The Christmas season is here in full swing this week, and Vivian and I have had some extra time to catch up with friends and family. On Wednesday, I went out to Old Chicago with Mike and Bekah, friends of mine since I first moved to Lincoln, and we got to eat pizza and watch their cute kids Drew and Alexa clowning around while we waited for our food.
On Friday, Jenny and Hugh, and Sarah and Ben joined us for Chinese Food at King Fong’s, allegedly the oldest Chinese restaurant in Omaha and located in a fairly stylish old building on 16th street. Their decor looks much the same as it did back in the 1920s, though they didn’t take either checks or credit cards, which made it necessary for me to make an emergency hike down to the ATM.
On Friday night, the Omaha Jitterbugs had their big Christmas dance down at the Eagle’s Lodge. We got live music courtesy of the Prairie Cats, and they called audience members up on stage to help with the percussion a few times. Vivian, Micah, and Sarah got to play some little egg shakers as “Big Daddy K” Jeff Koterba (who you may also know as the editorial cartoonist for the Omaha World-Herald) lead the band in some swinging tunes for the rest of us to dance.
Toward the end of the night, we had a spontaneous jam circle, and I got to perform in the middle of it with “Little Debbie.” We did an aerial that we had learned at cowtown, and I was so nervous rushing into the middle of it that I almost didn’t get her over my shoulder. The whole crowd let our a spontaneous “ooooh” as it looked like she might not make it, but I got her up there and marched out of the circle with no need to call an ambulance.
On Saturday, we had our last Lindy in the Mall of 2007. I did a little extra Christmas shopping in the morning, heading over to the Disney Store at Oak View to get Vivian a plush Tigger. She’d been wanting one all year. We had a late start, giving me a chance to buy Vivian’s roommate Jenny a pocket bible for her purse. Then, we danced a couple hours together. I had the chance to show Debbie’s grandparents the arial I showed everyone at the Eagle’s Lodge on Friday. Afterwards, Vivian and I did a little last-minute Christmas shopping before heading on.
December 23 is the one-year anniversary of our first date, so Vivian and I went to celebrate down at the restaurant we had first eaten at, the French Cafe. It’s a very classy place, and a couple waiters managed to get off the fire alarm with an elaborate demonstration of how to make Bananas Foster. Viv and I took a chilly walk around the Old Market and the Gene Leahy Mall, snacking on fudge from a little candy shop just as we did on that first date one year ago.
I had just one more surprise for Vivian before the night was over. I had spent the last couple of months putting together a special present for her: a music video showcasing little video clips and highlights of our year together. She has been such a wonderful part of my life over the last year that I just had to put together a few of our best memories into a little video that showed how much she means to me.
(The song is Something Beautiful by the Newsboys.)