Sunday, November 22, 2009

Happy birthday to me (part four)

It's my actual birthday and I'm home from Springfield. We had a great time with The Abester.

Saturday began with a big breakfast, then we went to the Lincoln's home. I have been here several times before, but it's always exciting to be in the only rooms where Abraham, Mary, Robert, Eddie, Willie and Tad all lived together, where he learned he'd been elected President. Then we went to the
Presidential Museum. Again, nothing new here, except to be shocked and disgusted by how similar the personal attacks on Lincoln were to the ones Obama endures today. How little we have learned in 150 years!

One of the things I enjoy so much about my oldest friend is that she completely accepts, even shares, my geekier side. She picked up a Lincoln coffee table book, full of quotations and commentary by fellow Presidents and statesman about Abe's influence, at the Museum gift shop.

Then we walked on over to the Lincoln Depot. This was new to me. It was from this s
pot that Abe left Springfield for Washington, DC. The speech he gave, extemporaneously (!), is quite beautiful:

"My friends, no one, not in my situation, can appreciate my feeling of sadness at this parting. To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe everything. Here I have lived a quarter of a century, and have passed from a young to an old man. Here my children have been born, and one is buried. I now leave, not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington. Without the assistance of the Divine Being who ever attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance I cannot fail. Trusting in Him who can go with me, and remain with you, and be everywhere for good, let us confidently hope that all will yet be well. To His care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an affectionate farewell."

Then we had lunch, went back to the room, and worked on our Nanos (see post below). We went down to the hotel restaurant and had a lovely dinner with cheesecake for dessert.

It was a fun birthday celebration. My oldest friend and I learned and laughed and bonded ... and ate and drank waaaaaay too much. I began my actual birthday with unsavory tummy trouble. (The less said, the better.)

The Amtrak ride was smooth and uneventful except for the laughter and conversation. G
ot home, took a nap, and woke up to a snack of Townhouse crackers and tea. I wish I felt better. I also wish I had more sense. I didn't have to eat everything in sight on Saturday. Oh, well ... My birthday is an ongoing celebration and I'm enjoying it.


  1. Happy birthday! Sorry it ended with tummy trouble, but I'm glad you had such a great long weekend celebration.

  2. Welcome home Gal...and happy to hear you had so much fun! Isn't it great to have a special friend? They are so much fun to be with, share the special times, good & bad.

  3. so glad that you had such a blast!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Many more for you!! :)

  4. Did you have a good time for your birthday WEEK? :-) I was thinking of you while you were away (missed your random twitters! Quit having a life, k?)

  5. Thanks for posting the Lincoln speech. That was very moving. I'm such a geek.

    Sorry you came home to tummy trouble. Bah!

    But let the celebration continue! Happy, happy birthday!