25 November 2011

Moose Jaw Minute #66: 24 Thanks

Mural in Chicago
Happy American Thanksgiving everyone!  Yes, yes...I know I am a day late, but can you fault a girl who just returned home to Canada late on Wednesday for being a bit preoccupied with her husband that she hasn't seen in almost a month?  Ahem...I didn't think so.

My Thanksgiving in Canada was a quiet one...some errands to run, a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to be missed (darn you, online streaming websites!), a classic family apple pie to make, and a vegan Thanksgiving dinner to wrap up the evening.  There was Skype chatting with family and emails traded among friends.  It was yummy and delicious and homey and perfect.  Just the way a Thanksgiving should be...

And so, on this day-after-Thanksgiving, when a good portion of my fellow country people are knocking down the doors of various big box stores to prep themselves for the holiday season, I am going to sit back, tend to my work, and think about the 24 things I am thankful for this year (inspired by Megan over here)...

1.  For the little family we've created over the past *almost* three years
2.  Family and friends here, there, and everywhere in between
3.  My health...seriously...
4.  My job...I love what I do and who I get to work with
5.  Skype
6.  Boots from Peru
7.  Vacations...whether mini or epic
8.  The orange scarf, and the blue one, and the...okay, all my scarves
9.  Moose Jaw...for helping me find my inner calm
10.  Morning runs along the lakefront with a good friend
11.  Roof(s) over my head
12.  Spring rolls...YUM!
13.  On the subject of food...soy lattes and mate lattes
14.  Our second wedding and the chance to celebrate with loved ones
15.  Alexi Murdoch...such good music
16.  Friends who welcome you back and help you deck out your new place
17.  Airplanes
18.  The holidays and all their over-the-top-sparkly goodness
19.  The El and public transport in Chicago
20.  My mentors
21.  Kayaks
22.  Tofu
23.  New opportunities to grow and spread my wings
24.  Most of all...the love and support I feel every day

Happy Thanksgiving to all and to all a good night!

Apple pie prep...

Thanksgiving Feast!

The holidays are showing up in the city!

A friend and I saw this...a bathroom for rent...


SO GOOD!  Demera...so tasty!

19 November 2011

Moose Jaw Minute #65: Moving Day!

Uh...I don't have this much to move this time!
And, so it is upon me again...yet another moving day, in another town, from one space to another.  My life has been a mish-mash of shuttling from one place to another.  I grew up an Army brat, moving from state to state and then overseas.  Next it was college, where I shuffled from dorm to home to dorm.  In the years after college, I managed to move a whopping thirteen times in nine years.  What?!  Wanderlust is my thing...it's what I do.

All that moving aside, when I made the move to Moose Jaw last year, I was pretty convinced that I was going to be stationary for a while.  I cozied into the home we share, settling in and making myself feel at "home."  I dug in, got comfy, and started forming attachments to space and routine -- something I've always tried NOT to do as settling down for permanence was always something to be avoided.

Lo and behold, Wanderlust decided to peek over the horizon again.  She showed her face and I just couldn't resist as she dangled a return to Chicago and a shiny new position in front of me.  It wasn't an easy decision, made even more difficult because it meant a return to a long-distance marriage and coming home to an empty space every night.  But, no matter, for today is another moving day.  A day where I get to set up shop in a new space and re-orient myself to the "City that Works."

In the midst of all this moving, I've realized a few things...
  • "Home" for me consists of the people I am surrounded by.  It doesn't matter where I lay my head because for me, space is, in the end, irrelevant. 
  • The less I have, the better I am.
  • My parents are awesome -- can we just say I have a full kitchen courtesy of the 'rents?!  Thanks, Mom and Dad!
  • Coming back to a city with a built-in support network has made this transition so much easier.
  • Having a "vacation home" in the city and our "real home" in Moose Jaw can be kinda fun!
I want to send a special shout-out to my amazing friends, Christin and Deb, for allowing me to hunker down in their space for the last little bit.  Their generosity and friendship have sustained me in making this transition back to the windy city.

14 November 2011

Moose Jaw Minute #64: It's Been Lovely Around Here

It has been a gorgeous fall since I've come into town...leaves changing and the air crisp.  All that being said, I can't wait to get back to Mac the Moose, snow on the ground, and the quiet of Moose Jaw life.  I'll be heading back soon, but in the meantime, Chicago is putting on a spectacular show of colour to help get me through the days until I am back home...

In addition, I have to say a super-congratulations to my good friends, Matt and Constance on the arrival of their new little one!!!  

It's a glorious fall, indeed!

06 November 2011

Moose Jaw Minute #63: Fall-time in the City!

I've been back in Chicago for a week now and, despite missing Canada and my husband terribly, I couldn't have picked a better time to make the move back to the city.  There is something magical about Chicago in the months leading up to the first snowfall...the leaves falling on sidewalks, brownstones with carved pumpkins hanging out on the stoop, kids in brightly coloured coats running past, the gorgeous sight of Lake Michigan against a crisp azure sky, and the way everything just seems to get much more cozy in the neighborhoods that make up this city.

I've been seeing friends, walking around my old neighborhoods, and getting used to working in an office again.  It's been a whirlwind, but it's also wonderful to be coming back to a place where I have a great deal of support.  And, that's what it comes down to really.  As we near American Thanksgiving and I continue to move through this transition, I've come to realize that the thing making all of this possible -- both my move to Moose Jaw a year ago and this move back to Chicago now -- is the support and love from family and friends.  While it might not always be easy, I certainly know I've got people on my side who can ease the discomfort, won't make fun of me when I cry, and will help me pick out a new shower curtain. 

'Cause hey, at the end of the day, isn't that what friends are for?

I'll have pictures for you soon...right now I've been a little busy with...well, ya know...stuff...