Sunday, March 11, 2012

My Hometown

Back in 2008, when we bought a cemetery plot after a miscarriage, I was very angry.  Not just because of the miscarriage, but because of the cemetery plot.

I never wanted to die here.

I raged at the Chef.  "This was not my plan!"

When I married and moved to Chicago shortly after college graduation, Chicago was always a short term plan.  This was where the Chef was from, where his family lived, and most importantly, where he got a job.  But that didn't meant we were going to be here forever.  I had always thought in the back of my mind that someday we would move back to my birthplace, St. Louis, or the birthplace of our love, Dallas.

For years, I have answered the question, "Where are you from?"  with this lengthy explanation, "I'm from St. Louis, but I met my husband at the University of Dallas and we live in Chicago.  That's where he's from."

This was not my plan.

Every winter, I complained and whined about how anywhere else in the world would be more temperate, more Christian, more Red state, less crooked politics, less anti-life.

But after we bought that cemetery plot, and I buried a part of myself here.  Here became a part of me.

Slowly, God has helped me to bloom where He has planted me.

I used to always feel like the small-town Midwestern girl visiting the big city.  I don't feel that way anymore.

When I first met my father-in-law, he thought I had the cutest Southern accent.  Now, when we visit my parents, my dad always tells me that I talk like a Yankee.

I miss my family.  I miss not being there for my mom.  She just had a hip replacement.  I wasn't there for my sister when she fought cancer.  I regret that my children don't know my side of the family the way they know the Chef's side.

More than once, has the Chef been unhappy with his employment or between jobs, and he searched the contiguous 48 for a job.  But he always found jobs here.  I think this is where He wants us to be.

I am blessed that St. Louis is only a five hour road trip away, and that weekend visits are totally do-able.

Those horrendous Chicago winters that I loathed?  Now, I am like a Winter Warrior, with my knee length down coat, long underwear and wool socks.  I always have lip balm and hand lotion on hand.  "Ain't nothin' gonna break-a my stride.  Ain't nothin' gonna hold me down."

But these Chicago summers?  Would I appreciate Spring and Summer so much if I lived anywhere else?  Would I savor eating outdoors and not having central air conditioning?

True story.  When I first met the Chef, and discovered that his home did not have central air, I thought, "They must be dirt poor."  Look at me now,  I rarely turn on the a/c in my car because I like to be hot.  It takes until August to thaw my frozen core.

I have learned to love this city, with its culture, its fast-pace, its restaurants and stores, its style.  I have made it my own and it has embraced me.

This past weekend, I heard myself say, when asked the question, "Where are you from?"  I answered, "I'm from Chicago."

12 comments:

  1. Thank you. Last week was the two year anniversary of our move to New England, and I still find myself resentful sometimes. This post helps.

    ReplyDelete
  2. ... Woe- oh; I got to keep on move'n"
    We so wish you all lived here; our oldest was just saying today how much she wanted to see you guys. Soon! Love all the blog posts! You're guite the talented woman. Behold sounds awesome; maybe next year I could come too??

    ReplyDelete
  3. Welcome home :-) (Except if Texas ever secedes, we're there!)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love this post! This is how I feel about St. Louis. Growing up in Cheyenne, WY where there are much fewer people and nothing to do I was nervous about living in a "big city". Now I love St. Louis and love even more that my kids can call St. Louis home. I may not be able to answer the "Where did you go to high school question", but I think I appreciate some of this city better because I didn't grow up here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I won't get used to that weird question either!

      I hope my little tude about the Lou can emulate yours soon!!

      Delete
  5. Loved this. So timely for me and so relatable.

    ReplyDelete
  6. But wait--we have had a wonderfully warm winter in Chicago this year! It was 50 degrees this a.m. when I woke up at 6 a.m.!

    Actually, as a transplant from Minneapolis (17 years ago), I can't remember many winters that were actually all that cold here. We seem to get a lot less snow too, although last year was a bit snowy.

    We're also blessed with all those beautiful and historic Catholic churches in the "Loop," although I don't get to them nearly as often as I wish since I live in the suburbs.

    Nonetheless, I yearn for home sometimes too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That warm winter didn't help my backyard rink at all. Love my backyard rink. Makes winter so fun with parties and skating and exercise. The Chef wants to move to Canada so we can skate outside all year long.

      Delete
  7. Welcome home. Chicago is better with you in it!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I feel Like I wrote this myself,but change all the chicago referances to new york! Thanks for sharing! Made me feel much better!!! I have been pretty homesick since having ms ava and not being near my family!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure you will find plenty to love about your new home. Hopefully, it won't take 15+ years either...

