The original plan, hatched several months ago, was that we were going to give Randa a birthday to remember this year.
Back in May, I took advantage of my nepotistic appointment as an Honorary Kentucky Colonel to buy five tickets for Churchill Down’s Millionaire’s Row event for this past Saturday. Since I have a few kids still living in Kentucky, I figured at least three of them could join Randa and me for a fitting celebration for a woman who loves horses as much as she does. The kids were up for it, I was up for it and Randa was up for it. Problem was, the price of airline tickets was up for it, too.
I’d figured with such a long lead-time in my planning, we’d be able to score some roundtrip tickets for no more than a buck-fifty or so. Not so. Cheapest seats I could find on anything other than those that come with pre-paid funeral plans was going to be over three hundred dollars each. And then, there would be car rental, hotel bills and meals. I know that I’m a flint-hearted stingy tightwad of an old geezer but the idea of a thousand dollar weekend just wasn’t quite what I’d budgeted.
And so, in a cooperative event spanning over six hundred miles, Susan, her brother, Ben, and Ben’s girlfriend, Sara, celebrated Randa’s birthday at Churchill Downs on Saturday. Randa, her brother and his wife and I drove up to Nebraska City for lunch at Lied Lodge. The weather and the company were fine in both places and the colors were vivid. Good memories were made all around; it was, indeed, a birthday to remember.
When love is strong, hearts are warm and minds are kindred, we don’t have to be together to celebrate.