Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘birthday

Her Birthday

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Send love to Cyndie for her birthday today! She is out of town at the moment, so I am celebrating with pictures of us together while she is away. I actually posted these two years ago for her birthday and so this is kind of a not-so-random “wayback” post. I believe they all work just fine a second time around…

 

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Happy Birthday, Cyndie!

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Written by johnwhays

June 4, 2022 at 7:00 am

Brilliant Day

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The weather yesterday was perfect for a September outdoor event. A lot like the day 40-years ago today when Cyndie and I were married in a garden on the shore of Lake Minnetonka. Blue skies, warm sunshine, and tree leaves turning colors right before our eyes.

I took Delilah for a walk in anticipation of the arrival of Hays family visitors and paused on the first hill of our driveway to enjoy the fresh breeze and take in the panoramic view of the horses peacefully grazing in the hayfield. The beginnings of the rainbow of fall colors are noticeable along the horizon.

Throughout the day of visiting and gorging on delicious food, we took time for walks in the woods and visits with the horses. The herd is growing more welcoming of human presence and they all made very obvious movements to approach us as we arrived near the areas they were grazing.

I had turned off the electric fence for the day to remove that concern while larger numbers of people come around, but that change is a little confusing for the horses. We try to have our greetings happen at one of the gates to give the horses consistency but the spontaneity of yesterday’s connections had us at unusual locations along the fenceline.

At one point, a group of us made our way up to the barn overhang, hoping the horses might follow along, despite them being over the rise on the far side of the hayfield. Initially, only Light decided to make the journey back and she was rewarded with some hand-offered treats.

After a time, Mia came into view as she returned as far as the waterer before deciding to reverse direction and head back out. The two chestnuts looked as though the distance of separation between them and the other two horses was something they preferred to minimize.

Their bond with each other is still stronger than any bond with us humans.

The bond with my family is as strong as ever and we enjoyed catching up on a few details and comparing experiences and perspectives. We share a lot of traits and laughed over how much our lives and behaviors tend to resemble our parents.

After the first couple had departed, we realized our neglect in capturing a group portrait. By the end of the day, we never got around to posing for any specific group pictures. I guess we will need to get together again soon so we can make up for that oversight.

The only picture I took included the spread of scrumptious delights available for human grazing presented on the center island of the kitchen.

Today, we hop from one family gathering to another as this day of Cyndie’s and my wedding anniversary is also the day of Julian’s birth. Cyndie’s mom and brother will be joining us for a brunch date in St. Paul at Holman’s Table in a renovated control tower of St. Paul’s downtown airport to celebrate the occasions.

Happy birthday, Julian!

Happy September 19th, everyone!

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Written by johnwhays

September 19, 2021 at 8:24 am

Tour Nightmare

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During my final hour of slumber this morning, I was deeply occupied with a new version of a recurring nightmare about the bike tour. The usual scenario involves a classic concern of seeing everyone around me departing well before I am prepared. A common second version I experience has me searching for my shoes or a wheel or some item that I should have but inexplicably discover to be missing.

This morning, it was rather specifically related to my early departure from the ride. I found myself needing to ride my bike back to the original start by myself while the rest of the group was already showered and departing for their homes. I said goodbye to them and set off on my own, trying to figure out how to backtrack the route I had previously ridden at the start.

Multiple disruptions ensued and my slow progress was leading to the hours passing and daylight waning. I was so ensconced in the dream that I continued to work on the details as I awoke and wondered if I was trying to reach our home in Beldenville or the start of this year’s tour in Hastings.

Alas, I am in Hayward and slept late into the morning after a glorious day prior filled with special attention for the occasion of my birthday. The evening was topped with a fabulous outing to the Tally Ho restaurant where the service was superb, the food delicious, and the laughs plentiful.

That was no nightmare.

Now I’m watching television coverage of the second stage of the 2021 Tour de France and contemplating a return to Wintervale today. There are a few animals that I need to get reacquainted with and some chores awaiting that will mark the completion of my days of vacation.

