Friday night I went into the office to cover sports games and got the first call. I was still expecting to be there until at least 1 a.m. since it was the first Friday night football game of the season.
However, at 11:30 p.m. the sports editor told me my story was edited and I could go home because there were enough people there to cover the last two games that needed to come in. I threw my two thumbs up in the air like Phil Robertson and happy, happy, happily made my way out the door.
I was so excited for the weekend and so exuberant that I got off work early, I wanted to call someone and share my joy. There wasn't really anyone to call at that point, so I directed my joy heavenward because I knew that God would appreciate my joy just as much as I did.
"Thank you Lord for everything" was pretty much what my prayer boiled down to.
Saturday, Aug. 31, started off sleepily. I got up when Nate got home from work at 7 a.m. and then cut his hair. We packed everything up and were on the road by 9:30 a.m., although we realized we didn't see Novie inside and drove back home to check that she hadn't escaped the house while we were packing - she hadn't.
We drove to OC to say good-bye to Jack at his funeral. I told Nate I felt a little guilty being so happy about the weekend when it started off with a funeral, but honestly, I think Jack would want me to be happy on this special anniversary.
Since he hadn't slept the night before I drove us to Minneapolis while Nate took a nap in the car. We pulled up to the hotel and unloaded the car, the valets looking on as we unloaded what appeared to be our house - including a bag of food and a cooler, because we were trying to save eating out costs. Nate lost the valet ticket almost immediately so I had to go ask for another one, and we just laughed later at how out-of-place we felt.
"I think the small town conversion is complete," I told Nate.
He took another nap while I curled my hair and we headed out to the Dakota Jazz Club to see Janika Magness. The people at the will call table offered to upgrade us, and we accepted. We followed the maitre de to a spot near the stage, and to give us "privacy" from the foursome next to us she pulled our table literally an inch away from theirs. There was another two-person table an inch away on the other side.
That wasn't exactly the privacy we had envisioned for the evening.
Nate went back to the will call table, and they gave us our original table back with a worse view on the balcony but so much more privacy.
Someone sent us two glasses of champagne in honor of our anniversary, and Nate and I decided to just chat until it was closer to concert time when we would order our main courses. It was more than an hour before the show started, and then all of a sudden we realized we had been chatting even longer than we meant to.
We picked our entrees and then listened as Magness' band warmed up. They jammed until the leopard-print clad Magness joined them on stage, her soulful voice booming out.
We ate and listened and ate some free dessert that appeared at our table and finally the concert was over and it was time to leave.
All I can say is, perfection. It was an absolutely perfect night and the perfect way to start our first anniversary weekend.
Next up: Part III: The races!