Pools and baseball

There are times when your sense of anticipation is fulfilled and you walk away with an uplifted spirit.

Our far-reaching family gathered in Chicago for the first time since December 2019, and there were many plans to celebrate our reunion and some couple’s golden anniversary — more on that later.

Within a few days, The Fam (as we call ourselves) assembled, greeted each other with hugs, smiles, laughs and much talking. Our “olive oil” was gathered in one spot (more on that later, too!), groceries were stored, snacks placed for all to enjoy and the party began!

Our two grandsons from New York got to see their 6-month-old Chicago niece for the first time and the joy was palpable. Amongst the adults, there was a lot of catching up to do, stories to tell and things to get done. After all, we were to have an Olympic festival with each person showing off our favorite nation via flags, clothes or whatever; there was a pool party scheduled, a cocktail hour (…or two…) to be accomplished, parks to visit, a trip to the Chicago Zoo in the works, many walks to complete and … well, you get the idea — I get exhausted just articulating all of it!

At our opening ceremony, we popped the cork from a bottle of a nice French Rhone wine — a M. Chapoutier Crozes Hermitage — Les Varonniers. I had never tasted this wine and found it very interesting with a noticeable cassis taste, lots of deep flavor and a short dry finish. It was the beginning of our “olive oil” openings!

The activities began!

I pushed our granddaughter’s stroller to the local park, we watched all the neighborhood children play on the playgrounds, I got to spend time alone with my Chicago based son and all was good.

The evening was upon us and with the kiddos kind of bedded down, we adults could unwind from our travels. Another “olive oil” appeared in the form of a Macallan 12-year-old Single Malt Scotch — it was magnificent! We only allow one cocktail per person at these events — not everyone is into such tastings — and the spirit lived up to its reputation.

Macallan is a premier scotch and the depth and multiple flavors embedded in it are amazing. One just sits, softly sips and enjoys.

The visit to the Chicago Zoo was so fun! The little ones loved seeing all the different animals, birds and fishes — a good family time in a beautiful setting. It was good to out among people again.

After the long period of walking in the zoo, we went home, settled down for the rest of the day and everyone did their own thing. We floated between family members exchanging barbs, witticisms and jokes — it was good to hear everyone’s voices together again.

Since our daughter-in-law is from Wisconsin, I had bought some New Glarus Spotted Cow Farmhouse Ale, and all of it disappeared so fast I never even got to have a bit of it. That’s OK because a six pack of Spotted Cow obviously wouldn’t last long within The Fam and there was other “olive oil” to enjoy.

The morning was hot and we started setting up the little pool for the kiddos. We ran some water into the pool — not too deep — and the pool party began. I got to hold our granddaughter in the pool and she now is known by the nickname “Little One.” It was fun to get splashed by all the kicking of the water and the adults sitting around got to enjoy a nice cold Pieropan Italian Soave.

Again, I had never tasted such a wine, and in the heat of the day, the cool refreshing and slightly sassy wine was delicious. One can always count on the Italians for good vino!

I had a time scheduled with our 6-year-old grandson to play catch. He has not played a lot of catch and it’s all quite new to him. We walked onto the infield, got our proper distance and tossed the ball back and forth for a long time. Folks, it doesn’t get much better than that — it brought back memories of playing catch with all of our children those many years ago. I hope it established a memory for our grandson, too.

So, as you can read, we had plenty of good times together, sipped a bit of “olive oil” together and The Fam honored my better half and me with a golden anniversary cake.

Yup, it was all good! I hope this summer you have the opportunity to enjoy all of your fam, too!

As always, eat and drink in moderation but laugh with reckless abandon!



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