1. Allergies besieged the Deke, starting a couple of days ago, and today she took full advantage of being away from home, in a quiet room at the Hampton Inn in East Lansing, and slept most of the day in preparation for celebrating Phyllis's 90th birthday. I took advantage of the situation in my own way and sat in a comfortable chair in our room, put my feet up, and continued reading Unbroken, by turns a most absorbing and disturbing book.
2. Around noon or so, I strolled over to a Chinese take out place called Ingcredible and ordered some chicken fried rice, pepper steak and white rice, and shrimp lo mein noodles and brought the order back to the room for me and the Deke to split. The food wasn't great, but it didn't need to be. We just needed something uncomplicated to eat in our room while the Deke continued to treat her burning eyes and fend off the allergy attack.
3. Around six, we loaded ourselves up in the Kia Soul and blasted over to the University Club of Michigan State University where the Chirico family had rented a ballroom to host the nearly 100 people who attended their mother's 90th birthday celebration. Phyllis is the Deke's stepmother. She was the Deke's dad's second wife and Phyllis and the Deke have remained close and good friends over the years since the Deke's dad's died about 25 years ago. The celebration featured an hour of mingling with drinks, some introductory remarks about Phyllis as we got seated, a dinner, and then post-dinner entertainment, including Phyllis, a longtime veteran of the theater, singing a couple of tunes. The evening ended with family pictures while a DJ played a variety of music that spanned the length of Phyllis's life and many people danced. It was an intense night -- in a good way. The Deke got to visit with her step-siblings and catch up with their young adult kids. Joy filled the room and throughout the entire evening, Phyllis beamed.