Friday, May 20, 2011

Sweet Home Chicago

I know, it took a long time to follow up on the previous post... Note to self: Don't plan on writing on the road (or while trying to move in to a new place).

First things first, I delivered a nice load of supplies to the tornado victims in Cleveland, TN. Delivering some much needed tarps, bleach, paper towels, toilet paper, toothpaste, toothbrushes, toothpaste, a tent, batteries, pet food and other needed items was very fulfilling though in a different way than I expected. There was no welcoming committee and I didn't really get to see the damaged area so much, but there were real people (the real heroes) receiving and distributing these supplies to families of their high school. I am very happy we were able to help these people out, there were over a thousand people in the area with homes no longer habitable. I want to offer a big thanks to the people of Lakeland, GA, my friends and family who helped make it happen. The recipients were truly grateful and passed along their sincere thanks for the assistance.

I spent one night with my father and his wife in the Chattanooga area where I enjoyed some great conversation, good pizza and music and some cold beer. The next day I pressed on and made it back to Chicago that night. It was wonderful to see VeeVee and J Bean after several days away. I had talked with them on the phone several times daily, each time I spoke with J Bean she requested I "sing the Mowgli song" (aka: The Bare Necessities from Jungle Book) which was quite fitting considering the relief efforts I was involved in while away. The next morning we tackled the job of finalizing our packing, loading the truck with our Chicago apartment junk stuff, and meeting our movers for the unloading into our new fourth floor walk-up. I have to say, I am very happy we decided to use some movers for that Herculean task... had I been left to do that alone with my friend's help we would probably still be unloading and I would probably be without said friend. I'm sure the money spent was less than my potential hospital bills had I lugged our belonging up the steep flights of stairs to our new place. Since then we have been unpacking, shopping for new furniture, buying a new car and assembling new furniture; hence the delay in this post. Still plenty to do, just wanted to update everyone a little and work on getting back into the new "normal" for our new place. We love the space and have some great neighbors in our building, but we are working to get used to the new sounds of our fresh digs and learning about some of the other weird strange thuggish exotic new neighborhood and surroundings. This is what Chicago neighborhoods are all about, diversity and the good and bad that go with living in a new up and coming area. We are happy to find some great food in the area, some interesting Mom and Pop places and to make some new friends while less ecstatic about some of the crime, barking dogs and undesirable elements of our new place.

J Bean is adjusting well and progressing with toilet training with no setbacks after the move. In fact, she seems to be taking the stress and the new surroundings better than VeeVee, myself or the cat. She has particularly enjoyed shopping for and exploring our new vehicle. We bought a 2010 Ford Flex and we are very happy with the vehicle so far. It has 3rd row seats, which VeeVee was adamant about (perhaps she is expecting triplets I don't know about yet??) and all the gadgets it takes to make me happy. It's kind of like a mobile man cave, I'm very pleased with the ride so far and J Bean loves having enough room in the back to have a dance party while I learn how to use the on-board computer system and how to Sync this vehicle with our mobile devices. Very Star Trekkish I must say. Actually, I am dictating this blog post from the cabin of my new ride where it will be spell-checked and formatted for publishing (that's not true... though it may be a feature I just have not learned about yet, wouldn't surprise me). Anyway, hope everyone is having a great day and that you all have a pleasurable weekend!

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