Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Snow is Snowing and the Wind is Blowing . . .

We were just pulling out of our driveway and our neighbor Dave came over to assure us he would keep an eye on our house. "It's going to rain tomorrow," he said. I do not pay much attention to weather forecasts and I have a husband who wants Congress to pass a bill that no weather news or forecasts should be televised for any area more than ten miles away from where he is. The whole of California could be in flames, the East Coast could be underwater . . . he doesn't want to know. Some quote from Thoreau usually follows his declaration.

We made it to Chicago just fine, and sure enough it rained next day. It didn't matter—we were visiting Ernie's sister and her husband and we spent most of our time drinking coffee, discussing our families, eating and deciding if and where to go. What a delight to see Mary Ann and John's sons Patrick, John and Mike and—via Skype—Megan and Emiliano in Texas.

We went to Oakbrook and Ernie's favorite store, The Container Store. He bought boxes to store boxes containing . . . who knows. Maybe some more boxes. I must admit I found some rather useful things, but I will keep them to myself. I am now a member of Pop! We went to Owl Lumber, where Ernie bought lengths of exotic hardwood. For exotic, read expensive. We went to an event described as a "craft show". I thought it would be something like a bunch of women in a church hall. No, it was an enormous place, stacked with vendors who had arrived with huge truck-like vehicles to bring their offerings.

Fortunately pretty much the first vendor we saw was a woodworker, so Ernie was happy. The two of them discussed wood  at length. There was a bread knife (he bought one) and this interesting toy called a do-nothing. It was fancier than this and looked much nicer. The four blocks were made of exotic (see above, it means expensive) wood and I felt pretty good because thanks to my trip to Owl Lumber, I could recognize some. We bought one of these too, but I will not complain because Mary Ann and I made a small dent in our charge cards.

The high point of our visit was a trip to the theater. Our hosts live in a suburb of Chicago and at the time we drove down it took one and a half hours to make it to The Royal George Theatre. Mary Ann had bought tickets for Mike and his fiancee Jaime in honor of Mike's birthday, and fortunately Mike volunteered to brave the traffic. It was a one-man show in which Hershey Felder portrayed Irving Berlin, from his beginnings as an immigrant from Belarus until his death. Felder has been described as a one-man industry and I am not surprised, as among his talents are the singing, piano playing and acting he displays magnificently in this show. Note: why have I never heard of him? Why have I never heard of his wife, Kim Campbell, the former Prime Minister of Canada?

The night before we left, John said it was going to snow 6-8 inches the next day. It didn't, but when we woke up the morning after that at home, there it was. In the words of Mr. Berlin, "I can't remember a worse December . . . "

But this is still November.


Z said...

We had our first snow on Saturday night too. But of course the winter in Norfolk is very different from Michigan!

Maggie May said...

We've had a little snap of coldish weather( I guess not by your standards!) However, most days the sun has been out. Strange..... I think the plant life is totally confused and things are springing to life that shouldn't be flowering now at all.
Still..... I'm not grumbling!
Maggie x