Thursday, August 21, 2014

Out and About

La Calisto, Cincinnati Opera

Dear George,
Though it’s still hot and muggy here, summer is gradually winding down.  Classes at the university start on Monday, first grade has already begun for our NOLA grandkids, and the NFL season and the US Open will be upon us before we know it.  The mid-summer highlights for us involved Cincinnati’s opera season.  Katja is an officer in the Opera Guild, the Cincinnati Opera’s fund-raising arm, and so she was immersed in a batch of activities and events, some of which she cajoled me into attending as well.  Her favorite opera this year was La Calisto; I liked Madame Butterfly best.  We both also enjoyed Carmen and Silent Night (set in a combat zone in France during World War I).  Katja, of course, is much more of an opera buff than I am, though, after forty years of accompanying her, I’ve become more and more appreciative.

The big August event for us was Cincinnati’s Western & Southern Open tennis tournament.  I’ve been going to it since it was a much smaller pro tournament in the late 1960’s.  Now it’s one of the top ten tournaments in the world, and it draws all of the leading men and women players, e.g., Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Serena and Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova.  Thanks to tickets from our friends Paula and Frank, we went to two evening sessions.  We were thrilled to watch Milos Raonic, seeded fifth and looking like a graphic novel superhero to me.  Federer, however, beat him in straight sets and went on to win the tournament for the sixth time.  Serena Williams won on the women’s side, her first Cincinnati title and one of the few majors that she hadn’t won over the years.  

A couple of days later I took our sheepdog Duffy on a short camping trip to nearby Winton Woods, while his brother Mike stayed home with Katja.  What a change – from big crowds and high stimulation to peace and tranquility.  The campground is spread out in a large stand of tall, elegant pines, and our campsite was right at the edge of the lake.  Duffy was an excellent companion.  

We’re looking forward to Autumn.  We’ll watch a lot of the US Open and cheer for the Bengals, Saints, and Packers.  Katja is flying to California for her nephew Tyler’s wedding.  I think I may have talked her into a camping road trip with the sheepdogs at some point after that.  We’ll get the catalog for OLLI classes at the university soon. All in all, life is looking good.

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