Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Tuesday in Chicago

If you take the 4 a.m. bus from Madison to Chicago, you'll ride with those who want to catch an early flight out of the Midwest. Most people are alert and focused on the trip ahead of them. Me, I take the time to reflect. For many years, before fares came down for travel out of Madison, all my flights to Europe where out of Chicago. Riding the bus to the airport was fine -- so much excitement, especially when the kids were traveling too! Coming back was another story. The ride seemed never ending.

These days, it's always a comfortable three hours for me. On a bus, I can do nothing but rest, read, listen to music. You can't find fault with any of that!

We pull into the city just as the morning rush hour traffic intensifies. It's just past 7. As I ride the city-bound L train, I watch the commuters get on. They have that look of the everyday about them. Surfing phones, shaking off the wetness of the walk to the station, thinking perhaps about the jobs ahead of them. One tends to worry unnecessarily about small things. I remember those work years all too well!

The trains run every three minutes now and still, they are quite full. As always, I am envious of cities that have their public transportation functioning this efficiently. New York should take note (Chicago subways are heaven compared to those in NYC).

I get off and immediately side step into the Colombe Coffee Shop. I'll need several cappuccino mugs today to keep me going!


I am very lucky: Chicago is to have a morning of cold rain, but for my walk to my daughter's home, the steady rain diminishes to an occasional drip. Am I looking for blooming stuff? Indeed! Here's an ornamental fruit tree!


And a lilac! I have to smile: almost like home!


Primrose is in that inbetween land of wellness and sickness that most very young kids visit frequently in the cooler seasons. The goal, of course, is to get her rested and ready to resume normal activities. So we take it easy.


(The usual!)


When she naps, I eat my breakfast. Who says I never break out of my same old!


I glance outside: more rain, more cold. No one can call this spring "normal." Have we lost the predictability of the past? Or is it that by my age, you think you've seen it all and so you're surprised when what you get doesn't fit into your image of what should have been?

Primrose is by now on a diet of normal foods. She gives a thumbs up to the hummus, though she fails to see the benefit of dipping pita bread into it.


Kids with sniffles and whatnots never really stop playing and Primrose is no exception.


In the afternoon I coax her into a second nap. Rest is essential, little one!

And sure enough, Primrose's energies surge after a good snooze.

There's a lot of giggling...


And a lot of chasing...


And in the evening, she eats, she bathes, and her parents come home and all feels right with the world again.

Normally I would wrap the day up with some mention of the very sweet evening we, the adults, spend together, but you know, I'm feeling quite mellow and not a little sleepy. A glass of wine and a retreat to bed feels pretty good to me right now. Good night, cool spring! Good night young families everywhere! Good night moon that will surely come out tonight from behind all those clouds that have been with us far too long.