Every year Gary calls our friend, Allen, on his birthday so they can exchange birthday wishes -- Allen the 19th and Gary the 14th. We have such great memories of good times with Katie and Al in Coralville. Allen happens to be an ophthalmologist who was willing to dabble in prenatal care when he snuck me into the eye clinic one night to remove my Norplant because, by god, he and Katie had decided Gary and I needed to get going on this family business deal.
A great guy. With a GREAT wife. And three beautiful kids.
Allen used to do ER duty at my hometown hospital. One night I convinced my mom and dad to make creamed peas and salmon patties to take to Allen while he was on duty. Secretly. The plate of food showed up at the hospital and this nice Jewish boy could not believe someone had dared to befoul salmon in such a way as this. The rest of the small-town Iowa hospital staff was all "Oooo! Salmon patties!"
And then there was the time that Allen and Gary went on a canoe trip on the Upper Iowa River. Storm blew in. Long story short? All the wives had convinced themselves that men had drowned, but they in fact lived! If you want the gory details, call Gary. I don't even want to talk about it. I have really, really tried to block out a lot of the details about that particular canoe trip.
Bottom line? Allen? Great guy. If you ever need a guy to operate on your eyeballs or take out your Norplant, he's your man. Katie? Awesome lady who gave me a lot of early mom advice. Also, cheese fondue specialist! Hannah, Sophie, and Will? Adorable kids. What more do you want? We love you guys.