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And The Livin's Easy... 8/5/2019
Thought Archive
July started off with a wonderful lunch at Giovanni’s for my husband and me. We were the guests of Andy, one of our favorite people. The halibut was perfection, while the conversation, covering the doings of his beautiful family, and those of our newly-married son and our soon-to-be-wed youngest son, made for a lovely side dish!

Three days later, my sister, Wendy, and I boarded a plane for Chicago, to attend the wedding of our young cousin, Cailey. Upon our arrival, we picked up our rental car and drove to our hotel, where the wedding reception was to occur the following day. As we checked in, we were pleasantly surprised to run into the mother of the bride, who was also checking in early. We would reunite with our other cousins coming in from Milwaukee, Indianapolis and Dallas, the next day…

That evening, Wendy and I had a date with an old Cleveland friend and Chicago transplant, and his wife. We drove the 30 miles to meet Jeff and Jenn at The Illinois Beach State Park, where they were staying for the night. Jenn had prepared a lovely picnic dinner for us. We sat outside on a spacious terrace overlooking Lake Michigan, dining on turkey croissant sandwiches as we shared family news, stories and lots of laughs. It was a muggy night, though. My hair turned to frizz and the bugs picnicked on us, but the reminiscing and fun definitely made these little inconveniences so very worthwhile.

Four hours later, Wendy and I were back on the road to return to our hotel. It was badly lit and it seemed I was drawing crazy drivers like a magnet, too close for comfort! As we pulled into the hotel parking area with a sigh of relief, one of the cars followed, flashing lights now ablaze! Whaaat?
Here I was, an out-of-state driver of a rental car, trying to elude one of several crazies who seemed to be pursuing my sister and me, being pulled over by a policeman for going over the speed limit! I explained that I had no idea I was driving that fast, my concern was to create a safe distance from scary vehicles tailgating me. Impassive, the officer walked back to his car with my license, returning about 10 minutes later with excellent news. My sentence was a verbal warning. Phew!!!

After a good night’s sleep, my sister and I went out for breakfast at a darling restaurant up the road, before dressing for the two o’clock wedding ceremony. We left at around 1:15 for our drive to the beautiful Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church. It was a beautiful day, thankfully much less humid then the day before.

We sat with our dear cousin Tom and his wife, Sue. Cailey’s attendants included her two sisters as matrons of honor…and seven bridesmaids! It was a lovely service and Cailey looked gorgeous next to her handsome groom, Nick.
After the wedding, we returned to our hotel, for the reception with views of a pretty lake and enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while catching up with the cousins.

I wished that my husband and sons, as well as my brother and sister and their families could have attended, but due to a variety of reasons, Wendy and I were the only representatives of the family.

Dinner was served inside a tent but we were still able to step outside and enjoy the night air. The meal was wonderful, the toasts were touching and the conversation, music and dancing made for a fabulous evening.

The following morning we all met for a send-off brunch before heading to the airport and back home to Cleveland. Fast but fun!

Two days after returning home, I orchestrated and helped my son move into his new house, about 15 miles from us. It was a little exhausting, but exciting too. He and his bride-to-be were recuperating beautiful furniture and antiques saved from my mom’s home, which sold last month, to help furnish their place. My baby was moving out and into his first own home. I miss him, but I’m so happy that he’s happy…

It was Bunko Night the following evening and enjoyed seeing all the gals, some of whom I see but once a month. I lost, but walked away with the $5 booby prize!

The next day, Ed, Wendy and I drove to Kent, Ohio, to meet Ed’s sister, in town from California for her Streetsboro High School’s 50th Reunion. Wendy hadn’t seen Barb in over a year, so she was delighted to join us. We all love Barb, who has so much personality and is so much fun! It was a great night!

On Friday the 12th, Wendy and I enjoyed a fantastic Mexican dinner with our friends Ron and Kristy. We only had to walk across the street afterwards to meet more friends at Boss Dog, for a concert by the rock band, Chain Gang. Another fun night out!

Saturday night was the reunion, so while Ed was accompanying his sister to her class party, Wendy, Kristy, another friend, Dawn, and I met for dinner and ice cream. A beautiful summer evening on the town with the gals…

Do you wonder if we I ever eat in? I did cook Sunday dinner, but we had a number of meals out planned with various friends for the two weeks ahead. We enjoyed dining at scenic “Lockkeepers”, overlooking the Ohio Canal, at the new “Il Venitian” with its wonderful Italian cuisine, and at the spectacular “Marble Room”, in a magical transformation of the former lobby of what is still known as National City Bank building. Good food in beautiful places abounds in Cleveland!

There were also a couple of rehearsals with pianist and friend, Phil, who will be accompanying me for my show in October. Like Jim, Phil is a friend I’ve known since high school, where we played together in a band. We also performed together in Phil’s original rock opera, “Listen”, and another rock opera he based on Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie”. Needless to say, he is very talented and we’re loving preparing for the show!

Thursday, July 25th, I felt that I was coming down with something and yet that evening, I was slotted to perform with Jim on his live stream show promoting our upcoming Christmas Tour. It was “Christmas in July”! His studio/office loft was decorated with two large Christmas trees, lots of twinkling lights strung around support beams and 40 chairs set up for the audience.

Aside from singing, I also acted as emcee while giving away concert tickets, CDs/DVDs, songbooks, winter beanies…and the grand prize of a Roland GO electric piano. I always have a great time with Jim, but midway through the show, I was starting to lose my voice, fighting what ended up being a respiratory virus. Hitting the high notes was a challenge, but I did make it through the show!

What can I say? July was a month of family, travel, friends, food, music and lots of fun. There was also a bit of yoga, to balance things out once I was feeling better…and my new favorite workout, Corus45!

The good news here is that the rain has subsided and summertime's back!

Happy August to all!

PS My title is a definite borrow from George Gershwin's classic, but also from Lana Del Rey's latest cover!