Category Archives: Friendship Program

Friendship dancing and air boating


Last week, Vivian helped carry on a tradition that’s been going on longer than I’ve even known her: swing dancing at Friendship Program! Yes, a few stray Lindy Hoppers and member of the Jitterbug “performance team” dropped by to demonstrate their fancy footwork to the good folks up on Maple Street during a lunch break. Most people had to wander back to work (aka “real life”), though Dan Wondra, Linsday and I got to stay until the very end with Vivian, kicking up our feet for Charleston or whatever else we could come up with before the music ended.

Then on Saturday, the Johnson Family spent a little more time taking advantage of the Best Summer Weather Ever down on the Platte River with some friends and co-workers from the Pope Paul VI Institute. The whole event was held at a complex of “cabins” and beautiful landscaping owned by the Labedz family, which was open to any member of the family, a few of which we happened to know. The lot of us had chicken and ice cream hanging out on the patio, and then Mr. Labedz dad broke out the air boat to roar a couple of us up and down the river. There’s nothing quite like being able to shoot right over a shallow sandbar when you’re used to scraping over it with a canoe. Hannah, of course, just had fun running around outside and playing with other kiddos before crashing in our car on the way home.

Go home, weather. You’re drunk.

“Go home, weather. You’re drunk.” That seems to be the theme of 2013 thus far, and a kind of running joke that doesn’t seem to know when to quit. (Can you believe that Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring this year?)


On Saturday, Vivian and I decided to help Tamra move into her new condominium in Bellevue as a way of saying “Welcome to the neighborhood.” A bunch of our mutual friends showed up to help with the move, and I had the strangest sense of déjà vu, having moved Tamra less than a year earlier. Her new place is within walking distance of legendary burger joint, Stella’s (where I haven’t shown my face since being humiliated by a pile of meat in 2011). Ryan was kind enough to grill a pile of burgers and save us the trip, however. As far as I know, nobody ate them on a napkin. Hannah seemed to enjoy toddling about Tamra’s new backyard, and she even got her have her first faceful of watermelon.


A few days later, I took Hannah to her very first trip to the dentist, which was a slightly traumatic experience. Her teeth were just fine, but she absolutely did not like having strangers poking around in the there and spreading foaming fluoride all over the place. I took her up to spend some quality time with mommy during her lunch break at Friendship Program afterward. We went out to Benson Park, where Hannah got to chase a few geese and play on the swings while the weather was still “sober.” Of course, we had to bring her back to work afterward to say hello to Vivian’s co-workers and friends (and play with a few balls).

The next day it freaking snowed. And by freaking, I mean the freakish freak snow to hit the area in many a decade. Our tulips were fortunate enough to survive the few inches of snow we got by shutting themselves in self-defense. Still, there’s nothing quite as surreal as seeing snow on the ground in early May — especially since Hannah was swinging in our backyard just a day or two earlier before it got covered in snow. It was all vaporized by that afternoon.

Next stop: Cinco de “What month is this again?”