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.


brainella said...

And now you'll have a new set of memories and places to love. It's so hard sometimes to move onward and upward -- but that's what we do! :)

Lady Jennie said...

Welcome to your new digs! I hope you get settled in fast - it's so hard to put those last few boxes away.

Anonymous said...

This just made me tear up. I know you wanted to move...but the tribute to where you lived is very touching. I hope you save this for your kids =)

{And a big THANK YOU for putting "closing time" into my head for the last 2 hours. That's just one that gets stuck there}

I hope to see some pics of the new place soon. The pictures of the kids' first day at school were adorable, btw! I'm glad you finally posted something. I've just been on the edge of my seat for an update on the move.

Heather said...

Somehow, I missed this post last week, in the midst of my classes ending and my kids' classes beginning. I seriously loved all of these pictures, and while I'm sure you will miss the city, I hope life in suburbia is even better for you and your family!

Now get those boxes unpacked, take some pics, and show us around the new house! I've missed you!

E... said...

I've missed you!!! I'm so happy for you! I understand all the mixed feelings as well. I loved your thoughts on your realizations of where your kids are from. It doesn't seem like mine are from a place different from me, but of course it is. Loved all the photos -- seems to me these will be the places you tour your kids around when you go on "remember when" tours of the city, just like J. and I always make a little detour down Isabella Ave to check in.
I'm just glad you didn't include that ridiculous line from that song about 'gathering up your jackets and heading out to the exits'! Ouch.

LAP said...

What a wonderful recap on one of the places you are from. The McDonald's drive thru view of Wrigley is pretty darn cool.

Sue and Randy said...

We made a big move this summer from Houston to the New Orleans area. I have thought about how this will affect my kids, which largely depends on how long we stay. Will they still identify themselves as "Texans" (Amanda's 1st grade teacher called her "Amanda from Texas" the first week), or because of their ages, only really remember these years in Louisiana, and gasp, become LSU fans. I guess we all have to wait to see where they, yours an mine, they think they are "from"
Great post, you have been missed!

PITA said...

Of course I always love seeing those beautiful, happy faces. Your old home was a special place, but I know your knew home will also be! I cant wait to see the progress...

Anonymous said...

Yeah for new beginnings! Every time I have made a major change in life it has been a little scary but somehow has always turned out to be the right decision. Glad you are happy and healthy and getting settled. Cheers to a new beginning!

Tricia said...

So glad you are back! This post was great...such a nice way to remember where you've been. Now on to making new memories...good luck!!

CaraBee said...

Did you really post this last week? Ugh. I'm so behind.

I loved visiting your house. Loved the neighborhood. Loved that you could walk so many places. It was a wonderful home for you and your family. Bub, at least, will definitely remember the house, and I bet Lil Bit does too.

But it is so exciting that you have (finally!) moved on to bigger and better. You'll make a million new and wonderful memories at the new house.

To new beginnings! Now where are the pics of the new digs??

Stacia said...

I have to sidetrack a little bit ... Remember those books on cassette and how it was like taking home a clunky box of pasta or something? Now it's a slim, trim little packet of CDs. Soon, maybe we'll just plug a cord into the input jacks they start putting in the back of our necks at birth. Oh, technology!

And let me tell you how I miss the $1 caffeine fuel-up at McDonald's. Soda is expensive in Romania, cup sizes are small, and of course there's no ice, even at McDonald's. On the flip side, ice cream cones are 33 cents (1 lei).

But I digress ... It's the pain meds. Congrats on the new digs, bittersweet as it is to leave the old ones. And here's hoping for some "closing time" of a different kind on your old place, no? Can't wait for the follow-up post introducing us to the new NTB 'hood. =>

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

So sorry that you'll miss your house so much, but how cool to start fresh in a new neighborhood and home!!

Where exactly did you move to? Are you closer to me or further North?

Teachinfourth said...

Of course, there are new adventures yet waiting to be had, too...

Anonymous said...

I, too, have wonderful memories of your Lakewood home. It was the first home you and T purchased. You brought 3 beautiful babies home from the hospital to Lakewood. The house itself has that special feeling of being "home". You were surrounded by exciting places and things to do. I will miss visiting you there but ... Ihave made the maiden voyage from Ohio to your new home. It is a wonderful place to raise your family. It will feel like "home" to everyone very soon and there is way more room for family to visit!!! I must add, there are plenty of great places to walk in your new area too. m

dusty earth mother said...

Congratulations on your new place, sweet Mep! Abut time. And so so so very happy to see words from you again--because they're always so good. :-)

Steph said...

I'm late to the welcoming party - but I hope you're settled in and can relax! Congrats on the move, and what wonderful memories!

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