies I ever had the joy of eating came from berries picked by Jess and me from your Grandmother’s garden (my Granny Bryan’s). You are so very correct that food and good living are inextricable. Your fondness for all things French is well understood, a post card from Dad to Grandmother and one from me to you, 20 years apart from Chateau Chenonceau, emphasize this. I look forward to future additions to this page Love as always, Bro

  11. Hello:
    My wife bought (and read!) your book for several reasons:
    1. We both love France and have been there twice.
    2. I’m from Opp, graduated OHS in 1964.
    3. I attended Westview Elementary (thru the customary 5th grade and Mrs. Erin Wilson..!).
    I was scanning your book looking for all the “Opp” clues to your identity – trying to decide if I ever met or heard of you in the 60’s. And what year you graduated..?
    Would be neat to know if we crossed paths back then.
    Wife and I are both retired.


    • Michael,
      I’m glad to find a fellow native of Opp, and especially glad to know that we both share a love of France. Looking forward to talking to you more. Thanks very much to your wife for buying the book. I do hope she enjoyed it!
      Debbie Ambrous

  12. Dear Debbie.
    I ordered your book and read it awhile ago. I’m sorry to be so long letting you know how charming I found it from cover to cover–literality–the pictures in front and back are very appealing. You have a delightful way with words. Your style shows you really enjoy writing and it is enjoyable to read. You must have been taking copious notes to have all that ready to use in a book.
    I agree the “Opp” and “Opportunity” really works and ties up the ending which leads to reader to the big opportunity of purchasing a French property. I’m guessing you didn’t, but it leaves the reader with the happy thought you did and how happy you would be.
    I’ve never read about myself or dear friends in a book before. That was interesting. I read those parts aloud to my family. I was surprised to read I have 5 children. I’m wondering which one of my 6 you didn’t remember. Maybe one of
    the twins.
    When I got to the Vermeer book, A Girl With a Pearl Earring, I remembered I own the book. Paula helped me find it and she put it in our Netflix list. Vermeer is one of my favorites. I wondered how a Dutch artist fit in a French book so I read it and watched the movie. I’m guessing that he fits with the history of castles and the French life you admire.
    What an undertaking! Good for you!

    One of your traveling friends, Alice

    • How very wonderful to hear from you Alice! We were the original chickens on the loose. How could I forget that you had 6 children, not 5! I’m sure there has not been a minute that you forgot!! In the book I’m telling the taxi driver trying to impress that we don’t have very much money for his extras in our tour. I suppose I was still in the stress of that setting, so like you said I forgot about one of the twins. Don’t tell either of them because I love them both! Please leave us comment again, and happy traveling. Wish I could do it all over again with you. It was incredible!

  13. Hi Debbie,
    What a lovely book, an insightful look at Miss Debbie, very delightful with beautiful pictures included. Finding ourselves included was very serendipitous so much fun. It’s like reading my favorite novelist Randy Wayne White while living in Lee County.
    You helped me share your passion for France though never having been there. We do share our passion for flowers like discovering heliconias on Barbados for the first time together. Your flower descriptions too were beautiful. I also understand a passionate love for a place as we have immersed ourselves in tropical, Florabean (what’s that) ? We all enjoy styles that are comfortable to us, more a way of life then where we live. Didn’t we all love those warm tropical nights sitting on the Gulf listening to live jazz. Must sound as good in France. But– Miami sounds like Dave Berrys’ comment “I was born in the U.S. then I moved to Miami”, except your Coconut Grove was beautiful.
    Had to laugh at your seeing your mother in the mirror. I’ve seen mine for awhile now, I just say, “Hi mom”. Debbie Domby fares worse saying she sees her dad in the mirror.
    Now Jim, Wally watches H & G with me too. We gather from International that bathtubs, Debbies favorite are hard to come by in Europe .Tubless houses must be an immediate elimination for her. You caught keeching for kitchen. We were bugged by repeated and repeated beadroom for bedroom on an Australian episode. Our lives are intertwined even when we don’t know it.
    Have to tell you, I came under Frances spell in high school while taking French. My mirror was plastered with pictures of Paris & the Eiffel Tower, I could hardly see myself, then I met Wally a new love.
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful work of love,

  14. I found your web site on French Word a Day. I am a fellow writer,poet,frequent traveler to France,and fellow Floridian. Congratulations on putting into words and publishing what I know is an act of love. When I am inFrance, I am home. Keep up the good work.

  15. Debbie, Your book is wonderful. It makes me want to pack my bags and go to Paris. I also hang on to ever word you say. So eloquent. Enjoyed Saturday, sharing your adventures with me. Your home is so warm and inviting, full of love. Thanks for sharing this with me , I never knew this about you. Love Sara

  16. Good morning Debbie, I learned about you and Jim through your brother-in-law, John Alwyn Burgess. My wife Linda Messick Andrews and I both graduated from OHS in 1960 and have lived in Andalusia for almost 50 years. We enjoy traveling and since retirement over 10 years ago have traveled extensively. But the one country that we have not visited is France. I am reading your book and now want to visit France. Hopefully when we schedule a visit I can get in touch with you for more specific ideas of what to see and do while there. Think renting a small place for 2-3 weeks would be ideal.

    • Hello Jerry,
      I am extra happy to see your comment. Yes, I certainly believe you should see France. Renting a small place and taking the time to absorb the local atmosphere and take some day trips is a great way to experience France. You will see some of my recommendations in the book, but I will be happy to suggest more. I will be looking forward to hearing about your experiences.

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