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February Rewind: Sharing the Love 3/6/2018
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On the 2nd day of February, it was “31 Night” at our house, reuniting the friends who had traveled with us to the Dominican Republic. Need I remind you that I won five out of the seven games of “31” played while we were there? You can imagine my eagerness to put my luck to the test again!

With a bean dip and a veggie dip as appetizers, and my roasted vegetable lasagna, a salad and whole grain bread, I was all set for our dinner of eight. And backed up by a stellar dessert team: Margie and her pistachio Bundt cake, and Barb and her brownies!

Susan brought a beautiful box of truffles that we took to our “casino” for the night—the basement, where we got down to the serious stuff. I didn’t win a single game, but Ed more than made up for it—as long as we keep it in the family, ha ha. After our game, we spent the rest of the evening in lively conversation until past midnight. What fun!

The following evening was the scene of a first (and early) birthday celebration, at Crop, with Ed and a couple of friends. It was a lovely night.

And then it was Super Bowl Sunday. We were invited for dinner and game-viewing at the home of the parents of our youngest son’s gal, Julie. Her two brothers joined us. We feasted on wings, ham and lots of yummy dishes. Julie’s mom surprised her husband and me with a scrumptious chocolate birthday cake, followed by gifts from everyone. (My birthday was the next day and his was the day after mine.) It was a really fun evening and the game was incredible, wasn’t it? But at around 10 pm, our good spirits were dampened when we walked out to our car, only to find it buried in snow. We dug it out and navigated the blizzard like pros, glad to be home safe—and warm again.

Monday, the 5th, was my birthday. I awoke to innumerable text messages, voice mails of the birthday song and Facebook greetings, wishing me a happy day. Later in the day, I received calls from my LA son and my best Bud from high school, also an LA man.

That evening, my sister, Wendy, and our friends, sisters Wendy and Debby, met for a wonderful birthday dinner at Cedar Creek Grill. Dinner ended with a fabulous ice cream sundae topped by a candle, blown out with a wish for all my well-wishers!

On the 7th of February, We the Bunko Gals happily gathered at fellow member, Kathy’s home. I had missed the December and January editions due to touring and travel, so it was great to catch up with everyone again.

The next day, Ed and I enjoyed lunch at Moxie with Andy and Allison. We get together every couple of months and it’s always fun!

Saturday the 10th, I was off to Hartford, CT for a Jim Brickman “Share the Love” Concert. I was accompanied by tour manager, Tim, and his beautiful, expecting wife, Melissa, on the outbound flight. Once there, Jim and John Trones whisked me off to The Bushnell Memorial Hall, where Tracy would also be joining us.

I have wonderful memories of this historic venue. We filmed a Jim Brickman PBS Special and have performed many concerts there in the last 20 years. And I had the pleasure of opening for Bob Newhart at The WRCH Night of Lite Laughter there several years ago. It was great to be back.

After sound check and dinner, Jim and John surprised me with a birthday cake. I love birthdays that never end! The cake was personalized with “Happy Bruthday, Anne”, by the darling little old man at the bakery, who had boxed it up, sight unseen--which made it all the more priceless!

Just before the show, we saw PD Allan (who has always been very supportive in playing my music) and Mike, from the WRCH morning show. Mike made my day when he told me that that “Rise and Shine”, the song Abe and I wrote together, was his chosen ring tone for a year and a half! The enthusiastic audience won our hearts that night and we all had a blast.

The following Wednesday was Valentine’s Day. I drove with our sound man, Bob and his fiancee, Angie, from Cleveland to Cincinnati, for our concert at The Aronoff Center. Bob did a great job behind the wheel: for the last lap of the four and one-half-hour drive, we were pummeled with a hard rain that made visibility a real challenge.

It was good to be back at The Aronoff Center, where we have played many times before. Jim, John and I comprised the cast of that evening’s show. As always, we had a good time performing together and the audience was amazing. During the show, we seated a contest-winning guest in the wings to the right side of the stage—offering her an original vantage point. She loved both her seat and the show!

After the concert, old friend, Bill, and his son, Woestman, came up to me in the lobby, and told me how much they enjoyed it. Need I repeat how much fun it is to see family and friends as I tour the country?

The following morning Bob, Angie and I stopped off for a healthy meal at Whole Foods, on our way out of town. Four and a half hours later, I pulled into my driveway.

Home for just 15 hours, I was up early for my flight to Chattanooga, TN for a “Share The Love” show at The Walker Theatre. Wendy, Mark and Tyson picked me up from the airport and we went directly to the theatre. We arrived early, so I had a little time to kill; I sneaked in a short nap, (sitting upright on a sofa, in my dressing room, to keep my throat clear) and caught up on some reading--I’m really enjoying a biography of the Beatles.

Shortly thereafter, Jim and John arrived from a show the night before, in Asheville, NC. John and I walked to a nearby coffee shop for a little pick-me-up, just before sound check. We had played The Tivoli in Chattanooga numerous times in the past. In the same complex, The Walker, was beautiful, but more intimate. The sound felt good, the audience was fun with everyone still in the Valentine mood! After the show Jim, John and I drove for about an hour and checked into our hotel, roughly half-way to our next date in Birmingham, AL.

The following morning we met in the lobby at 9:30 and drove around the corner for a quick breakfast stop at Jim’s favorite restaurant, Cracker Barrel. I love it, too! We enjoyed eggs, biscuits and coffee before our drive to The Lyric Theatre. We arrived in Birmingham at noon, perfect timing for sound check. From there, we went to our dressing rooms to prepare for the 2:00 show. I decided to do my vocal warm-ups in the basement, so as not to disturb the others, and soon learned that the sound went right up to the lobby! Great…

But no one held it against me: the matinee went well and the audience was fantastic! After our post-show meet & greet session, we gathered for dinner with Magic 96.5 morning personality and old friend, Rob, Head of Operations, Tom, and a lovely couple who won tickets to the show through the station. We dined on Southern barbecue and it was finger-licking good! Our evening show was at 8:00 and the full house was very vocal and responsive, just how we like ‘em!

After about four hours of sleep I flew home via a delayed connection in Atlanta and walked in the door at around 3 pm.

Three days later, my sister, four other friends and I gathered for dinner at a fun restaurant, to catch up on each other’s hectic lives.

It was the shortest month of the year, and yet so full. And I didn’t even mention other dinners with friends, yoga fusion, caring--and initiating The Ramp Project--for my soon-to-be-93 mother!

March on…