|Passing time with Lisa and Mark at a bar in Tinley Park.|
So it's been a year. One year ago I left my home of twenty seven years and I headed out for Chicago with my two dogs and my best friend, Dennis. Mark had flown ahead the week before. Such a good move on my part. Considering the glitches at closing and the insanity of the movers, it was a good thing that Mark was not around.
So what have I experienced in this past year? Well for one thing, my beloved dog Bette, up and died on us. I knew the move was going to be very hard on Mark, but I had no idea that Bette would rather go to doggy heaven than move to Chicago. Over the course of the year I have also discovered that the movers must have liked some of the things I had, because they did not deliver them to Chicago. Among the missing was my air compressor, numerous tools, and a whole lot of things that Mark cherished. Yes, that's what happened, the movers lost Mark's things. Actually they did forget one thing that Mark had wanted badly. On our front porch was a pile of yard gnomes, sculptures, and other crap. I pointed all of them out to the movers and told them that "This shit is going too." My old Florida tenant later called me and said that all that crap was still sitting on the porch down there.
A year has passed and I got to enjoy a Chicago summer and all the bullets that a Chicago summer brings. I got to watch as the green of summer turned into vibrant fall colors, and then watched those colorful leaves fall to the ground and die. I was very excited to be with my family for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, something that I hadn't experienced in twenty seven years. It turns out that it is still pretty much the same. Lots of noise, laughter, and food. I was prepared for a typical Chicago winter. I purchased super heavy winter clothing, boots, a snow shovel, a snow blower, and bags of snow melting salt for the sidewalks. We had a total of two weeks of snow on the ground. This was quite possibly the warmest, least snowiest winter on record for Chicago. I only had to bring out the goddamned snow blower twice. It still has a full tank of gas. As for the clothing, it came in handy because even at fifty degrees I need to be wrapped up like Nanook of the North. It seems I still have that Florida blood running through my veins. And finally, I have been able to spend time with my ninety five year old mother at least once a week for the past year. In Florida, all I could do was call her every Sunday. Seriously, I have visited my mom more often this past year than I did in the ten years before I moved to Florida.
Oh, I forgot. My sister Lisa. What a saint. She put up with Mark and me for seven weeks in her house before we got our home in the city. Seven whole weeks with my dogs, Mark, and me. Thank you Lisa.