My sister Laura and I were wandering around the streets of Chicago in summer – hot, sweaty and red-faced. We sought refuge in the cafe in the basement of the State building downtown, the one that looks like a giant silver beehive.

An obviously mentally ill woman came up and began talking to Laura. She was friendly, but speaking so rapidly and so close to my sister’s face that I could tell Laura was a bit taken aback.

“Do I scare you?” the woman demanded, sensing Laura’s discomfort.

“Um,” said Laura. I could see that she was frantically thinking of something polite to say. “No, no, it’s just that I’m a little discombobulated because it is so hot outside.”

“Well, that’s God for ya,” the woman said, and walked away.

“Well, that’s God for ya” became an instant classic in our vocabulary of sisterhood. Whenever anything was beyond our ken, that phrase capped the conversation. We used it for good things and bad, beautiful and ugly.

It always made us laugh and reminded us that, in this crazy world, the answer to so many questions is just “That’s God for ya.”