Mar. 18th, 2007

Chicago

Mar. 18th, 2007 03:02 pm
holzman_tweed: (Default)
As luck has it, an annual training and re-certification test I have to take is given in Chicago, so I was out there for two days this week.  I go out a day early so that I will be fresh for the test, and if I'm going to have to be there overnight, why not have a day there instead of a day waiting for the trip to come?  So Wednesday morning found me landing at O'Hare with a whole day to kill.

I was last in Chicago in '03, or so, and it had its ups and downs.  Some wounds were much fresher, and doubled because [livejournal.com profile] jadegirl was there with me.  What a different a few years can make!  The wounds are largely healed over, and the good times have returned to the forefront of my reminiscence.

I think there may be a curse oro something on my old house.  I sold it in '01 shortly after separating from my first wife.  The buyer bought it because his first kid was due in a month, had it for about 2 years, and sold it when he and his wife divorced.  The fellow <i>he</i> sold it to moved his family into it, and then sold it when he and his wife divorced.  The man who lives there now is a nice man named Mike, and I hope his family fares better.  Mike is a very gracious man who invited me in and showed me the place -- at least the parts of the place that have been made livable.  The floors are re-laid, a staircase added where it would make sense to have a staircase (rather than where there was one), the kitchen completely redesigned and remodeled.  Even the dining room has many beautiful paintings on the walls -- not hung on the walls, but painted onto the walls --something [livejournal.com profile] catbirdgirl and I had talked about doing.  I must have spent an hour talking about the house and its history to him -- which revealed many mysteries to him (such as why the basement's carpeted.)  It was a very good discussion, and I'm invited to return to visit the house when I return to Chicago.

Contrast this with just driving past the place a few years ago and then stopping for a cup of coffee somewhere to process the enormity of the sense of loss -- emotional and financial -- that house meant to me once upon a time. I'm so glad it's become a source of joy for someone.

Evanston is, of course, changed and yet very recognizable. People who know me well will be unsurprised that the markers of a place that stay with me are the restaurants, and a checklist of which are there and which are gone do alot to maintain my sense of connection to a place... or not.

People also go a long way to making or breaking that sense, and many of the people I used to connect with in Chicago have moved away or our friendships ended, or what-have-you, but those who remain do so with strong bonds. Dinner with [livejournal.com profile] docstrange, [livejournal.com profile] tezliana, and [livejournal.com profile] unclevlad was a perfect end to this orgy of healthy nostalgia -- if I didn't then have to drive to about a quarter mile away from Webley's old offices, where both my hotel and the site for the testing was.

[livejournal.com profile] vulgarweed, I want you to know I did try to get in touch, but I don't have a number and you appear not to be listed. I'd love to get together next year if I don't return before then.

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