I can remember the day my baby brother was born like it was yesterday. December 28, 1959, was a clear, icy cold day. I could see my breath in the early morning air, clutching my dad’s hand tightly as we walked across the parking lot of St. Mary’s Hospital in Columbus, NE. I remember being excited to meet…..
….Oh, that’s all a bunch of baloney. I don’t remember a single thing about his birth. Heck, I had just celebrated my 6th birthday a few weeks earlier, and was probably at my grandma’s house playing with my new Tiny Tears doll that Santa had brought me for Christmas, clutching the two quarters Grammie gave me to go to the bar next to the bakery to buy a strawberry Nehi. Beckie was likely downstairs working in the bakery, and Jen was somewhere trying to decide what she could do next to drive me out of my mind.
It’s one thing to grow older yourself. I turned 66 years old in December. But my baby brother is always the baby. Believe me, I don’t think 60 years old is old any more. Back when I was 6 years old, I thought 25 was ancient. Now I’m looking at 80-year-olds and thinking, hey! I can do that.
His sisters spent considerable time trying to decide just how to celebrate a milestone birthday with a man who isn’t really INTO celebrations. After considering this and then that and then the other, we finally decided it would be fun to go out to dinner. Just the four of us without spouses. An opportunity to reminisce, laugh, and do what we all like most to do: EAT.
Where do you want to go? I asked him. Anywhere you want, as long as it isn’t somewhere you go all of the time. We thought he might choose a steak house. After giving it considerable thought, he decided on an Italian restaurant way up in Scottsdale that he had visited before. I love a good surprise.
We had a bit of trouble nailing down a date and time, but we finally successfully gathered Sunday for a late lunch/early dinner at a restaurant called Tomaso’s Italian Kitchen. We took Lyft so that we could eat and drink with abandon, and, as often happens when we get together, had a good laugh, this time about our driver. He was in an unfortunate state, lacking teeth, having a good days worth of stubble (and not in a hip way), and perhaps with a beer or two under his belt. We made it safely, and our Uber driver on the way home was much better — actually entirely sober. Imagine!
We enjoyed our celebration very much……
Some 59 years ago…..
I wonder why we wait for landmark birthdays to get together……