Saturday, October 8, 2016

Fall has fell, sort of

1 September 2016, Minneapolis MN USA
A new month with lots of possibilities, including my high school class’ collective 71st birthday celebration mid month.  I really love a chance to go home and see old friends.  And yes, Pittsburgh is home and always will be no matter how long I live in Minnesota or anywhere.

2 September
Well, one of those possibilities is allergies.  My late Peace Corps friend David said many folks acquire pollen allergies just by being in DC because there’s such a huge variety of flowers and greenery.  I think I’m one of those people.  Never had an allergy in my life until I started going to DC when David was ill.  Now … I think all the sneezing, sinus drainage, coughing are from allergies.

4 September
What a lovely way to spend the long Labor Day weekend … in bed with a very bad head cold.  Yep, not allergies as I decided when my temp hit 102 last night.  I had my sister Barbara on alert in case it was still high this morning, but Tylenol and sleep brought it down to just over 99, practically normal.  Now, back to bed.  

5 September, Happy birthday to nephew Craig
Craig was born on my late son Peter’s birthday, so my late husband and I were named his God parents. I like to do something with Craig and his family on this day to reinforce that it’s his day.  He’s working today so we’ll celebrate tomorrow.  And since he requested steak, we’ll go to Outback where an active three-year-old will be welcome.  

Today I continue to recuperate.  My sister Barbara dropped DayQuil and NyQuil outside my door yesterday morning (my request so I didn’t pass this on).  It’s helping.

7 September, Happy birthday friends Marilou and Spike (Larry & Karen’s son)
Had a delightful lunch with Marilou at the restaurant at Nordstrom’s/Ridgedale to celebrate her birthday.  Good food and fun flirting with our old hippy waiter.

I always remember Spike’s birthday because I was in London when he was born. I’d taken his older brother Jonah to Regent’s Park Zoo on Peter and Craig’s birthday.  That was a nice memorial to Peter who had loved the zoo when we visited.

Since I was feeling better today and no longer contagious, I kept my coffee appointment with former colleague Rob.  We were both “enterprise facilitators” (he in Richfield, I in Northeast Minneapolis, four other EFs in city and suburbs) in a unique pilot program to support new and existing entrepreneurs as they wanted.  This was in 1998, right after I returned from Poland the first time.  Our “fearless leader” as EFs was Ernesto, who developed a “hands off” approach to entrepreneurial support which he then tested in rural Australia and applied in rural South Dakota. Ernesto wasn’t terribly happy with how we adapted his model to address our urban setting, but we all had our successes even if funding dried up.  That’s when I started looking for overseas assignments, and Rob eventually went to Minneapolis Consortium of Community Development.

Another highlight of the day was my monthly hair appointment with friend Connie.  I love having someone else deal with my hair.  It was disappointing that we couldn’t have dinner as we often do but fun to see her and hear about her and Tom’s coming trip to Bali.

  Drying old baggies for reuse.
Once a PCV, always a PCV.
10 September
I think I walked 20,000 steps yesterday and that doesn’t include my morning water ex class.  Before meeting friend Susan at her condo to go to a night Twins’ game, I walked from home to Macy’s to pick up some cosmetics on sale.  Then Macy’s to Susan’s, Susan’s to Target Field and back again.  Twins lost, which was disappointing since they were actually winning at one point.  I walked to the bus stop … it was 11 pm and my next bus was due in 30 minutes.  Rather than sit on a bench and wait, I walked home.  I was so keyed up that I watched television for an hour before hitting the sack.

15 September, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
SuperShuttle arrived Johnny-on-the-spot at my condo at 4:35 am.  Now I wait for my 6:55 flight to Pittsburgh for my high school class’ joint 71st birthday celebration.  We’re having a picnic in Stahlstown in the mountains on Saturday.  Before and after, I will enjoy being home among old friends.

This has been a busy week over all — book club at Nan’s on Sunday night, dinner here with friend Judi on Monday, coffee with friend/former accountant Karen (preceded by a long walk) and drinks with Northwestern U. rep Rob on Tuesday, lunch with friend/neighbor Maryanne at a new Jamaican restaurant in the neighborhood on Wednesday.  Maryanne and I have coordinated calendars for mail pick up this winter.  Let the travel begin!

Later, Somerset PA
For four years of my corporate life, I flew into far-flung midwestern (Canada to Mexico, Minnesota to Utah) airports and cabbed to my hotels once or twice a month (some weeks I was in a different city every day).  Seeing a friendly face at the airport was a rare treat, including on my return.  I could rarely get my then-husband to pick me up … so when my friend Glenn offered to meet me at PIT today, I was overjoyed. Glenn and I not only graduated from high school together, we started out in the same first grade class.  He had a 75 minute drive just to get to the airport and was sitting at baggage claim when I arrived there.  What a treat.  On top of that, Glenn was willing to stop at Allegheny County Courthouse so I could try to get some documents.  I had to order them since they’re in storage somewhere in the hinterlands.

