One of the true joys in my life is seeing how much other people love my wife. I say that in all honesty because the annual deluge of cards, phone calls and social media comments that arrive in the days leading up to her birthday remind me that I’ve married a very special woman.
This weekend was a time to celebrate.
Saturday night, she and a dozen friends and family members converged at Garnish, a women’s clothing store in Northwest Portland, for wine, appetizers and a private shopping party. Lori had submitted the winning bid at a silent auction earlier this year for this very package, and wisely hung onto it until now. It was win-win-win. Friends got to shop. The store owner made some sales. And The Dougy Center, where Lori volunteers twice a month, benefited from the auction bid.
Sunday morning, we headed across town for a family brunch and a double birthday celebration. Sara, the girlfriend of our older son, Nathan, also was born on September 27, the same day as Lori.
We toasted them with a delicious meal to which everyone contributed — Simone and Kyndall (who also hosted the gathering); Jordan and Jamie (visiting from Spanaway); Nathan and myself.
It was a four-dog gathering, as well, with our Otto; S & K’s Quimby and Templeton; and Sara and Nathan’s Uni.
Lori received some nice gifts but I know she could have left empty-handed and been just as happy. Being with family means more than anything.
On that note, it was extra special to have Jordan and Jamie with us this weekend. Though they live just 3 hours away, we don’t see them as often as we like, owing to Jamie’s work schedule and Jordan’s commitments to school and the Washington Army National Guard.
While Jamie joined Lori and Simone and others at the Garnish shopping party, Jordan and I were one block away, taking on the challenge of a burger and fries at Tilt. That’s some serious eating there. If you’ve never been there, back up two sentences, click on the hyperlink and browse the menu.
Jordan pronounced “The Big Tilt” — a double-beef patty, three-bun sandwich topped with bacon, a fried egg, cheese, shaved onions and other goodies — “the best burger I’ve had in my life.”
Before it arrived, with a side of fries topped with gravy and bacon bits, I asked, “Now, are you sure you can handle this?’ He replied, “Dad, if I can eat an extra-large pizza by myself, I can do this.”
And he did.
Afterward, we waddled out the door, said hello to the ladies at Garnish, then went out and played billiards. All in all, some quality time with my younger boy.