Lili – May 30, 2017

I can’t believe summer is just around the corner! How time flies, or “tiden flyver,” as they say in the homeland. Yesterday, it was Memorial Day, and before you know it, it will be the Fourth of July. But this year, there’s something very special in between: The Tivoli Gardens and Casino Night on June 24, 2:00-10:00 p.m., three days into summer. I’m looking for some summer fun for the whole family, and this is just the ticket!

Since meeting the other Hope Chest writers (Mia, Ingrid, Ella and Liam, also descendants of Danish Home founders) at a planning meeting back in March for The Danish Home’s 125th Anniversary Celebration, I’ve been super busy helping with all the festivities. It seems that no sooner has one event passed, we’re on to the next. In addition to helping the committee offer some great attractions, I’m also doing a little social media. I love Facebook, so please like us at The Danish Home of Chicago.

On June 24, the beautiful grounds of The Danish Home will be transformed to look like the famed Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, with games, rides, live entertainment, and more. Speaking of “more,” there are two events after June 24 in celebration of The Danish Home’s 125th anniversary as well, so check them out, too!

Back to the Tivoli Gardens and Casino Night – yes, my whole family is coming with me…my husband, Brad, my daughters, Anna and Olivia, and my mom, Ingrid. At least I thought they were. “Sorry, mom, I can’t make it; I’m babysitting,” said Olivia, my 17-year-old. “But your mom has been working on this for months,” said Brad. “You’ve known about it for ages.”

The lovely Danish Home grounds make make the make for the perfect location for our Tivoli Gardens event on June 24.

The lovely Danish Home grounds make the perfect setting for our Tivoli Gardens event on June 24.

“Yes, but Mrs. O’Leary was desperate. Her mom is in the hospital and she’s running backwards and forwards to see her,” Olivia replied. “I told her I’d look after Meghan for the afternoon.”

If there’s one thing Olivia has inherited from me (and my two times great-grandmother, Margrethe Olsen), it’s our compassion; although I had to admit I was a little disappointed. It was my other daughter, Anna, who came up with the solution. “Why don’t we take Meghan with?” she said. “How old is she, nine? There’ll be plenty at the event to keep her busy.”

Anna knew exactly what we’d been planning, so she knew all about the children’s games, ice cream, carousel, face painting and Lego tent. “That’s a great idea!” Olivia agreed. “I’ll check with Mrs. O’Leary, but I’m sure she’ll be fine with it.

“She won’t even have to pay to get in; it’s all free, except for the casino games,” I said. “I’m sure your dad will cover her in our donation.”

The next day I had a call from Mor. “Lili, I have a conflict with the Tivoli Gardens event,” she said. “Whatever is it? This has been on your calendar for months. I should know, I put it there myself!” I protested. My mother is one of the few people I know who still uses a paper calendar, but it does make it very easy for me to add things. For a woman who lives alone, I admit she has quite the social life.

Tivoli Gardens and Casino Night on June 24 promises fun for the whole family!

Tivoli Gardens and Casino Night on June 24 promises summer fun for the whole family!

“Olga and the girls want to go to the Rivers casino for Jenny’s birthday that evening,” she said. “She got quite upset when she heard I couldn’t come.”

“But, Mor, did you forget there’s a casino night, too?” I asked. “It starts at 6:00 p.m. Bring your friends! In fact, why not bring them along in the afternoon, too?”

So, for now, it appears our little group of five has grown to 12, unless anyone else would like to join us…