We stopped for lunch half way to Somerset and arrived at Suzie’s mid afternoon.  Suzie is another friend since grade school.  Her husband Lance, our class president, died of cancer in mid July, so I wanted to spend time with her in addition to the reunion-picnic.  I’m staying in her guest house until Tuesday.

Childhood friends Glenn & Suzie

16 September
Suzie, Glenn and I had a wonderful day playing tourist.  Glenn drove, another treat, and we went to the Flight 93 (9/11) memorial since he hadn’t seen the completed area.  Suzie, Lance and I had done a fund-raising walk there last September, so I’d experienced the entire memorial.  It’s overwhelming.  Afterwards, in discussing where to go next, I learned that one of my childhood landmarks is no more: The Ship Hotel on Route 30.  We drove to the site which still has a spectacular view and I took some pix.  Then on to Bedford for a bit of shopping for Suzie and me (Glenn chose otherwise) and finally dinner at Jean Bonnet Tavern.  The stuffed hot peppers that I ordered were definitely hot in all ways, but very good.  

View from Ship Hotel's location

17 September
High school friend Janet was back “home” (Elizabeth Township) and offered to join Suzie and me for breakfast at Suzie’s even though she couldn’t go to the picnic.  Her energy flags as the day wears on.  Despite all the chemo treatments, Janet looks great and said she feels pretty good too.  She brought fresh muffins which we ate while caught up.  

Glenn said he’d drive me to Linn Run State Park tomorrow on our way to meet our mutual friends Gary and Johanna, so Suzie and I drove straight to the picnic.  Well, after a stop at a grocery to get our contributions to the buffet.  I had baked and brought oatmeal-raisin-chocolate chip bars from MN (yep, put them in my suitcase), but we needed some snacks.  The picnic was at classmate Pinky’s sister’s place — a gorgeous lakeside meadow in a forest.  Her facilities include a huge barn where we set up food and beverages, music, tables, and along with the Class of ’64, had a great time as you can see in the slide show.

Greenock School Alums
18 September
Linn Run is supposed to be about 15 minutes from Somerset … and 45 minutes after leaving Suzie’s, Glenn and I arrived at my favorite spot.  We took the scenic route, rather than Route 30, on purpose.  Then we hit a single lane, dirt path where we were to turn right … but it was closed to traffic. Glenn’s GPS took us back toward Somerset, but eventually between his Garmin and my i-Phone, we found the back way into the park and my favorite spot. The creek had a lot of erosion and wasn’t full, but it’s still “belongs” to the Kanyr family. 
My creek today

The day was fabulous — relaxing and fun.  We tasted some surprisingly good wines at two wineries.  At the first we sat outdoors lakeside and listened to oldies, and at the second, the heavens opened while we sipped on a covered wrap-around.  Then we drove to dinner at an amazing Italian restaurant.  It was in a commercial office park, so we’d’ve never found it without our gustatory leader Glenn.  Great choice, Glenn.  We all had delicious and way-too-big meals.

Johanna & Gary

20  September, Minneapolis MN
Home again.  Suzie and I spent yesterday in Ligonier, wandering this quaint colonial town, checking out shops, having lunch.  Then drove to Mt. Pleasant for dinner with Glenn who took me to the airport this morning.  Took the Light Rail, then a bus home to the condo.  Shortly I have a Friends of the Minneapolis Central Library board meeting.  So off I go — on foot!

21 September
Spent some time today doing follow up for the Center’s trip to Ohio.  The team leaves Sandomierz today for Warsaw and New York.  They’ll spend two days in Upstate New York, then a day in the city before flying to Ohio.  My fingers are crossed that everything goes well.  It was nerve-wracking making arrangements in a places I haven’t been in many decades with people I’ve never met and organizations I’ve never visited.  Trying not to hold my breath.

Lake Harriet
24 September
Saw the Beatles' documentary with niece Michelle.  Could not sit still or stay quiet although I was very restrained in both.

26 September
Finally found and scheduled a painter.  Thank you to Pam from book club for the rec.  Tom the painter arrives Thursday morning — hurray!

30 September
Busy week — Kelly’s “divas” cleaned on Monday, brunch with Jan and Rosie on Tuesday  and dinner and Jungle Theater with Mary that evening, lunch with Sabrina on Wednesday, painting and pre-winter furnace check on Thursday, visit with Lois in Northfield today plus a stop at former client Julie’s Antiquified antique store for the pre-Halloween event.

Two guests at Julie's event

It’s been a good, if often wet, month.  Several awesome thunder-and-lightning storms (love ‘em) and way above average rainfall.  Fantastic time in Pennsylvania.  Lots of good times with friends here, there and everywhere.  What more could a gal want?


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