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THIS AND THAT: When plans don’t work, adventure follows

July 29, 2018

When we make plans, we are creating a list of expectations. But when those plans go awry we begin our adventures.

Our middle daughter and her family visited us from Valdosta, Georgia, this week. It was something we had all been looking forward to. After all, who doesn’t like having three wonderful grandchildren and their parents?

Coinciding with the trip to Aiken was our daughter’s plan to go to the Dave Matthews Band concert in Charlotte on Tuesday night. Her husband had surprised her with the tickets for her birthday, and she was looking forward to seeing her favorite musical group perform live for the ninth time.

What was to make this concert even more special was that Dayman, our son-in-law, had purchased three tickets. There was one for their oldest child, Gabi, 14. It was to be her first live concert. The tickets had been ordered and delivered to their south Georgia home and everyone was counting down the days until it was time for their Aiken journey and the concert.

The plan was for them to leave Valdosta late Sunday afternoon and arrive that night after the five-hour drive. In the tight confines of a small SUV, there was little extra room after accounting for a car seat, room for two older kids, two adults, a dog and luggage.

I was playing golf when a text came in around 5:30 that said they were on their way. A quick calculation showed their arrival would be around 10:30 that night. Two hours later, I was at home with my wife relating the woes of my golf round when the cell phone rang. It was Linden.

They were well on their way to Aiken when the conversation in the car meandered to the upcoming concert.

“You brought the tickets, right?” asked Dayman.

The answer was not in the affirmative. The adventure began.

Approaching an exit off I-75, they did a quick about face, retracing the two-hour journey. Sleeping kids were surprised to be awakened at their own front door. After a quick restroom break and ticket acquisition, they were back on the road. The expected five-hour journey lasted nine hours putting them into our driveway at 2 a.m.

The afternoon before the concert another surprise occurred. Dayman gave his ticket to Linden’s best friend, making the Tuesday night affair a girls-only night out. As the three ladies prepared to depart, I asked if they had the tickets. They did. I asked for verification and was shown the envelope with tickets tucked inside.

The concert was a hit with all of them. The two older ladies had seen Dave Matthews several times and were not disappointed with this performance. For Gabi, it was a thrill to see live music played in front of an enthusiastic audience.

• I was remiss last week when writing about the Illinois Railway Museum not to mention one exciting aspect of the facility. Among the many engines, cars and railway items was one that our family holds near and dear.

One of our favorite movies is “A League of Their Own,” a Tom Hanks film about the women’s professional baseball league that started in 1943. One of the early scenes in the movie has the two main characters, Dottie and Kit, running to catch a train that would take them to the baseball tryout in Chicago.

The train used for that scene is the silver Nebraska Zephyr, a sleek engine and attached cars that is on display at the Railway Museum.

• This week my wife celebrated her birthday. Try as she will, she still has not caught up to me. I first met her shortly after her 20th birthday and was under her spell almost immediately. And it’s been that way ever since. (But no, I won’t tell you how long ago that was!)

Her favorite cake is devil’s food with seven-minute icing. Linden is adept at baking in addition to attending concerts and made the requested dessert. The icing requires the use of a double-boiler and a deft touch to get it to the proper level of fluffiness.

The first attempt was not to Linden’s liking – too grainy for her taste, although no one else would have minded. Again, plans gave way to adventure. The seven-minute icing became the 45-minute icing after she redid everything to her exacting standards.

A daughter’s love of her mother was on display.

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