Over St. Louis
1. Mother's Day

This will be a big weekend for many of us. I'm invited to a picnic for Mother's Day, and since it is likely to rain in Chicago, it will probably be take-out indoors.

I'm not working, have always loved this particular excuse to take off the whole weekend. But let's move on, take a look at a water snake at Lake Kinkaid. It doesn't get any more interesting than that.

No, I didn't take the picture.
Water snake

2. Vulnerability  

FD took off earlier in the week to go fishing in southern Illinois with his brother and a couple of his brother's friends. As a pri-care, he really needed it, needed to be out of cell phone range.

The first night he was gone I had a home invader dream, haven't had one in ages. So disturbing. But the dream clarified my subconscious appreciation that he's around most of the time, reinforcing my belief that we don't consciously know what people really mean to us.

3. Men Pack, Women Pack

When he did have cellular service he called, heard the story, and thinking he could take advantage asked, "Any chance we could put my tackle box in your carry-on for the trip home?" Perfectly serious. (The plan, meet him mid-week in St. Louis, after the fishing trip.)
tackle box

Was he kidding?

4. Hope

His brother caught fish, made it look easy, but the rest of the crew only managed one catch apiece. It is a competition with men, although nobody really begrudges a good fisherman, and everyone had their role to play. FD fried up the bluegill. It tasted amazing, they say.

Great seats to the Cardinals-Cubs game Wednesday served as the seduction to get me to St. Louis. And I was fairly certain they would all have showered by then.

The Cardinals are a Cubs fan's arch-enemy, but Chicago has a new manager, and some new sluggers, and they have won more games than lost this season. So I've been watching the highlights of most games.  Because you know, hope springs eternal, especially if you're a Cubs fan.

5. The Worse Loss of the Two

There will be no one else to blame if I miss the early afternoon flight. An evening game, but the pressure is on.

Reasons to miss it included a trip to the orthodontist for one of the kids, and ice cream, naturally, and picking up a last minute gift for my host and hostess, then little things, like going to the bank.

But even at the bank, which can be really slow, it is like butter. I know the woman in front of me, the one with five business deposits all lined up on the counter. She turns, surprised, and suggests I go first.

And then we commiserate about it being Mothers Day this Sunday, as only women will do in a familiar bank in a random line, she for her son, me for my mom, four eyes with tears. And I show her a picture that I carry with me, but tell her that her loss is worse, because we both knew that to be true.

6. The Flight

All amazingly chic-chak at remote parking and security (Pre-TSA helps), except that at the gate the attendant announces that our plane is unflyable and they are looking for a new one. It will be about an hour, he thinks, but it isn't. It takes three hours to find a new plane.

And all I have with me is a thin paperback and my phone, so there's no writing, either, not with a computer. Paper and pen will have to do.

And there's nobody to talk to in the middle of the day, nobody to call, because everyone is at work, and American has no electrical outlets at the "K" terminal to charge your phone, so even reading the dozen samples you've downloaded on Amazon feels dangerous.

Once on the plane, however, the flight crew is jovial. Perhaps they have had time to commiserate with one another at a bar. A flight attendant offers me a full can of Coke Zero, always a good thing, then she leans over and whispers, "You know, you better be careful wearing that hat where you're going. Kinda' like enemy territory, you know?"

And I nod. "They'd best not mess with me. You do know, don't you, that the Cards are going to lose tonight, right?"
therapydoc in a Cubs hat

She smiles sympathetically.

7. The Game

Lambert airport in St Louis
FD never looked better as he approached me on foot at Passenger Pick Up at Lambert International. Sporting his Cardinals jersey and Cardinals hat, he looked like he hadn't shaven in weeks, but he tans easily, to make up for that, and three days fishing, well, there's no amount of sunscreen to save him.

We had to rush to the game because of my lateness (American finally found a plane). It was a challenge getting photos of downtown St Louis at stoplights but I jumped out and got one.
The St Louis Arch

Busch Stadium
Finding our seats at the ballpark the sea of red is intimidating. This picture doesn't do it justice, but 50,000 Cardinals fans, all in red jerseys swarming into the stadium is stupefying.

Every time the Cubs do anything remotely wonderful I am shouting Hey, hey, hey, stuff like that, and nobody really pays any attention because they all assume it is a done deal, the Cardinals will win this like they always do.

But they don't! Cubs win, 6-5!

Cubs Cards scoreboard

Happy Mothers Day, friends.


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