In a lot of ways, I am looking forward to it, but that isn’t a reflection of how I feel about the past week. It’s been grand.

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Written by johnwhays

June 27, 2021 at 9:54 am

Cake Mistake

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Missing ingredient? She swears not. Wrong ingredient? Confident there wasn’t. Overfilled pans? Can’t say it wasn’t, but both to this bizarre degree? Hard to pin down.

Cyndie tried an unfamiliar recipe to bake a vanilla cake for Julian’s birthday. Since it was an untested recipe, she decided to conform strictly to the directions, a somewhat uncommon mode for her.

It didn’t take long to suspect something was amiss.

The batter was boiling over in the oven. Both the six little bunt shapes and the square pyrex pan.

There was nothing very cake-like at all in this failed birthday bake-xtravaganza.

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Old ingredients? Nope, she said.

Baking powder or soda? Both included.

Did you mix up the amounts? No.

I want her to try again to see what happens. She has no interest in going near that recipe ever again.

After a quick visit to the grocery store for more supplies, Cyndie went for a layer cake.

It didn’t boil over.

Happy Birthday, Julian!

(And Happy 39th Anniversary, John and Cyndie! It’s a gorgeous blue-sky September day today, just like that day in the garden was on the shores of Lake Minnetonka.)

I don’t remember the weather 32 years ago, because we were indoors in a hospital room. I do remember driving 2-year-old Elysa to the hospital to see Momma and meet her new younger brother.

September 19 is a special day for our family.

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This year, we celebrate it with a tinge of sorrow in the shadow of yesterday’s passing of Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Here’s hoping she will still be guiding us all from her continued heavenly perspective.

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Written by johnwhays

September 19, 2020 at 9:47 am

Birthday Squared

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In a classic demonstration of Cyndie’s gift of thinking about others, the planned driveway celebration of her birthday this year was secretly morphed into a surprise celebration of her brother, Steve’s 60th birthday which occurred in April when the family was unable to gather. Cyndie collected thoughts about Steve from all the family and a list was made of the top sixty things we love about the new sexagenarian.

Each thought was numbered and randomly distributed to those present so we could read them aloud to the almost safely distanced tribe.

It was a lovely display of family love on a fabulously lovely June evening that became a birthday squared celebration.

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Written by johnwhays

June 5, 2020 at 7:51 am

Posted in Chronicle

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Her Day

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My trusty sidekick for 40-some years of my life is having a birthday today! Send love to Cyndie! She’s a horse-whisperer without a horse.

At least we still have each other.

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Happy Birthday, Cyndie!

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Written by johnwhays

June 4, 2020 at 6:00 am

First Visit

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I finally made it to a MN United Football Club match in their home stadium, Allianz Field. Since it is located very close to Elysa’s home, she initiated having the four of us –Cyndie, me, Elysa, and Julian– go see a game as a celebration of my birthday earlier this summer. It took us until the last home game of the season to fit it into our schedule, but that turned out to be fan appreciation night, so it felt even more celebratory.

The night kicked off with another first for me. On the walk from Elysa’s neighborhood to the stadium, we stopped for dinner on Snelling Avenue at Fasika Ethiopian Restaurant. I think I would have enjoyed it even more if I’d had a knife and fork, but the spongy flatbread, injera for grabbing bite-sized portions of the spicy meats helped make the meal more out-of-this-world for me. Certainly out of my world.

From there, it was just a short distance across the street to the stadium and the thrills and spectacle of MLS soccer.

We landed great seats in a facility where there doesn’t appear to be any bad seats in the house. One feature I noticed right away was the impressive technology of lighting installed.

They didn’t seem as in control when it came to pyrotechnics.

The smoke from pregame on-field fireworks obscured the view and spoiled the air for longer than I think they would have liked.

The game was pretty entertaining, despite the time of possession being lopsided away from the home team, who spent most of their time on the defensive.

