Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Leif's 29th Birthday - Manhattan, Kansas - January 28, 2004 - Age 29

It was bitter cold on Leif's 29th birthday. He hated that cold! It wasn't just uncomfortable and miserable, but for him it was a matter of life and breath. With the cold weather asthma he had developed, cold weather made it hard to breathe. The evening of his 29th birthday was one of those days. It was so cold we didn't go out anywhere. He came over all bundled up, with nothing but his eyes showing. He had on a big heavy jacket, and under that, another jacket, and under that a sweater. He had a stocking cap on and it was pulled down to meet the high collar of his jacket, so that only his eyes were showing. It reminded me of how I dressed when we lived at Fort Sheridan on the north side of Chicago and I had to go to work at the Civilian Personnel Office. I, too, used to have nothing but my eyes showing and they nicknamed me "Yukon Jerri." At that time, Leif made fun of me because I was a cold weather and snow wimp, but he had joined me before this birthday came around.

We got him something warm to drink (warm translating as a Scotch on the rocks, I think) and after he got warmed up he finally took off his hat, jacket and gloves and opened his birthday presents. Notice the change in size from the puffed up double jackets to the just the sweater.

I know he got this dagger, two new warm hats, a book of soldier humor, and also an insulated coffee mug for his car. By this time, he was working for Alltel and it was a long drive (long for Manhattan, Kansas, about 6 miles) out to their building past the Manhattan airport. He wanted to have a warm drink with him. I know there were other presents, but I can only remember those. He put both hats on at once, and if you look hard, you can see the tag on the top of the light blue one.

We had a nice evening together before he had to go back out in the cold and walk the block back to the 710 N. 9th Street house. Kansas is in the deep freeze for his birthday this year, too. He wouldn't miss that!

Leif was looking good in January 2004, and he was happy. He was in love. It was good to see him happy like that, but unfortunately, it was not to last. I don't remember why she wasn't with us that night. She may have been in the Philippines for her job at that time.

I treasure the memories of the good times. I'm glad he had some in his life.

Happy Birthday, Leif!

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