Tag Archives: Chicago

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

20 Jun

“The only reason why we ask other people how their weekend was is so we can tell them about our own weekend.” ― Chuck Palahniuk

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How was your weekend??? I’m just asking so I can tell you about mine. It was great!

I had the pleasure of attending Mass at St. Helen in Chicago. Matt happens to live right across the street from several churches. I had my choice. ( Also, loud church bells clang, clang, clang from various steeples ALL DAY LONG!)

Magnificent church in a Polish/Ukrainian neighborhood.

The Gospel was interesting, but i liked the second reading from St. Paul to the Galatians.

Brothers and sisters: Through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus…

My take on it…pretty much the same as St. Paul. We are ALL brothers and sisters, all children of God.

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So now to the other stuff. Saturday was a wonderful busy day with Matt. We walked 5 or 6 miles in the morning. He wanted to show me a very cool walking trail that the city made from an old unused elevated train track.


We worked up an appetite so I could rationalize eating a Chicago hot dog and fries.


Oh yah! Poppy seed bun, pickle, peppers, the works with…yes, celery salt. All smothered with greasy fries. Don’t be jealous!

Later that evening, Matt took me for gelato, and we sat by the river, with a beautiful view of the skyline.


Then, at 8pm, Matt got us tickets to The Improvised Shakespeare Company, an Improv Comedy show at the Del Close Theatre. Very, very funny. I’ll admit, I laughed the entire time.


That was my wonderful weekend. There’s more about today and deep dish pizza. I’ll save that for another day. I’d hate to give you too much Chicago fine food envy all in one day.

I hope your weekend was wonderful, too.

Wednesday: Words of Wisdom

21 Feb

Words of wisdom for today, or any day, for that matter: “Home is not where you live, but where you are understood.” Christian Morganstern

I no longer live in the city where I was born and spent most of my life. Chicago is home and it’s “my kind of town,” as the song goes, but now, we live in Texas. From the time we moved to McKinney in ’04, the people and the city welcomed us with open arms. I like to think that I will always bloom where I’m planted, but sometimes the soil makes a difference. I made wonderful new friends, joined a tennis team, started writing, worked on my art, and changed my life. McKinney is where I live, where I have blossomed, and where I am understood. I’m home!

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Monday Memories: Chicago in the 50’s

12 Feb

How far back can you remember your childhood? Can you remember things and people from when you were three or four years old? I can’t go back quite that far, but my memories are pretty clear after about five years old. There are some vague foggy snapshots in my head from earlier, but not that crisp. Mom didn’t have many photos from those early years. I guess she was too busy working and raising three young daughters to stop and take a photo every five minutes like parents nowadays.

The first house I remember was 2301 S. Ridgeway, in Chicago. I was around five years old, maybe a little younger. My phone number was LA 11344, and that was 1958. I’m not sure why I still remember that, but I imagine it was because it was the first important thing I had to memorize in kindergarten. The house was on a corner and the Burlington Northern trains ran just a stones throw outside our window. I can see it in my minds eye like it was yesterday.

Sometimes it’s interesting to research your past. Today’s technology is amazing and can be instrumental in uncovering buried memories. Google and Google Earth can become addicting when doing research. I found a photo of my old house, grammar school, and neighborhood. And yes, it’s still there. Well, not the school, but the neighborhood. I guess not everything can last forever, even memories. Too bad!

The photo of three little girls was taken in that backyard on Ridgeway. I’m in the middle.

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Terrifying Traumatic Tuesday

5 Feb

Yesterday, I wrote a happy little story about the carefree life of a young girl growing up in Chicago in the 1950’s. My train of thought was inspired by the game “steal the bacon” that we played as kids. I was waxing nostalgic about the simple games that required no batteries, data plans, or wireless remotes. My train must have gotten off the track, because I was later informed that I must have forgotten all the terrifying and traumatic events that took place during those years. Growing up on the southside of Chicago was often a dark and scary place. There were break-ins, muggings, and beatings happening all around us. Yes, I remember every single moment. I didn’t forget.

Unfortunately, I remember every frightening detail. Being an artist and writer, my right brain is very visually oriented and I have the memory of an ancient elephant. I could draw pictures in detail of my childhood home, the interior of each room, and pieces of furniture dating back well over fifty years. I remember old neighbors, and names of kids I went to grammar school with. Lambert Benavidez, if you ever read this, I had such a crush on you in the second grade. And, Bunny Masalski, we were best friends in ’63. What ever happened to you?

My memory isn’t bad, but rather, my choosing to write about the pleasant events and experiences is what brings me joy and comfort. I was just trying to convey that our simple childhood games have been replaced by high-tech mindless handheld brain-drainers. Life has its evils and perils. I just prefer not to write about them or read about them.Tuesday might be terrifying and traumatic for somebody somewhere, but for me, today is terrific. Happy Tuesday!

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Monday Memories: Chicago in the ’50’s

5 Feb

Growing up on the south side of Chicago in the 1950’s was a blast. Well, at least I thought it was.To quote my mother, “We were poor, but everyone else was, too, so we didn’t know we were poor.”

Kids weren’t plugged-in and tuned-out back then. Everyone walked to school without earbuds blasting from an iPod or texting their every thought. After school, we played outside until we dropped from exhaustion or the front porch light flashed on and off, signaling time to come in for dinner and a bath.

Did you ever play steal the bacon? We used an old scrub brush as the bacon. Do you even know what a scrub brush is? Just kidding! We had two teams, each assigned a number. If the number one was called, the two kids who were ones, ran to the middle of the sidewalk, and one kid would try to grab the scrub brush and get back to home-base before getting tagged by the other kid. When we had a large group, we played in the middle of the street. Not much traffic back then. After 6pm, most everyone was home.

If you were a little girl, you played hop scotch and jump rope. Then, there was the complicated art of double dutch. I vaguely remember being able to jump between the two ropes, but I wasn’t that great at it. I spent endless hours playing with my Barbie doll. I made clothes for her with scraps of fabric and yarn. They didn’t have Barbie dream houses or pink convertibles back then. No Ken doll either. I think my Barbie was going to join the convent and become a nun. Can you imagine? Sister Mary Barbie?

Yes, life was simpler back then. I’m not sure if today’s technology and modern conveniences have really changed the world for the better. The jury’s still out on that one. Wish I still had my Barbie!

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