I have a friend who’s traveled the world but never stopped in Chicago except long enough to touch down at O’Hare. Visit!! I love Chicago! It’s so vibrant and full of life. But, I can understand that it’s intimidating to be a tourist there, even though you can walk to most of the main attractions once you’re in “the Loop.”I’ve been very lucky! My “little sister,” Lizzie, has been living in the Chicago area for the past 30+ years, and it’s been great being able to run over now and then and visit whenever I please. I wish everybody had such a sweet friend.I always tease her that she has the best B’nB in Chicago because she’s such a gracious hostess, but in truth, she’s too busy doing other good things, so I can’t really give you her number! To my son Jonathan, however, she’s always been “Aunt Lizzie,” so when he went to a patristics conference in Chicago at the end of May, Lizzie took us both in so we could all catch up and enjoy being together!Even Uncle Chuck joined in after work, and we had great times discussing religion, politics, and….probably sex too. Being family, we tackled everything fearlessly, and I loved the free flow of ideas and input. Such good times!While the men were off slaying dragons and such during the day, Lizzie and I caught up on “girl” stuff, including a wonderful luncheon at her sister Marlene’s,whose daughter Esther just graduated from Taylor, and whose daughter Yudit was at a recording studio making a C.D. with her Messianic Jewish band when we first arrived. Way to go, ladies!Marlene is originally from Iran, and Middle Eastern hospitality puts my meals to shame! This is part of the spread of desserts she provided after the luncheon!!Her generosity even extends to the squirrels, who now know to come to her door for a handout of peanuts! The living is pretty good in Chicago! Actually, the sleeping is totally first class too…purple and gold…how beautiful! And, really…who wouldn’t want to get cleaned up if you had a tub like this??So, Chicago seems pretty intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. For example, this gal is taking her baby out..and her cat for a walk on a leash…how fun is that?And, while we were out for some exercise, we met a lady with a beautiful Irish setter/golden retriever mix. Doesn’t shed; great with kids; very playful…A+ dog, and no gangs in sight. Living in a metropolitan area doesn’t have to be too scary.But, here’s something that is scary to me! Chuck just took a new job, and his boss was hoping he’d move to Washington D.C., so Liz and Chuck went to check out Washington during the cherry blossom festival last month. Liz says I can share some of her pictures with you (like this one), so I’ll try to post them tomorrow, LORD WILLING (since I now know that you just never know). Since both Chuck and Liz’s families live in Chicago, the company is flying Chuck to Washington every other week and letting him work out of the home office on alternate weeks. I’m not sure what will happen next year, but it struck me that—just like we never imagined we’d lose Jan so soon—so I’ve taken for granted that I could run over to Lizzie’s any time. Every moment of every day that we enjoy the health and presence of our loved ones is a gift! I hope you are treasuring yours.
“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.”