Last night’s fantastic surprise at Billy’s Bar & Grill!…

Tom and his long-time friend Tommy, whom he worked with for 42 years on the railroad. Tommy, a long-time reader of our posts, saw in yesterday’s post that we’d be at Billy’s and decided to stop by and see us! What a wonderful surprise!

It felt good to get out again after being sick for over a week. We made the 45-minute drive in traffic to Billy’s Bar & Grill in Anoka and were delighted to see some of Tom’s siblings and nieces once again. Sisters Margie, Colleen, Mary (and BIL Eugene), and Patty attended, as did nieces Jean and Kathy.

Happy hour began at 3:30, and we could all take advantage of special pricing on drinks. Since I hadn’t had a drink in two weeks, I ordered a small serving of Cabernet Sauvignon and an unsweetened iced tea to sip back and forth between the two. As it turned out, I had several glasses of tea (free refills), and the wine lasted the entire time.

Shortly after our beverages arrived, I noticed a man come up behind Tom and began massaging his shoulders. I didn’t recognize him for a second, but after another moment, I knew who it was and was delighted to see Tom’s (our) old friend Tommy, whom we hadn’t seen in several years.

Over the years of our world travels, both Toms have stayed in touch, but often, he and his dear wife Carrie were in Arizona, where they spend part of each winter to escape Minnesota’s cold and snowy climate, as is the case for many Minnesotans. The winter travelers are often referred to as “snowbirds.”

Tom, Tommy, and BIL Eugene had a lively conversation. As you can see, Tom used his hands to talk, which always made me smile.

Moments after he and Tom exchanged warm greetings, Tommy meandered his way over to the opposite side of the large round table where I was seated, and he and I chatted for quite a while. I knew Tom was choppin’ at the bit to talk to him, so finally, I encouraged him to return to the other side of the table. Tom pulled up a chair for him, and the lively and animated conversations began.

As shown in the above photo, Tom was so happy to see him. His hands were talking, and so was his voice, a habit I find adorable. I can almost tell what he’s talking about by watching his hands, although they do not resemble sign language. I couldn’t tell what they were talking about from my place at the table, but I could tell they were having a great time.

The evening flew by in a blur, and after we said our goodbyes to Tommy, we engaged with the family, and before too long, we were on our way back to the hotel, arriving by about 8:00 pm. We settled in for the night, streamed a few shows, and headed to bed by 11:00 pm.

It was a fitful night, but we’re doing well. Tom left a while ago to swap out the rental car for another and will return shortly. At 2:00 pm, we’ll drive less than a mile to Cub Food to pick up our week’s groceries from an order I placed this morning. I will make a beef stir fry tomorrow, enough to last a few nights.

Today at 4:40, we’ll drive to Chanhassen to meet Peggy and Maury for dinner at Houlihans, which has an excellent menu suitable for my way of eating. It will be another good day.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, June 29, 2014:

This is a view of the living room in the house we booked for Australia in the coming months. For more photos, please click here.