Saturday, July 13, 2019

Saturday: from Chicago to the farmette

Some people are better teachers than others. Too, you could say that you're willing to open yourself up to learning from some and not so much from others. For me, Ed offers a wealth of learning, just by virtue of the fact that we are so different! It's not that I always incorporate his method, but I'm always considering it. Every day.

Then there are my kids and their families. Every time I spend days with them, I learn so much! Oh, there's the small stuff: music, style, trends -- they are my enlighteners! But, too, as they embark on a life course -- one that picks up elements from their own histories and enriches it with their unique take on things -- I am awed at how deliberate and beautiful it all is.

I resist asking sometimes -- why did you choose this (their take) over that (my take), even though at times times I'm curious. I know there isn't a good answer. Their lives have taught them to do stuff their way. And in any case, the results are magnificent. Yes, I am super proud of my kids! (And I'm sure you are too: parental pride is not an exclusive club!) So much love pulsating in their homes, so much hard work and goodness! And fun. Don't ever forget about the fun. A happy life is a balanced affair.

These are my thoughts as I ride the bus back home from Chicago this afternoon.

It had been a lovely morning: my daughter hung out with Primrose and me...


... I fixed fruit and yogurt bowls for the three of us,


... with Primrose's indomitable spirit and assistance.


Mini breakfast on the little balcony, looking one way, with Primrose on one lap...


... then the other.


Because the little girl has recently (mostly) dropped her morning nap, we eat an early brunch at Cellar Door Provisions. I don't think I've ever eaten a brunch with the young family in Chicago that I didn't like, but in many ways this one is especially good. The team of young cooks and servers works together to bring local foods, herbs, and clever ideas to your table. Their quiche has developed somewhat of a cult following and pretty early in the day they run out of it. Why not make more? To encourage you to eat other stuff and because, well, it's too boring to just make endless quiches all morning long! (If you're a foodie, you will enjoy reading the Bon Appetit article about this place here.)

(on our way...)


As early diners, we are there in time for the quiche, though we do also eat their baked goods. Primrose goes nuts over their croissant. She has refined croissant taste. It truly is excellent!


Not quite ready to part ways yet, we walk afterwards over to the Logan Square neighborhood toy store.

Madison's independent toy shops have closed and I'm not terribly sorry because they were only modestly good, so being in one that has a lot of exciting stuff packed in a small space is grand. Primrose would agree.


Still continuing our stroll, we end up at a coffee shop -- the Passion House Coffee Roasters. I begin mouthing my coffee shop usual request -- cappuccino -- but my daughter asks for the needle something or other white iced tea and I am intrigued. It's a little fizzy, very subtle and absolutely delicious! (Primrose, perhaps recalling the cup and straw I gave her yesterday at Floriole, is not happy that she isn't given the opportunity to sip some and so she and mom go for a little walk...)


In the scheme of things, it's a small deal. Iced tea. Still, it's one more tidbit, an addition to everything else that my kids offer me. Oh, they will never have the experiences that I have had, as in immigrant, a newcommer here, trying to figure out what to do with my life on this side of the ocean. They surely had at least the contours of a vision early on. And now, as they fulfill it, I get to follow along, reveling in their young discoveries.

The bus pulls in, I hop into my car and go straight to the grocery store to do the week's shopping. At the checkout counter, a store clerk says to me -- excuse me, if it's a style choice, then I don't mean to butt in, but just in case it isn't, two of the buttons on the back of your shirt are unbuttoned. I laugh at that, recalling the same comment in Wales, only tonight, I wasn't called "lovie."

 By evening, I'm home.

How has everything? -- I ask Ed.
Quiet -- he responds. I smile at this most Ed-like answer and turn to the yard, to snip spent day lilies. 350 spent lilies later, I go inside and start in on supper.