Hangin’ With Lloyd II: Alarums and Excursions

Oy. It wouldn’t be a few days with a friend without a minor household disaster and a few embarrassing D’oh! incidents that will get dragged out in conversation for years to come.

It was lovely. Lloyd was sitting at the kitchen table and I was browning a stuffed pork loin chatting about his magical experience watching snow fall in Glacier Park as he ate breakfast on the Empire Builder. He’d been inside the house for about ten minutes. Then we heard falling water, a torrent, a veritable Niagara of noise in the general area of the laundry room. Yup, two inches of water on the floor, in the litter box, on the furnace. It poured from the ceiling light fixture, which indicated that something very very bad was going on in the upstairs bathroom.Inexplicably, one of the washbasin faucets had popped off and water was being flung around the bathroom. I guess I’m glad the house has superior water pressure.

Of course it took Lou what seemed like hours to turn off the water because the knobs seemed welded to the pipes. Of course, he had to remove the door of the vanity. Lloyd and I spent the next fifteen minutes spreading towels on three rooms worth of flooring while Lou stemmed the flood from the faucet. It didn’t get properly repaired until after Lloyd left — no wiggling the hot water faucet lest you conjure another deluge. We brushed our teeth in the powder room. As I said, oy!

One day we got up,mistakenly,an hour earlier than we needed to in order to make a train to Chicago, and yes, we missed the train. Damn parking in downtown Wheaton.

On Michigan Avenue I was so mesmerized at the sight of a gentleman hailing me a cab (it’s been years, and Lloyd’s technique is excellent) that it took me awhile to realize that the folks yelling “Sir! Sir” were trying to get Lloyd’s attention. That horn honking behind us was the taxi  waiting at the curb. We felt like rubes. The taxi hailer told me:” That’s two things that would never happen in Manhattan. No one would have told us about the cab, and even if he had, someone would have nabbed it before we got there.”

And, oh yeah,I told the house guest that his laundry was probably dry. He went to fetch it only to tell me that I’d never moved them from the washer before I punched the dryer’s on button. I’m going to blame the scintillating dinner table conversation.

On to the excursions, in Cliff’s Notes format.

Millennium Park  never fails to push up my endorphin levels — the glittering embrace of the curves of The Bean, the people watching, the kids paddling barefoot in the fantastic fountain, the flowers, the breeze off Lake Michigan.

Here’s a picture of  half the fountain John took last November:

Chicago’s a free music town. Listening the a Mozart String Quintet and gazing upward at Tiffany’s largest dome at the Chicago Cultural Center is one of the best uses of an hour I can think of.

Choral Evensong at Saint James Cathedral (Episcopal) made me weep, crusty old atheist that I am — the words and music of my childhood.

The highlight of my Loop Architectural Tour is always the amazed expression on a friend’s face when I walk him into Frank Lloyd Wright’s lobby of the Burnhum and Root Rookery Building.

(From photos.net)

And as far as I’m concerned, Daley can be mayor for life because of the gazillion  or so tulips that transformed Michigan Avenue into a botanist’s fairyland.

Lloyd’s visit recharged some of my battery levels, and gave me enough material for a longish Alice Munro -style short story . I think I’ll call it Friend of my Youth. Thanks, Friend.



Filed under Born in Chicago, Free, HeeHee, Home, Music, Travel

2 responses to “Hangin’ With Lloyd II: Alarums and Excursions

  1. Lloyd

    All of these stories have been independently confirmed by our crack research and auditing staff.

    Margaret & Lou-

    As delightful visit as I’ve had with anyone in AGES!

    Thanks again, ever so,


  2. Maggie, Darlin’,

    Your composure is legendary, but your coolth on this occasion practically bespeaks ennui, martinis or shock—take your pick. I can see you now, a languid hand pointing, “Would you be so kind, Lloyd, as to reach several dozen towels from that linen closet? There’s a dear. Now spread them in a colorful pattern upon this freshet. Take your time—perhaps the ecru would be more suitable there than the taupe. No, no—I think I liked it better the way it was. Lovely. Pray continue.”

    There’s just something about REALLY anticipating a VERY special guest, and all the plans and lists and work and changing and sewing curtains go aglee in the poomph of a penny washer (though they haven’t been a penny since MY day).

    What a shame, and what a conversation piece—as they used to say, “You’ll dine out on that for simply Yeahhhs.”

    Bless you, My Dear. What a visit!

    And from what you’ve said of Lloyd, the story certainly won’t be “The Bore Came Over the Mountain.”

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