Happily, I had tickets to a second Cubs game during this visit to Chicago and headed back to Wrigley Field on Sunday. And equally happily, this time they won, 7-5. O huzzah.
I have two criteria on a successful day at Wrigley Field. The first is, of course, did the Cubs win. So, I'm one out of two on this. The second is -- did I avoid spilling any mustard on my shirt and pants. (I use a lot of mustard on my hot dogs...) And here, I went two for two. So, joy!
But the greatest joy of the trip has been two separate visits. One was on Saturday to my cousin Elinor Miller (who I wrote about here when I attended her 100th birthday -- she's now 101) and the other to a dear friend who lived in the same building as my folks, Adeline Cohn (who I wrote about here when I attended her 100th birthday -- she'll be 101 in three weeks).
Both lovely ladies are still pretty sharp, which is impressive. Adeline actually gets around reasonably well, with a walker. Elinor is a bit more frail, but very alert and a pleasure. Both are a pleasure.
One thing you get used to, though, when talking to those who are over 100 years old, is preparing yourself to hear the same story over and over. And over. It's not uncommon to hear the same tale 8 to 10 times over the course of a meal. That's fine, as I said, you prepare for it. The trick is the various ways you respond -- sometimes, as if it's the first time. Sometimes, you listen for a while and then say, "Ohh, wait, is that the one where..." and go on. Usually, you smile and say, "Really? Interesting." And ultimately, it's sort of charming, and overall a joy.
It's also something I highly recommend. Not only do you learn a lot about history -- family and otherwise -- but it teaches you patience.
This is something I've been trying to get across to the elves taking care of the homestead. Thus far, it hasn't kicked in.
By the way, it's rare that a menu at an independent living residence for seniors has a biting political joke in it. But this one tonight when I had dinner with Adeline did. It was clear, though I suspect subtle enough to slip through. One of the dessert items was "The World's Greatest Chocolate Cake." I had to order it, just so that I could tell if it was better than the one Trump had with the Chinese ambassador. It was. But hats off to the pastry chef for his pointed sense of humor.
Actually, now that I think of it, this trip hit the trifecta. When I went to the residence where Adeline lives, I saw another lady I like (though don't know nearly well), Rita Braver, who is a remarkable 103 years old! She's a major Cubs fan -- tying this tale all together. She's still very sharp, and seems to get around okay. We of course talked about the Cubs winning the World Series after 108 years, and as you might imagine she was overjoyed. That's a LONG time she's followed them. I quipped about how after the World Series, you'd see people thrilled about how they've "waiting my whole life" to see this. As I noted to Rita, some people have not just waited their whole life, but one that almost overlapped the entire 108 year drought. She laughed and agreed. And repeated how thrilled she was to see the World Series win.
So, three 100-year-olds on this trip. That's sort of a thrill, as well...
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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