      Delete

Sunday, March 11, 2012

My Hometown

Back in 2008, when we bought a cemetery plot after a miscarriage, I was very angry.  Not just because of the miscarriage, but because of the cemetery plot.

I never wanted to die here.

I raged at the Chef.  "This was not my plan!"

When I married and moved to Chicago shortly after college graduation, Chicago was always a short term plan.  This was where the Chef was from, where his family lived, and most importantly, where he got a job.  But that didn't meant we were going to be here forever.  I had always thought in the back of my mind that someday we would move back to my birthplace, St. Louis, or the birthplace of our love, Dallas.

For years, I have answered the question, "Where are you from?"  with this lengthy explanation, "I'm from St. Louis, but I met my husband at the University of Dallas and we live in Chicago.  That's where he's from."

This was not my plan.

Every winter, I complained and whined about how anywhere else in the world would be more temperate, more Christian, more Red state, less crooked politics, less anti-life.

But after we bought that cemetery plot, and I buried a part of myself here.  Here became a part of me.

Slowly, God has helped me to bloom where He has planted me.

I used to always feel like the small-town Midwestern girl visiting the big city.  I don't feel that way anymore.

When I first met my father-in-law, he thought I had the cutest Southern accent.  Now, when we visit my parents, my dad always tells me that I talk like a Yankee.

I miss my family.  I miss not being there for my mom.  She just had a hip replacement.  I wasn't there for my sister when she fought cancer.  I regret that my children don't know my side of the family the way they know the Chef's side.

More than once, has the Chef been unhappy with his employment or between jobs, and he searched the contiguous 48 for a job.  But he always found jobs here.  I think this is where He wants us to be.

I am blessed that St. Louis is only a five hour road trip away, and that weekend visits are totally do-able.

Those horrendous Chicago winters that I loathed?  Now, I am like a Winter Warrior, with my knee length down coat, long underwear and wool socks.  I always have lip balm and hand lotion on hand.  "Ain't nothin' gonna break-a my stride.  Ain't nothin' gonna hold me down."

But these Chicago summers?  Would I appreciate Spring and Summer so much if I lived anywhere else?  Would I savor eating outdoors and not having central air conditioning?

True story.  When I first met the Chef, and discovered that his home did not have central air, I thought, "They must be dirt poor."  Look at me now,  I rarely turn on the a/c in my car because I like to be hot.  It takes until August to thaw my frozen core.

I have learned to love this city, with its culture, its fast-pace, its restaurants and stores, its style.  I have made it my own and it has embraced me.

This past weekend, I heard myself say, when asked the question, "Where are you from?"  I answered, "I'm from Chicago."

12 comments:

  1. Thank you. Last week was the two year anniversary of our move to New England, and I still find myself resentful sometimes. This post helps.

    ReplyDelete
  2. ... Woe- oh; I got to keep on move'n"
    We so wish you all lived here; our oldest was just saying today how much she wanted to see you guys. Soon! Love all the blog posts! You're guite the talented woman. Behold sounds awesome; maybe next year I could come too??

    ReplyDelete
  3. Welcome home :-) (Except if Texas ever secedes, we're there!)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love this post! This is how I feel about St. Louis. Growing up in Cheyenne, WY where there are much fewer people and nothing to do I was nervous about living in a "big city". Now I love St. Louis and love even more that my kids can call St. Louis home. I may not be able to answer the "Where did you go to high school question", but I think I appreciate some of this city better because I didn't grow up here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I won't get used to that weird question either!

      I hope my little tude about the Lou can emulate yours soon!!

      Delete
  5. Loved this. So timely for me and so relatable.

    ReplyDelete
  6. But wait--we have had a wonderfully warm winter in Chicago this year! It was 50 degrees this a.m. when I woke up at 6 a.m.!

    Actually, as a transplant from Minneapolis (17 years ago), I can't remember many winters that were actually all that cold here. We seem to get a lot less snow too, although last year was a bit snowy.

    We're also blessed with all those beautiful and historic Catholic churches in the "Loop," although I don't get to them nearly as often as I wish since I live in the suburbs.

    Nonetheless, I yearn for home sometimes too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That warm winter didn't help my backyard rink at all. Love my backyard rink. Makes winter so fun with parties and skating and exercise. The Chef wants to move to Canada so we can skate outside all year long.

      Delete
  7. Welcome home. Chicago is better with you in it!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I feel Like I wrote this myself,but change all the chicago referances to new york! Thanks for sharing! Made me feel much better!!! I have been pretty homesick since having ms ava and not being near my family!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure you will find plenty to love about your new home. Hopefully, it won't take 15+ years either...

      Delete