Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Daughter, A Mother & A Trek to the Train

Today is Mikes Birthday! Happy Birthday Mike.

Suzy came over to his place in the city and joined us for another one of my AMAZING dinners.

Ham, potatoes Au gratin and green beans smothered in onions and butter topped with slivered almonds.

Dessert was a dilapidated, yet yummy, Angel food cake with lemon icing, topped with ice-cream, cherries and chocolate sauce. Ohhhh yea! I'm the bomb!

After dinner Suzy and I had to catch a Metra train back home to Indiana.

Oh, how I hate trekking out in the cold, carrying all kinds of crap and catching trains. I hate it. It stresses me out. I always worry I'm gonna miss the train, forget something on the train or screw up the transfer and end up in Who-Knows-Where, Indiana.
If I could have one super-natural power it would be instant transport with a tight blink of my eyes. I don't have a super-natural power.

Suzy on the other hand, would be perfectly content if she had to walk 5 miles, take a train with three transfers, and then hop on a bus to where ever she pleases to go. She's a happy, confident little traveler.

Round 1: Preparing to leave Mikes place.
I am in my little "panic" mode. "I'm not taking my big bag home Mike, it's too much to carry. It's gonna slow me down. And, I'll just leave my camera here too cuz I don't wanna carry it". I slip my laptop and makeup case into one of those new eco-friendly cloth grocery bags. I cram my purse into the bag too.

Meanwhile Suzy is sitting on a kitchen stool bundled up and ready to fly. I look up and see my camera bag strapped to her shoulder. She's got a green striped cloth bag loaded with all kinds of shit AND a doggie bag (compliments of me). "Jeez Ma, we're only walking like 5 blocks...what's the big deal? I'll carry the camera for you. Just RELAX! "

So, I put on my coat, then my hat, then my boots ...it's cold in Chicago this time of year. "Where are my red gloves?" I can't find my gloves! Mike politely hands me an extra pair of his and I gladly take them. Suzy gets up from the stool and I ask her "Don't you have any gloves?" She responds, "Nope, I forgot 'em. I got pockets" and, she slips her hands into her pockets. Off we go. Suzy carrying a 10 pound bag, camera case, and leftovers. Me carrying one light bag.

Round two: The Trek to the Train
Out the door I am now in my "mad dash" mode. I do not want to miss the train! Head down and shoulders hunched, wind in my face, I'm taking quick short steps.

Suzy -
"Mom, we have plenty of time. We are not going to miss the train. It's only a short walk!"
Me - " I know, I know! I'm just cold! " walk, walk, walk, walk...hurry hurry hurry....
Suzy - " Uh -huh. Aren't you glad I decided to carry your camera. It's not heavy. "
Me - "Yea, thanks Suz. I don't know why I get so stressed out. I'm fine now." walk, walk, walk, walk...hurry hurry hurry....

I decide to make a mad-dash across a very busy city street and I make it to the icy meridian. I look to my left, no Suzy. I look to my right, no Suzy. I look behind me and there is Suzy. She yells to me ... "I'm not going to dodge cars and risk my life for no reason!" She gets the light and catches up to me. "Jesus mother, you're so funny! Just Relax! We've got plenty of time. " I squeeze my brows together, "I am relaxed. I'm just cold." walk, walk, walk, walk...hurry hurry hurry....

After our quick, brisk, frigid walk we finally make it to the train station. I'm sweating. "We only have to wait 16 minutes now for the train" says Suzy. I look up at her and say..."Did it only take us five minutes to get here?" Suzy rolls her eyes, laughs, "Yup". We grab a bench and wait the 16 minutes for our train to arrive. During that 16 minutes I call my son and remind him, that our train will be in at 9 pm. Lord knows, I don't want him to forget to pick us up. Suzy just stares up at me with her big green eyes, calm as a cucumber.

Final Round: On the Train
We settle into two comfy seats on the train. I'm sitting up straight as a board, in my "must stay alert mode". Bag on lap, tightly clenched and obviously very concerned. We have to transfer. I hate transfers. Where do we transfer? What if we miss our transfer? Suzy senses my concern and reassures me.

Suzy - "Mom, we transfer at 63rd street and the conductor will announce it. Really its not big deal, I do it all the time"
Me - "Are you sure it's 63rd?"
Suzy - "Yes, I am absolutely sure! I do this all the time" she giggles.
Me - "Okay"

A little idle chit-chat and then the conductor came to punch our tickets. As he was punching mine I asked "Sir, where do we transfer for South Chicago?" He responds, "63rd". Suzy looks at me in disbelief . "Good Lord Mother! I told you 63rd! " She did tell me 63rd and now so did the conductor.

Once we transfered I relaxed for the last stretch home. Suzy and I debated whether a red-wigged, 6'2" person wearing a long black overcoat and red baseball cap was a man or a woman. I said man, she said woman. She won the debate after pointing out the fur neckline on the coat. We laughed. Suzy also counted out and described every single pair of shoes that her brother's new dog destroyed. We laughed. We chatted about whether the new 150 pound pup is cute or not. He ate the new couch, had a paperplate stuck on his head after a romp in the garbage and his dried-up drool on the ottomon looks like some horny man was in the living room enjoying a healthy night of porn. I say - destructive, Suzy says - Cute. We laughed.

When the train pulled up, my son Eddie was there to pick us up. On the car ride home, Suzy and I chatted away. Not once did she mention my horrible traveling antics. Not once. Finally home, as Suz got out of the car, she peeked her head back inside, smiled wide and said...."Goodnight momma, I love you."

God, I love her too!


Anonymous said...

Wow, you are my train anxiety twin! I am terrified of taking the train for the exact same reasons...what if I miss it, get on the wrong train, miss the transfer?! How will I get home?! LOL. Hence the reason I continue to drive every day! I need to pratice taking the train with Suzy!

Anonymous said...

And thats why I love both of you :)