Posts tagged ‘Chicago’

Great Granddaughter of a Refugee

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It was a sweltering hot but beautiful day in Chicago today.

This morning my friend and I were walking together in the “Families Belong Together” March in Chicago.  We were observing the signs the marchers were carrying, and she said, “I now know what sign I could have made: ‘I am the daughter of a refugee.'”  I reflected and realized that I had a connection, too.  My great grandfather also was a refugee, a priest fleeing the Ukraine during the time of Stalin and the USSR.  Suddenly I had another reason I was there.

Sometimes I don’t know how I want to navigate the politically-charged waters. I don’t have all of the answers.  There are many sides to every issue.  I value harmony.  I also value discussion.

I do know that I liked the positive title of the march and many of the messages I heard at the rally today.  There’s something magical about people coming together.  There’s a magic and an energy when people participate in a movement, share ideas, and come together for positive change.

I came today intending to be a supportive and peaceful presence — and to march!  And so I did.   I was also gifted something beautiful — a reminder of a very special refugee, one who was a reason I am here today.

Much love and many blessings. ❤

Crazy Winter Adventures

Take that, Winter!

Figure 1: Take that, Winter! 
So, really, there is only one “Figure.”  Do I just put “Figure”?  That looks weird.

Often I question why I live in Chicagoland, and last week was certainly one of those times. But here I live, and I’ve got a mortgage and some pretty nifty friends and family who are all crazy enough to live here, too, so I plan to make the best of things. That means last week I had to gear up for the cold. Polar cold.

We Illinoisans have been spoiled by some pretty mild winters the last couple years. (I fondly remember hiking without a jacket at Starved Rock — in January!)  So, I’d forgotten what real cold feels like and acts like, and I needed to adjust.  Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday morning were predicted to be wicked cold (in the negatives), and unfortunately, I only got Monday off.  So, I resigned myself to getting prepared, and I had one question:  At what point does my face turn blue and my fingers fall off??  According to the news: within minutes.  So, I geared up. (See Figure 1)

Warm weather checklist:

  • 2 or 3 pairs of socks — including some thermal ones
  • long underwear (top and bottom)
  • heavy sweats
  • T-shirt, long-sleeved shirt, sweatshirt, and jacket
  • gloves
  • scarf
  • hat (with hood up)
  • ninja mask (face mask)
  • tennis shoes (my boots finally just came in the mail, and they are the best thing EVER)

I also made sure I had a sleeping bag, some water, and snacks.

Everything almost went off without a hitch.  The warehouse where I work was actually decently warm.  I was more confident in the snow, managing the skidding and taking things extra slow, especially around the turns and approaching lights and stop signs.  The highway was a mess, but I took the alternate route, and I made it to work without a problem.  I made sure I warmed up my car for 5 minutes during lunch, and everything was going smoothly.

And then Tuesday evening I got into my car, turned the key, got a “vrrp” and then. . . nothing.  I tried again. . . nothing.  I couldn’t believe it.  The one reason I had considered calling in sick — and it had happened to me.  I stilled my mind and worked on the next step.  The maintenance guy.  Find the maintenance guy.  2nd shift was still going, and my friend in maintenance was still in there somewhere.  So, I gave up on my car and went back in to work to find him.  He came back with me, lugging some kind of charger thing and proceeded to hook it up in my trunk. (Yes, my battery is in my trunk).   We waited a little while, and then I tried the ignition again.  Vrrp. . .nothing.

Now I was getting a bit concerned.  He continued to charge the battery and asked to poke around under my hood for  a bit (unsure about my battery really being in the trunk).  Meanwhile, my fingers were starting to get cold — I don’t have heavy duty gloves; Honestly, I try to get away without wearing gloves as much as possible, and I’d go without a coat, too, if I could get away with it! —  and I started worrying that my hands were going to shrivel up and become smurf blue.

I decided it was time to put some metaphysics learning to use.  First, I sent my car light energy.  Then, not sure if sending energy worked for cars, I tried visualization — recreating the sound and feel of the car revving up with confidence and gusto. I then repeated this image a few times in my mind.

I’m not sure if it was the maintenance guy’s gizmo, or the light energy, or the visualization — or all 3 –but when I tried the car the next time, it gave a hearty, unhesitating start, exactly as I’d imagined it.  I thanked my friend profusely and hurried into my car, rubbing my hands together like two sticks making a fire, and I let the car warm up.  “That’s my girl!” I crowed to my metal baby, and I couldn’t wait to get home, kiss the floor, and hug and kiss my honey (maybe not in that order).

And this week I’ve officially become one of those crazy people who thinks 30 degrees is spring weather and goes about willy-nilly without gloves and hat.  But, I mean, can you blame me?  Winter was 50 degrees ago!

Greatitudes


I’ve missed quite a few days, so I have plenty to be grateful for! (List ensuing. . .)

I am grateful . . .

  • that I have only seen a few solo carpenter ants in the house, and not multitudes of them.
  • that I have the musical as something of consistency in my life right now.
  • that eventually, if I scrub hard enough, the disgusting old-dishes-smell leaves my hands.
  • for visits with old friends, who are actually going through similar issues, even though their lives have taken quite a different turn from yours.
  • for my first media opportunity (at a local media station)!
  • for long drives into Chicago that remind me that I DO NOT want to make lots of long drives into Chicago. . .
  • for people who respond to my inquiries.
  • for a leaky ceiling that has stopped leaking.
  • for a messed up toilet that Brian was able to fix. . .
  • for a dripping air conditioner that is not flooding the floor (yet :-/).
  • for my new 15-minute time block plan, which seems to be going better than the old 30-minute one (mindless housecleaning –> computer work; i.e. e-mail, other media, or blog –> working on the office –> REPEAT).
  • for getting some time alone to get some work done.
  • for having company when Brian gets home. 🙂

. . . and that’s all for now!  15 minutes is up. . .

Image(s): FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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