Tuesday, August 02, 2011

returning home

Leaving Chicago. During morning rush hour.

Does anyone ever just sit there and take in the world? Or are we all hell bent on reading the latest text, twitter or email the minute it gets posted?


We are engaged in our own bubble. I say this as I put those pods in my own ears and spend the next three hours listening to songs that have nothing to do with where I am and where I’m going.

So now I am home. Hi, Wisconsin.

In the late afternoon, I meet my good good friend (and for a fleeting second, her daughter) at a new place in town (or at least new for me). I can absorbe the joy of living in a small(er) town. The d├ęcor is homey.


They still take the time to decorate the lattes.


And the news crew is on the premises, collecting opinions as to whether we should have a study done on whether to make a one way street into a two way street.


I think about my two great friends from student law school days. We all have daughters. Who are in many ways so different. Yet, they, all four of them, have this in common – a passion for superb, fresh and honest food.

Odd, in a sweet, sweet sort of way.


Happy 30th birthday, little one.

A sizzling, muggy day in the city. What I can’t understand is why my daughters chose such extremes for their birth days: one picking the coldest day of the century for coming into this world, the other – an intense heat wave.

It’s a good thing that I get a kick out of extremes. [Yes, Ed, that means I am also amused by your dedication to the idea that an old ripped t-shirt constitutes suitable apparel, and I find a car – my own – with a masking tape for a fender to be kind of cool.]

The kind of day where half the city likes to head for the beach. If there is a beach. Chicago has a beach and a bus that’ll take you there. It's one crowded bus today, picking up half scantly clad young bodies at it rolls east.



My younger girl has a full work day and my older girl is spending the morning hours with her dad. This gives me a good bit of time to write and I do this in an old coffee shop and bakery with a proprietor whose name is Elzbieta. The Polish language in Chicago is still ever present.

In the early afternoon, I make my way to the south of the Loop.

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Since it is my older girl's day,  I tell her she can pick and choose our afternoon and evening itinerary.

She chooses whales.

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She’s an avid museum goer, especially if there’s an educational exhibit, preferably about history or about animals.

And so we cool off by studying skeletal structures and annotated photographs of whales.

It is a very refreshing way to spend a day that sizzles.

We do challenge ourselves to a hike across town and we make our way from the south of Chicago to the north, way north, past the Loop, the Golden Mile, all the way to the Rush Street area. It’s warm enough that I do not even mind a cooling moment (with a blueberry smoothie -- gotta love those blueberries!) at a mall.

I look up and see my girl coming down the escalator and I think -- life is so good when your kids are happy.

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And now, onto the Purple Pig where the two of us wait for the little one to join us for delicious small nibbles accompanied by a cooling Prossecco.

Finally, a birthday hug.

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Evening’s young. Time to join the rest of family and friends, up in Andersonville at the Italian favorite, Anteprima.


One more photo. It's her day and so I pepper the post with her photos. But it's my day too, and so the last is of the two of us.


After, riding the bus back to my littler one’s apartment, I listen to ipod music and I lean on the shoulder of my daughter and I think how deliciously wonderful it is to have these interesting kids, adult kids, good and kind souls who don’t mind having a mom occasionally lean on them, with white ipod wires dangling from her ears.