This week is more than just a week off from school. It’s also Holy Week, and I’m going to use the opportunity of having a little free time to write about the blessings of my life in a series called Things I Love. Today, we’re going to talk about my Home Sweet Home, Chicago.
Although the term re-entry is usually used when talking about the space program, it seems appropriate to use it to talk about what it feels like to return to Chicago after a weekend away.
We love visiting family and friends in Indiana and Ohio (and points beyond), but really, there’s no place like our Chicagoland home. Do you remember when Dorothy saw the Emerald City? That sense of wonderment, of excitement, of feeling my pulse speed up never fails to fill my soul as we make the first sighting of the lights of the Chicago skyline.
Frank L. Baum is said to have been influenced by the 1892 Columbian Exposition in Chicago when creating Oz. Of course, when Baum imagined Oz/Chicago in his book, he was envisioning the Beaux Arts style of architecture that was prevalent at the Columbian Exposition. We know this style through the Museum of Science and Industry and the Chicago Art Institute, the two remaining buildings from the Exposition. He wasn’t thinking of high-rise skyscrapers.
Recently we’ve spent a lot of time on U.S. Route 30 between Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Chicago. Coming home, every time we hit that point in northwest Indiana where you can see the Willis (Sears) Tower and the Chicago skyline, there’s a change in the energy in the car.
All of a sudden, we’re checking Google maps on my phone to see if there are traffic problems anywhere. We’re being passed by speeding semis and drivers who must have learned to drive in a video game. They are whizzing in and out of lanes going 80 miles an hour in 55 mile an hour traffic. We’re scanning the road to see if there’s any debris that is going to fly up and hit our windshield. No more poking along on a two lane highway watching the corn grow. We’re back in the game.
Part of why we love Chicago is the wide variety of activities in which we participate. Just this weekend, we missed the Mt. Prospect Community Band Concert. Several of our friends play in this band and we were sorry to not be able to support them, but they will have other concerts. They are a year-round organization that keeps very busy. And they are just one of the many community bands in our immediate geographical area. We are surrounded by folks like us who still regularly play their band instruments as adults, and it keeps us challenged as musicians.
We also missed Palm Sunday at our church, Trinity United Methodist Church in Mt. Prospect, Illinois. We attend a welcoming and inclusive church with many activities and ministries. As much as I enjoy going to church with my family in Troy, it’s just not the same.We are blessed with staff and church members who are both visionary and willing to explore new ways to worship. Here we are for Big Band Sunday — we played most of the service music in big band swing style using traditional hymn tunes rearranged by husband NRB.
There’s a lot more to say about the blessings in my life. I’ll save it for another day when the sun isn’t shining and I’m not eager to clean up my office space. In fact, those people sitting in the pews in the Big Band Sunday photo are the topic for another day of Things I Love. Talk to you soon!