Yesterday, my sister Mary and three of her kids—including the lovely Sfoofie—and her quietly funny husband Nabil, came down from Wisconsin to Chicago to spend the day with Iwanski and me.
Let me tell you, this was the most Chicago touring that I’ve probably ever done in one day. It was a whole lot of Chicago. And it was a whole lot of fun.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get too many pictures (Sfoofie and Mary were in competition for “top number of pictures taken in one day”)—but I kinda liked this “in action” shot of Sfoofie, Mary, Mary’s other daughter Savannah, and me playing around in the Crown fountain. We were running around, splashing each other like a bunch of five-year-olds, and it felt so good! Sometimes you just gotta act like a kid, you know?
So besides remembering how fun it is to splash around in a fountain, here are other things I learned yesterday:
1. Buck really is one of the most generous people I know. When he heard that my sister—who hadn’t been to Chicago in probably about 20 years—was coming down on Saturday, he immediately invited us all to come over and come up to the rooftop of his building (Marina City). It’s a fantastic view, and I think we all enjoyed it very much.
2. My sister Mary is a lot more like me than I ever realized. A few cases in point:
a. We both love weather. When we heard the Field Museum has an exhibit about weather, we both decided to pay extra for that exhibit. (Note: I really hope that the volcano underneath Yellowstone National Park never decides to erupt. That would be very, very bad.)
b. Mary’s husband teases her often about being “unaware” of the people around her. Iwanski teases me about that all the time, as I tend to wander through life bumping into people and buildings.
c. We both would never DREAM of buying a big purse. We will both stuff our small little purses so full that we can barely zip them closed, but we refuse to buy a bigger purse. That just seems to—I don’t know—“old ladyish” to us. (My apologies to all those who like big purses. They just don’t feel right to us.)
d. We both have the same little black wallet with a rose design on it. OK, just a little bit weird.
e. We both like to eat all day long and never quite feel that “full” feeling that other people describe unless we stuff ourselves silly.
3. My sister Mary doesn’t like zoos. (Sorry, Mary—I just couldn’t resist!) OK, in reality, on a scale of 1-10, she likes them at an “8”…but she also said something like, “You’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.” So does she really like zoos? You be the judge.
4. Sfoofie is just the biggest sweetie, and is like a sister to me. (Well, okay, I knew that before, but yesterday just reinforced that fact.)
5. Sfoofie’s husband Nabil is a pretty quiet guy, but when he says something, it’s usually really funny. I love his sense of humor.
6. Mary’s son Zach—who is 14—is also pretty quiet, but also very funny. For example:
When Zach ordered a fish fillet and Mexican rice at a Mexican restaurant, this surprised Mary, who assumed that Zach would just order tacos. She said to him, “Wow! Zach, you’re expanding your horizons.” His reply? “Not really. I’ve had fish and rice before.”
7. Savannah is nine years old, but she really is—as Mary said—“going on fifteen.” She is a beautiful, smart young lady who enjoys shopping and dancing dances from High School Musical. (When I was her age, I don’t think I ever thought about shopping or high school. I think my main focus was playing with Barbie dolls and watching “Little House on the Prairie” episodes. Wow, kids grow up so quickly these days.)
I really enjoyed our whirlwind tour of Chicago yesterday, but mostly I enjoyed being with my family and getting to know them all again. We had a lot of good conversations, and at least a couple of times, I laughed so hard that I was crying.
With seven siblings, it’s not always easy to stay in touch with all my family members, but when we do get together, it’s always a fun and interesting experience.