Remember that children's book? I used to love to read it to my kids when they were little. Lately, that's what I feel like as I'm going back and forth between Chicago and the suburbs a couple of times a week. I love the city and even though it takes up a lot of my precious quilting time, I am thoroughly enjoying visiting while my daughter undergoes her Physical Therapy routine and Dr appts. Today is not going to be fun however--the parade and rally for the Chicago Blackhawks (Stanley Cup champs) is scheduled for late morning. That means several hours sitting in traffic as hordes of hockey fans descend upon the city . . . Go Hawks?
It's fun wandering around, maybe because I don't have to live there anymore--I'm like a tourist in my own city. And I won't deny that there are a lot of scummy parts of Chicago, but there's also so much good. I found this cute little park across from the Newberry Library last week. A little knock-off of Central Park in NYC. Never even knew it existed.
I grew up in Chicago and after I had a job I got a small apartment a few blocks away from the lake. Chicago has an amazing lakefront and I always loved living there. My husband was from the suburbs and hated the city while we were dating--No parking! Noisy! Dirty! Crowded!--and when we got married and my job moved out to the suburbs we moved away too. I missed the lakefront but I was ready for a change.
When I lived there, I remember I couldn't stand the noise, the dirt, the crowds and the traffic myself sometimes and longed for a place with a garden and somewhere to stretch out a bit. Talk about stretching out . . . if I'd known I was going to become a quilter one day I would have bought a house with a few more rooms . . .
My peonies before they got ruined by the recent storms.
Now that I have my little house in the suburbs (with a large yard that keeps begging for lots of my time to turn it into a real garden. Be careful what you wish for . . . ) I really miss the "energy" of the city. My son says that after college he's going to get an apartment there and my daughter wants to live there too eventually. Hope they'll both get decent jobs cuz I'm not paying their rent . . .
This is one of my favorite churches downtown, a beautiful old gothic nestled amidst the skyscrapers.
I always wanted to be married in this church, but by the time that happened, I was living somewhere else. THAT church had scaffolding up during our ceremony because 1 week earlier they decided that the chapel walls needed PAINTING and neglected to inform us until the rehearsal the night before! And they wouldn't take the scaffolding down just for us so the photographer had to work around it, LOL. I can laugh about it now.
My husband recently said "Wouldn't it be cool to sell the house when we retire and live in different areas of the country for a year at time?" I said "You mean like in an RV?" I don't know . . . Can I get cable TV in an RV?? Can I even take a bath in an RV? How would I quilt while the thing was moving? Maybe that's not what he meant but somehow I'm guessing living in a condo in the city may not be what he meant either.
At a business dinner for his company last year we talked to a couple who sold their house in the suburbs and bought a condominium in a high-rise building downtown to be closer to their grown kids. They were having the time of their lives going to museums and shows, dining at good restaurants, enjoying the lakefront and the freedom from home maintenance. I think if I could afford it I'd like to try that someday too. Just for a year though, because I know this city mouse would yearn for a little green space eventually.