Sunday, June 23, 2013

Fourteen! That's more than a dozen!

That's how many runs the Cubs scored today within the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field. And I was there!

My friend Kathleen, her newly-graduated daughter and I sat in upper infield seats, out of the sun and in sight of the ivy and the iconic scoreboard.

The ball was flying off Cub bats and out of the park and it became such a route that I lost track of who was pitching for us after the 7th. So Kathleen, her daughter and I were just blabbing off and on for the last two innings.

We talked a lot about my work situation and Kathleen reassured me that if anything goes wrong and I lose my job, she'll do whatever she can to provide me with safety net of freelance work.

Her daughter was neat to talk to, since she is in that nether world between child and adult. She's off to school out east this fall to begin studying veterinary medicine. She's confident about wanting to get away and eager to learn about conserving endangered species in their natural habitats. Which isn't to say that when she's done, she won't be looking at spaying and neutering dogs and cats, but right now, that's her dream.

And I can't tell you how good it is for me to go to Wrigley Field. I have no bad memories attached to that place. None. Everything is good -- with family and friends and players that I have loved like friends and family. It is, for me, the happiest place on earth. I am a Cub fan, and I belong at Wrigley Field

Sunday Stealing


What kind of car would you buy?  I wouldn't. Very bad investment. A new car is worth less when you pull off the lot than it was a moment before. Then there's gas and insurance. No, thank you. I'd trade up from public transportation to cabs.

Where in the country would you move to?  I'd stay here, in Chicagoland.

What kind of house would you buy?  I've fantasized about this a lot. If money was no object (and I'm afraid even with $1,000,000, money might be an object to living my dream life), I'd move into the Palmolive Building. It's an restored art deco beauty on Michigan Avenue. I'd have views of Lake from my kitchen and balcony. And a doorman! I'd love to have someone there to sign for my packages and hail my cabs! Bliss!

Would you give your family any money? My niece would have help with her college debts. My nephew would be able to take the class trip to Washington DC he's dreaming about.

What charity would you donate to? The same ones I currently donate to. I'd just be more generous.

Would you give your friends any money? Of course. I'd especially love to help my friends in the Keys because they are good people, but really struggling.

Where would you go on vacation?  I'd love to do New York right. Luxury hotel, good restaurants, best seats at the show.

What luxury item would you buy first? Maybe that trip.

Would it change your life?  In some ways.

Would you save any of it?  Yes, for retirement

Would it change your current relationship? No, since my current relationship is with me.

Would you quit your job? I'd offer to go to part time. I'd love to keep the medical insurance.

Would you ever work again? I'd love to do charity work

What one task would you never do again?  HOUSEWORK!

What dream of yours would you be able to do?  Wake up without worrying about money

Would you change the way you dress? Not really.

Would you change anything about your body?  Well, I'd be in better shape because I'd have a trainer. And there are some superficial cosmetic-y things I'd love to have done.

Would you miss anything about not being rich?  No, because I'd be rich.

Who would be the first person you tell? Maybe my friends in the Keys.

Would it bring you happiness? Not in and of itself. But it would make my life easier.


Last night I went to the graduation party at my friend Kathleen's. I'd been dreading it. I knew it would be mostly couples -- people I haven't met. I knew my $50/per kid present (a $25 gift card each plus a donation to the Appalachian Service Project, the organization the family is part of and they build/repair houses for those under the poverty line each summer) was smaller than most they would receive.

But I had a wonderful time! It was a welcome respite from the agita caused by my older sister. I fussed over her son, a freshly-minted college graduate whose company I have always enjoyed, ever since I met him a pre-schooler. (Today I'm going to the Cubs game with Kathleen and her freshly-minted high school graduate daughter, so I'll ask her about her life plans then.) I spoke to Kathleen's next door neighbor about her completely charming 5-year-old daughter, who was quite a character. And I got an inspiring pep talk about going out on my own, becoming a freelance writer.

I didn't think about my problems again until I got home. Unfortunately, I woke up this morning with a killer migraine. I must NOT let my sister rob me of happiness like that!

And I have learned yet again the Elizabeth Edwards lesson -- which is to "find solace and strength from friends and strangers." When I feel overwhelmed, my instinct to go off by myself, to appear strong, may not always be the wisest path.