A New "Normal"
SoBoy left for the airport around 4:30 am this morning.This is his last week at the apartment and the end of his having to be in ChiTown every week. After this, he will be switching to a schedule that will have him alternating between home and Chicago. It's only recently dawned on me just how confusing this "new normal" schedule is likely to be. I have enough trouble trying to remember what I'm supposed to be doing. We need an admin.
While You Were Out
A few days ago, I was watering some plants on our back porch when I noticed that the gentleman who (evidently) moved into the house behind us some time this Spring was carefully clipping the vines around our split-rail fence. During my brief visits home over the last few months, I had noticed that he was spending quite a lot of time in his side yard - near our fence. So, I was not surprised to see a fringe of red, tilled clay appear, just beyond our tree-line. I was a little surprised that it was as near to our fence as it was but I thought little of it and chalked it up to trying to roto-til red clay.On the day in question, however, I noticed that he was carefully trimming the weeds and vines growing on our fence - and over onto our side of it. Well, even then, I might have said nothing but for the fact that he was working around some poison ivy.As much as I could understand his desire to keep the pernicious weeds in our yard from encroaching on his garden, I decided to go out and warn him about the poison ivy while, at the same time, letting him know that - how shall I put it? - his responsibility for weeding ended at the property line.Now, our fence is not directly on the property line, of course. It is actually almost a foot inside of the line for maintenance purposes but my attempts to explain this to him were fruitless.Turns out that English is not his native language.
Home again.I know it's Home because my laundry is still where I left it a few weeks back.SoBoy is only back for a couple of days and then he's heading back up to ChiTown. I, on the other hand, get to stay Home.Of course, that means dusting the house for the first time in (mumble) weeks and things of that nature. I don't know where anything is anymore and there are a surprising number of things at our house that have mysteriously ceased to function. Perhaps they felt abandoned - although, I was careful to let the house know that I was only going away for a while and promised that I would be back as soon as I could. Not wanting it to feel neglected, I tried to let it know that it was loved and even bought the house a few presents: placemats and napkins and such. I planted flowers and saw that everything was cared for in our absence. That being the case, I feel certain that the demise of the cable box, a computer and a mailbox, etc. are not linked to our absence in any meaningful way but are, in fact, merely things that one generally attends to during the course of daily routine with scarcely a notice but which - come upon all at once - sucks the fun out of a weekend.All in all, I think chez nous has managed on its own quite well. Still, I like to think that it is glad to have us back again.As for the Chicago apartment: I thanked it profusely before I left. I blew it a kiss, while I waited for the taxi to the airport. I even waved farewell to the neighborhood, as we pulled away from the curb.Funny how soon a place can begin to feel like home.Like home.But not Home.And I'm Home again.Jiggity.
I've been looking over toward the baseball field every night, in hopes I'd catch a fireworks display but they either don't do that in the major leagues or the weather has been too rotten.Saturday night I heard the sound of pyrotechnics and went to the window to find their source. Nothing from the baseball stadium. Nothing as far as I could see - and I can see pretty dang far from the 45th floor.Then I saw the cascade of glittering lights reflected in the obsidian sides of the Hancock Tower!(Evidently, the fireworks were over at Navy Pier - which cannot be seen from our side of the building.) I imagine that the view from this apartment is simply amazing on the 4th of July.We'll be out of here by then. In fact, I'm returning home in a few days and SoBoy will be loading up the last of our stuff in a couple of weeks.Come the 4th, I'll be quite content to spend the evening on my own porch - listening to the neighbors' bottle-rockets whizz through our trees and watching lightning bugs.
Late-Nite Dining Recommendation
I was recently asked whether or not SoBoy and I had found a hangout in Chicago that was equivalent to our fave place back home.Actually, no. One thing that being in Chicago has reminded me of is just how damn fortunate we are back home. And spoiled!But, I have to admit that our late-night dinner at Bijan's makes me wish that I had a few more weeks up here so that I could eat there a couple more times.We've been walking past the place since March and, I must admit, a place that stays open til 4:00am didn't sound all that promising. (I mean, how good does the food actually have to be at 4:00 am in in order for the customer to be satisfied? From my own experience, I'll eat almost anything at that hour - no matter how tasteless or badly prepared.)Still, the interior has always looked inviting and the diners that we glimpsed through the windows ranged from families to couples holding hands to groups of students and folks meeting after work. All in al, a very neighborhood kind of vibe.So, after we got home from Spamalot last night, we gave the place a try. The interior is cozy and sort of upscale looking (click on the restaurant's name for a few pics that can be accessed through the restaurant's website.) and the food and service were excellent. (Actually, it's only the second meal that I've had in Chicago where the plates were properly heated so that my entree remained hot throughout the meal! )There is a rather extensive wine and drinks list, for those inclined. It was rather smokey but that's pretty standard up here. Oh. Did I mention that they stay open til 4:00 am?