Monday, November 11, 2013
Happy Birthday to Me -- Part 1
Sunday I enjoyed my first birthday celebration. I'm surprised and pleased to report that I had a lovely time with (the often prickly) Kathy!
We went to Ina's, an independent Chicago institution that's been around for more than 30 years but is closing its doors on New Year's Eve. Ina's breakfast menu is not only peerless, the proprietress herself has been a supporter of good causes for as long as I can remember. (In time for Veteran's Day, Ina's was promoting the Honor Flight Network.) Lines are long and the place is always packed with people like me who want to say goodbye, so I appreciate Kathy enthusiastically supporting my choice.
Then she bought me a book by Bobby Orr. Kathy knows little and cares less about sports, but she saw an interview with Orr on CBS Sunday Morning and decided his story was one that would resonate with me. It was a thoughtful gift and I appreciate it, as well.
Her life is still as turbulent as ever. Since I last saw her, she was in a major car crash, became a great grandmother when her teenage granddaughter got pregnant by one boy while dating another (she's now not with either of them), her daughter has remarried and now Kathy, her daughter, her daughter's new husband, three grandchildren and one great-grandchild two cats and a pitbull mix are all living together under the same roof.
Much of the fractious-ness in our relationship stems, I think, from her unhappiness with her own life, and her perception that somehow mine is all sunshine and lollipops. That's why I think it's good that we see each other only occasionally. We get along in small doses.
The four hours we spent together yesterday were so pleasant, and such a great kick off to my birthday celebration.