Thursday, June 30, 2011
Timbers Game/ Kathy's B-Day Weekend
Kathy has learned to expect the unexpected whenever a birthday, wedding anniversary, or random date night comes around. Her birthday this past weekend was no exception, although I have toned it down a bit over the years.
I always try my best to pepper Kathy’s birthday week with little gifts, surprises, and unexpected diversions.
The only thing that my wife actually requested this year was a birthday dinner at La Hacienda Real. I made sure to work that one in among my usual birthday “schemes.” Many, but not all, of my surprise ideas worked out as planned, and I was able to pull off the big finale: mid-field seats to the sold out soccer match-up between the Portland Timbers and the New York Red Bulls!
Kathy assumed that I was done with her birthday surprises/gifts on Saturday, her actual birthday. After church on Sunday, we drove down to her parents’ house in Salem for what appeared to be a relaxed lunch and gift opening party. She may have found it a little strange that I was rushing to get back on the road afterwards (I had made previous arrangements with her parents, who were in on the whole thing).
I tried to play it cool once we got to downtown Portland. We ducked into a crowded coffee shop, listened to a jazz band that was jamming on stage at Pioneer Courthouse Square, and finally grabbed dinner at a Mexican diner en route to Jeld-Wen Stadium. Kathy grew suspicious as the green war painted faces of the Timbers Army fans began to surround us as we walked towards the stadium.
I finally came clean when I realized that the gig was up.
Despite the Timbers 3-2 lead near the end of regulation, we ultimately got saddled with a 3-3 tie when an inexplicable Portland handball led to a game-ending penalty kick by New York during stoppage time. It was a great matchup, though, keeping the Timbers Army on their feet and inspiring deafening cheers right until the very end.
I’m hoping that this was yet another birthday weekend to remember.