|And I thought June was crazy?||8/2/2017
|If you’ve been following, Saturday, July 1st was the official date of my 40th High School Reunion. My best bud, Bud, and his son, Simon, had arrived on Thursday and were staying with us until Sunday.
Bud was being very secretive Saturday morning. As our former class president, he was preparing his speech. And there was no way he was going to let me have a sneak preview!
That evening, my hubby, Bud and I drove to Acacia Reservation, where the event was to take place. We were glad to see the dear friends that we see from time to time, but as is often the case, the best part of the reunion was setting our eyes on other friends for the first time in 40 years. It brought back such fun memories. And just between you and me, nobody has changed a bit!
The canned music from the venue’s sound system was a selection from the mid-to-late seventies, creating the perfect backdrop for our wonderful dinner. And soon it was time for Bud to speak—he was wonderful! He had written a beautifully-crafted, eloquent speech and his delivery was equally masterful. He moved even the toughest (former) quarterbacks of the class! His piece was unanimously voted the highlight of the evening.
The event broke up at 11:30 pm, but eight of us continued the festivities at our house. The after-party ended at 3:30 am! That was when Bud realized there was an error with his departing flight: he wasn’t leaving until later the following day, instead of mid-morning. A nice surprise!
So we started planning a picnic lunch on our patio when we rose the next morning. My other best high school bud, Carol, and her son picked up some delicious subs and we were ready to party!
But all good things must come to an end and it was time to set off for the airport at around 5:00 pm. You know how I hate goodbyes, but Bud and Simon needed to get back to their family in Los Angeles. And we truly had a fantastic reunion weekend--I’m so grateful for all the new memories!!
The next morning, we, the parents, were awakened at around 7:30 am, by a very loud banging on our bedroom door! It was our son, in agony, with what he guessed to be a kidney stone. I drove him to the ER, where he was soon feeling no pain, thanks to an IV of pain meds. After a CT scan confirmed his diagnosis, he was kept under surveillance for a few more hours. I was relieved by his gal and raced home to get ready for a memorial service a bit later.
My dear friend, Cooper, recently lost her sister to a long battle with cancer. Coop is one of nine children and though there had been a funeral service in LA, where Noreen lived with her husband and two children, and where she co-founded Stand Up to Cancer, her family also planned a beautiful memorial service in her hometown of Cleveland. I was asked to sing “Ave Maria” and “Danny Boy.” I was honored to be a part of the lovely tribute to this strong, determined woman who had battled with Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer for 16 years.
The following day was the 4th of July. As goes the tradition, we barbecued chicken and burgers for friends and family, and watched a stunning display of fireworks from our backyard.
The next day, my husband and I were treated to a yummy lunch at Pistone’s, by our old friends, Sue and Frank. We hadn’t seen them in a couple of months and it’s always good when we get together.
Later that day, I drove to Aurora, where my friend, Margaret, was hosting July’s Bunko evening. I never like to miss a gathering with the Bunko gals!
At the end of the week, Ed and I drove down to Jacob’s Field to watch the Cleveland Indians play from our friends’ beautiful loge. Not only did our team win, but the company of friends, delicious food and post-game fireworks all came together for a perfect evening.
The following day, I sang with Abe and his 7-piece band at Brookpark Homedays. We were the last band of the weekend, just before the fireworks that brought the city celebration to a sparkling close. I know, MORE fireworks—but what’s a summer fest without them? We have played this event for the past three years. And we always have a good time. This year, I brought my husband along and he enjoyed it thoroughly!
On the following Friday, we spent a wonderful “grill your own pizza” evening at the home of friends, Chuck and Elaine. Their gorgeous patio overlooks a golf course and is equipped with a beautiful outdoor kitchen, where our "personal" pizzas were grilled. We were five couples in all, which made for a perfect party. Chuck and Elaine are quite the team, by the way. Not only talented interior decorators and landscape artists, they are also excellent chefs, with special mention for their homemade, puff pastry tarts! It was a spectacular evening.
The next morning Ed and I were off to Toronto. On the map, it’s about a 5-hour drive from Cleveland, and with our passports secure, we were on our way.
