Monday, August 27, 2018

Chicago days

Morning Walk

Early in the morning, I leave my Airbnb apartment and walk the mile to the young family's home.

Not too far from where they live, there is a bar that is immensely popular at night. I'm told that the reason for its cool status is that it appears regularly in a TV show. People are drawn to see the real deal. Maybe to get a beer, maybe to feel for a moment that they're part of the story.

Next to the bar, there is a house and as best as I can figure out, at least two, possibly three guys, all right about my age, live there. I see them every time I walk to be with Primrose, because at least one of them is always leaning on the gate, chatting to those who pass by. All day long, people stop to talk.


There is something very old fashioned and old world about this. I keep telling myself that one of these days I'll have to stop and find out more about these irrepressibly friendly people. But not today. Today, I don't want to be late for my early morning date with Primrose.

How Quickly They Grow

It seems I was just here with the little one! Not even four weeks have passed since my last Chicago adventure. But of course, Primrose was then four month old, whereas now, she is just about five.


She is at that point where you half think she is ready to get up and walk away. After all, she can keep herself straight and upright! (I catch myself doing that thing you do with babies: always looking ahead toward the next stage.)


Primrose is starting to develop preferences. You can coax, you can shuffle things around and confuse her into thinking she is doing what she wants. She does have opinions though and it's delightful to navigate the day listening to her assertions and proclamations.

(An important desire: "I want to eat my toes!")



It is our habit to go out exploring after her morning nap. As before, she is a spirited and eager adventurer.


Our first destination is a place called Local Foods. It's tucked inbetween warehouses, foundries and metal shops -- not exactly on anyone's strolling path. But it's worth the rather uninteresting walk. Just about all the foods are sourced from the Midwest. Not a few number of items are, of course, from Wisconsin.

It's a lovely and colorful place to explore. I stock up on foods for my Chicago suppers! Primrose? Well, she likes my enthusiasm. Here I am in the midst of a rhapsody about peaches.


May I have an ice cream cone?

Our next adventuring destination is in a completely opposite direction. It's a bit of a walk, but we're game! I've heard a lot of good things about it: Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream.

Once there, it takes me forever to pick a flavor. I sample at least three or four and finally settle on goat cheese and cherries. (The flavors are very creative!)

And I also take the time to entertain myself. I have found that with babies, you really do have to think of ways to make the whole enterprise of caring for them fun for you (as well as for the little one). When they're older, drawing with them, telling stories, reading books, building spaceships or castles  -- all these things are such great fun! But an infant is a bigger challenge.

Going for walks? For me, that's definitely fun! And additionally -- I love including the young one in my camera play. Taking an interesting picture of a baby is hard. But the whole process can be very very entertaining. Here are four pictures in a series of selfies (timed release) that I would call "I want that ice cream cone!"





"Looks so delicious..."


"Well, at least I get to touch it."


Evening in Chicago

The young couple is putting in a longer day at work. My sweet babe is in that mood that every parent must love: call it the "I am not going to be easily satisfied" evening state of mind. We run through her usual beloved toys quickly. No? Not tonight? How about sunglasses?!


But a grandma worth her beans always has tricks up her sleeve. Primrose, would you like to go to the park?

Primrose finds her chill moment in the nearby park swings. Snowdrop, the swinger of all swingers, would have been impressed!


And now her parents are here and all is right with the world!


Check mail, hear her stories, take charge of her care. Some time they'll eat dinner, but it wont be for awhile.


I'll see you tomorrow, Primrose!

The evening sun descends. neighbors sit on a bench by their homes talking, sipping wine. Someone rides a skateboard.


The last days of summer in the city. Brittle leaves, fading gardens, warm evenings, lovely memories.