Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The places you will be from ...

I'm back. I've missed you. Here's a quick recap: I cleaned our house for a thousand (slight exaggeration) showings this summer and then packed up a thousand place settings of Fiestaware (again, slight exaggeration, but I do have an obsession), a thousand books (accurate), and everything else we own so that we could finally, finally move to one of Chicago's Western suburbs. We have been wishing and hoping and cleaning and dreaming and praying that we could make this move for two years now. We're here.
Yep, we're here. There's work to be done, but we look forward to doing it (or saving enough money to have it done--baby steps). We're happy. We're healthy. We have some more room (if one steps around the boxes, toys, and strewn packing materials) to breathe.
We are thankful for the past decade in Chicago, and we look forward to the next chapter.
All is well. The ending and the beginning.
I will miss our street in Lakeview, but not hanging out in the van during showings and not the heinous apartment building across the street (see far left).
I will miss this view, glimpsed from our pediatricians' office. Not everyone gets this view with their amoxicillin prescription, and I appreciated it.
I will also miss this view from the boys' Lil Sluggers class. Lake Shore Drive high rises in one direction and the lake shore itself in the other. I have great memories of long walks along the lakefront during my first two years in Chicago -- back when I woke up after 9:00 a.m. and still listened to my audiobooks on cassette tapes.
And how about those Lil Sluggers?
Even though our new community has a super sweet, well-stocked, fresh-smelling, beautiful library, I will miss my "home" branches of the Chicago Public Library. Sulzer, Uptown, Lincoln/Belmont, I'm talking to you.
And I'll miss the free museum passes you can check out at the Chicago Public Library to go places such as . . .
The Nature Museum
The Museum of Science and Industry
The Adler Planetarium
Seriously, look at the skyline view from the Museum Campus.
And look at the little beach behind the Planetarium that it took me ten years to find.
The library's free museum passes helped get us out of the house during several showings this summer. Better at a museum than at our other "showing safe haven."
That's right, Target. To be honest, I won't miss my Target. I've been there on too many super hot or super cold days, hoping to find some refuge for me and the kids. We'll just get some stuff on our list, get something to eat, pass some time, I tell myself. And we do, but only after I've spent money on crap I don't need, called out/yelled for Little Bit fifty times, and possibly sprinted to locate him. We won't even talk about Bub's favorite Target Cafe snack (cinnamon sugar pretzel dipped in ten packets of mustard, yep). Okay, I'm finished now. I won't miss my Target or the way city living forced (?) me to return there time and time again. Makes me feel sad. [Note: I chose this photo of Target because the boys always run to the doors, even when the path is icy or covered in puddles.]
I will miss my Wrigley McDonald's big time -- this photo taken from its drive-thru window! How will I ever make it without my go-to spot for $1 large DC's?
And the Southport Jewel. It took me a while to warm to this Jewel, but the store won my heart. I grew to love it when it was the small and slightly grubby store affectionately called "The Little Jewel" at our house. I continued to be a fan after it was knocked down, closed for a year, and then rebuilt to become "The New Jewel." The Jewel employees at Little and now New Jewel are the best ever. Seriously. I'm tearing up. I'll miss my Southport CVS too, but I forgot to take a photo. Oops.
My whole family will miss St. Andrew, our church and school community. Kind of an ugly day to snap a photo of a place that has been a source of light for us. We'll miss our friends there -- many kind, down-to-earth, fun-loving families.
And our little house? The one we were so proud to buy back in 2005. The one whose front door opened to many friends and family visitors over six years. The one we thought would be good for one or maybe two kids and ended up housing three. The one with the nice moldings and the quirky layout. The one with the big tree and the "huge backyard" featured in the photo. I will miss our house. I will miss the feeling of getting a little one settled for the night and pausing on the landing (where above photo was taken) for a moment of peace and a glimpse of our little corner of the larger world. At this moment, I feel like I'll remember everything about our little house in the big city.
But I don't know what my kids will remember. Chicago(land) has been my home for almost ten years now, but it will never be "where I'm from." What struck me as I was crafting this post is that our new house and community is the place that my kids will identify as where they're from. And then I thought of the lines from the late nineties classic "Closing Time" about "the places you will be from" and how "every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." Will be from. Some other beginning's end. Cheesy as hell, I know, but once I thought of the song, I could not not include it. I won't stretch the song lyrics much farther, except to say that I hope we'll all find some friends.
There's more that could be said about the other beginning's end and this new beginning, but I'll just leave it at so far, so good.

Any new beginnings or ends for you this summer? How did you spend my blogging hiatus? I need updates please!

Note: All photos taken on my phone.
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