Wednesday, July 14, 2010


So my resolution to post once a month has long ago been broken. If normal is only a setting on your washer, I have been stuck between permanent press and the spin cycle. It seems summer started yesterday and will be over tomorrow.

One highlight of every summer is our wedding anniversary. We generally try to get away for a night or two, and this year’s destination of choice was Chicago. Being on a shoestring budget, we spent most of the weekend using public transportation, since less than $6 could buy a 24 hr. transit pass. The first day started out clear and sunny, absolutely perfect tourist weather. Just so everyone would know that we were tourists, we got on a double-decker tour bus (hop on, hop off style) and rode around looking at the sights. We got off in the Magnificent Mile area, and spent some time walking around looking at all the magnificent places to shop. The most magnificent thing was the sales tax, the highest rate in the nation. We did indulge in one chocolate laced milkshake (one for the price of two), which we shared. We went into the American Girl doll store, where I made a mental note never to let my daughters enter. We got back on the next tour bus, and of course, sat on top again. As we headed for the Willis Tower (Sears Tower) the clear skies started to cloud up. A few sprinkles were felt, and the tour guide pulled out the complimentary ponchos (plastic bags with holes in the appropriate areas). The wind picked up, and we soon decided this was not just a passing shower. The sky to the west was an ominous shade of dark gray with some lightning accenting the foreboding clouds. We donned our ponchos, and held on tight against the gusting winds. Loud claps of thunder added to the chaos. Then came the monsoon. The ponchos kept us partially dry, but as the rain and wind came heavier, they were about as effective as spitting on a bonfire. I was able to use it to keep the camera dry at least. By the time we came to our stop, we had driven two blocks in stop-and-go traffic in a full blown thunder storm. We were soaked to the core. We later found out that this storm had knocked out power to hundreds of thousands in the area, and had blown out windows in some downtown skyscrapers, including the Willis Tower.

We got on the train and rode back to within a mile of our motel. We were going to take the bus to our motel, but after waiting 15 minutes we decided to walk the rest of the way. So being soaking wet, grumpy, covered in plastic, and walking an extra mile in a drizzle was not the storybook picture we had in mind for celebrating our anniversary.

In spite of the surprise shower, missed buses, a lost transit card, and various other unhandy events, we had a wonderful time. The good parts of the trip far outweighed the bad. Being able to overlook the other’s mistakes/errors, and having a sense of humor when your socks and underwear are wet, goes a long way in maintaining a good marriage. The events of Friday could have easily set a sour tone for the weekend, but as in other times of our lives, my wife’s positive outlook made the unpleasant times bearable. I am beginning to believe the old timers when they say that their marriage gets better as they get older. At seven years in, I feel the same way. Even in my wet socks