Monday, April 27, 2009

Home Again

I did spend time thinking, in the course of the last week, what life would be like if I hadn't left Chicago. What if staying there had been important enough to me 24 years ago, so that I had convinced Ken to come and join me there rather than packing up and joining him in Boston with barely a backwards glance? It was important to me then to leave for so many reasons, and I have no reason to wish away the good life that we have here.

Oh, but I do miss my city. It's a particular pleasure to be able to go back, to rediscover, to cherish a place in a way that I wouldn't have been able to had I stayed. I realized this trip for the first time that really I grew up in a very small town. My neighborhood, Rogers Park, was truly the best of both worlds; a little town of friends and neighbors within the big city. I had a chance to catch up with a handful of people last Friday night -- some of whom I have not seen for 35 years -- and it felt like being with family. We treasure our shared past of growing up near the beach, of knowing each other's families, of going to school together. Danny K. said that he's always willing to do anything for someone from Rogers Park, and I understand exactly what he means. We are connected. Times have changed, the old neighborhood has changed (just a little), but we remain connected in our love of that place.
We packed so much into those few days! Family and friends (though not enough of either), museums, tourist attractions, bus rides, food.
Dean had been looking forward most of all to meeting Noah and Caleb, his cousin Nick's sons.
I've got tons more pictures to go through and post. It was a perfect, if too short, trip, and I think we're all pretty eager to make it again. Maybe I wouldn't love it this much if I had stayed; maybe I'd wish that I'd ventured out and tried something new. I content myself with the knowledge that I am of this place, that the Midwest shaped me in ways that New England can never change. And I still know my way around my city.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


A joyous Easter to you, or happy Sunday, happy Spring, happy Autumn; whatever it is about this day for you, I hope you have cause for happiness and reflection and chocolate.

We head out in a little while to meet Ken's parents, brother, etc., at a restaurant. I'm not fond of holiday meals taken at restaurants, and if you aren't already hip to this let me warn you -- ANY New England restaurant with the word "Publick" in it, or any other Colonial-esque spelling, should be avoided at all costs. I can just see the pewter mugs now. I know you can't tell from this that I am trying not to have a bad attitude, but I am.

We didn't let the lack of our own Easter stop us from coloring eggs, or straining our ears in the night to hear the Easter Bunny. Today the sun is shining, which is a vast improvement over yesterday's rain, rain, rain.

We did manage to get the season opener in, first thing in the morning, though. A valiant effort in cold, windy drizzle.

We'll get 'em next time. It's never a good sign when the opposing team has jerseys with their names on the backs....

Friday, April 10, 2009

Flashback Friday

Great Uncle Joe with his pet monkey. Really. 1945?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Kind of a list

Dean turned 11 yesterday. It's a simple enough thing on the surface; people celebrate birthdays everyday. But how monumental this passage of time is to me, I can barely begin to express.

My computer is struggling to keep afloat with all I've got loaded on it. It's making it hard to do much here, since every time I download photos from my camera I have to wonder if the old girl is going to be able to hang on. Ken promises me we can try to switch machines but there's so much backing up and saving and moving to be done first -- it's like moving house.

I feel very out-of-touch here. I need to get out to all of your blogs, to catch up with what's been happening with you, and figure out what it is that's been happening with me.

We go to Chicago for a few days mid-month, and I've got a list of things to do and people to see that would take a month. I just want to feel the way it feels to be there. Home.