I snapped a shot as we set up for a corner kick.

Julian topped that when he captured a video of the free-kick which resulted in the tying goal in a 1-1 draw.

The match started under a misting rain, but the stadium seating is beneath an overhang that sheltered us from getting wet. That went a long way to securing the night as a very comfortable and entertaining experience.

It would have been great if the MNUFC Loons would have won, but on the other hand, at least they didn’t lose.

Too bad the NFL Vikings can’t say the same thing about their game on Sunday. (The outcome of that game was definitely NOT a first in my experience as a follower of our home teams.)

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Written by johnwhays

October 1, 2019 at 6:00 am

Celebration Dinner

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It was a small gathering last night, in terms of usual for a birthday event celebrated by Cyndie’s family. Our two kids and Cyndie’s parents met downtown in Minneapolis for a royal feast at the Melting Pot restaurant for Julian’s birthday dinner.

The fact that it was also Cyndie’s and my 38th wedding anniversary helped to bolster the celebration a couple of notches.

The multiple courses of fondue made for a long meal. I didn’t get around to snapping photos until we were working on dessert because I had been so focused on cooking my own food.

Fred had the best line of the night when he said to the waiter, “My compliments to the chef!”

There were so many flavors being mixed and mingled it was dizzying. Most of the time, I didn’t know what I was eating, but it all tasted mighty good. My entree was a combination of meats that included shrimp, pork, chicken, and beef with a variety of spices. Add in six versions of dipping sauces and the two different flavored cooking oils and I had a good excuse for struggling to identify each bite.

It felt wonderfully celebratory!

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Finally

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First, I want to point out that there are two special things I haven’t forgotten today. Happy Birthday, Julian! And, Happy Anniversary to Cyndie (and me).

One way I know that we have been married a long time: She sent me an email yesterday, announcing she had signed us up for a community education class on Navigating Social Security.

How romantic.

I chose one of her photographs for a new “Words on Images” composition.

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Written by johnwhays

September 19, 2019 at 6:00 am

Epic Ride

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It started out nice enough at six in the morning yesterday. Five riders rolling through Paul’s Linden Hills neighborhood, fresh and ready for the symbolic 60-mile bike ride from Paul’s house to mine. None of us had asked for a day with a heat index at or above 100°F.

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But that’s what we got. I’ll just say this: it was the kind of heat that saps your energy while you are just sitting there, let alone intensely exercising. I’m not going to mention the error in judgment I made in the last miles near home when I said to go right when we were supposed to turn left.

I blame it on oxygen deprivation. I plead insanity.

On the good side, it was brand new pavement that rolled smooth as silk.

We paused in Prescott, WI for refreshments and the ice cooler turned out to be a treasured perch.

At one point, Paul stepped out of the Holiday Station store and gushed, “Have you been in the beer cave?”

Three of us hustled in to check it out. Oh. My. Gosh. There was a temperature drop of about sixty degrees. I thought, “This can’t be good for me,” but it sure was refreshing. We walked around the stacks of bottles and cans for a while and dropped our body temperature a shocking amount.

As I stepped out of the cooler, I asked the attendant, “What do we owe you for ten minutes in the cooler?” She just gave us an odd look and shrugged us off.

We finally arrived at Wintervale in the waning moments before almost 100 guests were expected to start arriving. I’d share pictures with you here, but I didn’t take any. In fact, even though I don’t drink any alcohol, most of the afternoon and evening is pretty much a blur. Hours passed like minutes, I barely had a chance to complete a thought in conversation, and I had a wonderful time basking in the glow of love bestowed upon me as one of the birthday boys.

Thank you to all who showered us with love yesterday. I’m feeling particularly blessed and looking forward to laying low today in recovery from riding for hours in humid heat and finishing the day with a massive dose of social interaction.

I’m almost feeling my age this morning.

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Written by johnwhays

June 30, 2019 at 9:37 am