It took us nearly six hours, with lines at the Canadian border and Saturday traffic slowing things down. But it was well worth the delay since we were going to visit our LA son, last sighted at a family wedding two months before.
A television writer for CBS, our eldest was on set for the filming of his episode of new Star Trek Discovery, which is being filmed in Toronto. As we checked into our hotel at around 2:30 pm, he was just waking up: shooting had ended at 5 am that morning!
We met for a late lunch and walked around downtown Toronto. Across from our hotel, I recognized the Roy Thompson Hall, where I sang with Donny Osmond, on tour with Jim Brickman some years ago.
After our little outing, we headed back to the hotel for a rest before meeting Jonathan Frakes, aka Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Commander, William T. Riker, who was joining us for dinner.
Lobby call was at 7:00 pm, and Ed and I met Jonathan, who is wonderful. He’s handsome, charming and smart, and when he told us how much he loved working with our son, we loved him too :) Actually, we would have loved him even if he hadn’t volunteered that information.
Our son treated us all to a fabulous Italian dinner and we shared lots of stories, heading back to the hotel for a nightcap to continue our party. What a fantastic full day in Toronto!
After a good night’s sleep, our little trio met at around 9:00, grabbed breakfast, then walked over to the Honda Indy Toronto Race, the second-longest running street race, after the Grand Prix of Long Beach. Our friend’s son, Ryan Norman, a member of the Andretti Indy Lights Team, (highest step to the big league) was racing that day.
As you may recall, we saw him at the Indianapolis 500, over Memorial Day Weekend, where he was hit from behind and crashed on the first turn of the race. This time, he handled the 1.786-mile, bumpy road with aplomb. He didn’t win, but finished 6th. For a newbie, that is just fine.
We stayed to the end of the big race, grabbed a photo with star racer, Helio Castroneves, and walked back to our hotel. We all needed a nap after all the excitement!
We regrouped for dinner, followed by the excellent movie, “Lion” viewed snug in our son’s room at the hotel. Another fun day, with a cozy ending, just like old times. Regretfully, we had to head home on Monday...
Tuesday evening, just before a wonderful Persian dinner at a friend’s home, we bid goodbye to my nephew’s wife and two children (my nephew was staying on for another 10 days), who had lived in our midst for the past nine months. We had all become very close and were so sad to see them go. They were here to offer the best kind of comfort to my sister who lost her dear Mike a little over a year ago. It was a beautiful gift from this beautiful family, to uproot their lives in Denver for a whole school year, and shower their sunshine on my sister’s life.
The following evening, Ed and I attended a fabulous dinner party at The Shoreby Club, a gorgeous country club on the shores (got it?) of Lake Erie. We mingled with the 40 guests of our friends and hosts, Peter and Martha, outside, where the views were breathtaking and the sunset magnificent. It was a magical summer night.
The following week, our youngest son, his gal, my hubby and I drove out to Kent, OH, where we met Ed’s brother, his daughter and her husband for dinner. The young couple was moving to Oakland with their two children, where our niece was taking on a new job as youth pastor of a church. We had a great visit and wished them all the best. Who knows when we will see them next?
At the end of the week, it was time to say goodbye to my sister’s darling son who was heading back to Denver, after his 9-month stay. He and his family created wonderful memories for my sister, and for all of us, and enabled us to weave precious bonds with the little ones that we, and hopefully they, will never forget. He is a very special young man, so much like his beloved dad in many ways.
That evening Ed and I shared a scrumptious business dinner with an interesting couple. We dined at a lovely 18th-century mansion, now Don’s Pomeroy House, in Strongsville, OH and had a fun time.
The last Sunday in July, Ed and I drove to Lexington, OH for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, to watch Ryan Norman race once more. We have become regular groupies! We had seen Ryan win a different race at this track last year, before he joined the Indy Lights. He is in a higher ranked league this year, so the competition is tougher. Again, he didn’t win, but finished 7th out of 14. He is making progress and learning through every experience. The Andretti team is pleased with his consistency and performance. And I loved being photographed with international racing legend, Mario Andretti!
That was July, my friends, with lots of events, a bit of travel, dinners and car races, not to mention my yoga fusion classes and a few movies…
Yes, I’m a very Lucky Girl!