Bodies in motion

Lots of snippets of things today and the editor is already on vacation so sort it out if you will.

We’ve been here in the brickhouse for a year now and on this particular day, McCloud is flashing back to that horrific first week in Chicago, when it seemed, for all the world, as though we had moved away from bucolic suburbia, flower and vegetable beds, expansive sunny decks for lounging, hummingbirds, raccoons and red fox- into a war zone. The Chicago Air Show is in full swing once again and the sound is just plain unbelievable as they practice their formations 3 times each day. Tomorrow starts the main event and it will be just 4 blocks away over the lake. The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds are making runs as I type and the eerie part is that I can’t SEE the damn things. The time between when they pass over and when the house is one monstrous roar of sound is so asynchronous that I can’t get a bead on where they are.


Tomorrow morning, in the midst of vacation preparations, we’ll bike down with the camera and see what we can see. Rich says he can see them buzzing by his office windows, along with B-52s and USAF F-15E Strike Eagles and USAF B-1B Lancer Bombers; no one is getting much work done down there today. I’m not sure- are these weapons of mass destruction? In any case, McCloud is not taking any chances and since he’s also not exceptionally bright he is parked here near me, with his head under the sofa and the rest of that broad expanse hanging out. Every once in a while he mews pitifully.


It’s been a trying year full of change and this week of vacation is our first that is not tied to work or housing renovations. This vacation is in the nick of time when it comes to quality time and we’re both as giddy as newlyweds at the prospect of getting reacquainted.

Rich has been way over his head in 2016 planning and that’s so distant it’s hard for me to wrap my head around. Then, this morning as I returned from my 2 week check-up (I’m good to go, if you get my drift. Fit and healthy, down 3 pounds and ready to rock and roll) I noticed a small bumper sticker in the cab that read “2016: a dream that stirs the soul.” The driver had it stuck up by his license. Huh. For those of you who don’t live here it may not make sense that Chicago is already so focused on these far future Olympic games but I think they go hand in hand with the city’s (read Mayor’s) agenda to make this place as beautiful as Paris and as livable as, well- make that the most livable and green major city in America. Mr. Mayor has already passed an ordinance that makes garden boxes between the walk and street mandatory; they’re everywhere! Rooftops are going soy, even at the zoo and the Chicago Parks system provides non-stop music, art, fountains and flowers. If the city does get the Olympic nod (decided in 2009, so all of Rich’s work is not that far-sighted) then the building will commence, mostly in the south loop and beyond, where games housing and facilities will turn into affordable housing, park and green space after the fact.

While Rich has been completely occupied, I’ve been adjusting to the loss of my mother, the move and early retirement- and not all that well. I continue to miss, minute by minute, the friendships I built in Ann Arbor. I crave those women. I think daily about the people I saw in my office and I wonder how they are fairing, wish that I could talk to them, and feel a profound empty space previously occupied by that aspect of my life. City life is still too noisy, too dirty (the alley), too bustling for my personality. I would be in serious trouble if I wasn’t living in such a beautiful town, close to the lake and zoo and parks. It’s odd, feeling that there are, continuously, wonderful and exciting things happening here that I enjoy thoroughly (I bought a season subscription to the opera!) and yet. I need more peace and quiet. I’m working on generating that internally, with some success.

So- peace and quiet, here we come, even if it’s just for a week. Normally, we travel light with just carry-on luggage but this time we are loading up two duffel bags to check. We have all our fishing gear! And books, cameras, knitting and some snug clothing for camping nights on the San Juan Islands. I’m still trying to decide if I need my waders and whether Rich’s longest fly rod will go as carry-on. It won’t fit in the duffel and I don’t trust the handlers not to break or disappear a top of the line fly rod, even though it’s cased. I suppose I should call because, of course, a bad dream is getting up to the TSA folk and being told, “that doesn’t go.” Grrrr. I don’t like them.


When I was digging out my vest from the garage storage closet yesterday, I discovered that a mousey had been enjoying the roomy pockets and fleece fly holder. No holes or real damage; it mostly looks like she just made off with all the fleece she could tear off. It’s making me supremely happy to look at my flies…


Speaking of supremely happy (and also coincidentally odd) mail call brought some interesting items. I believe I’ve mentioned the (lack of) mail service here in Chicago before. It’s as though it’s optional, totally random and in no way related to envelopes and packages addressed to you. I read last week that Chicago holds the dubious honor of having the worst mail service in the United States. Suffice it to say, the concept of forwarding mail is too advanced. We got less than 1/4 of our mail forwarded from Ann Arbor- most of it made it here to the main post office and then got lost, returned, destroyed. In Florida, we get so little mail that I decided not to bother with a forwarding address for the months we’re here; generally a friend just checks it every few days. And then yesterday, this showed up! Datil Pepper seeds!


I will take these right back down, when I go in two weeks, because that is where they will be planted and grow.

This morning, before we were even out of bed, another package came from sweet Raehan with sleepy time teas, vitaminnies labeled “Repair” and other sweet smelling things. It’s so nice to have friends and such a treat to get REAL mail. Thank you so much!


How did you know that I needed THIS to make this for tonight’s last concert in the park?


So, tomorrow we fly to the Pacific Northwest to camp and fish and stargaze. Send good wishes for fair skies! And then, on the last weekend in Seattle I will be meeting up with some of my very best web friends: Wende, Margaret, that yogini of bon mots, Bonnie and Michele and maybe Kimberly. I will post lots of pictures of our frolics.

I KNOW, I KNOW- the font is too small, the borders too wide, the pictures cut off. That is going to be remedied while I am on vacation. That WordPress whiz, Elizabeth, will use her CSS skills to make adjustments. Then, when I post BIG FISH you’ll get the full effect.

26 responses to “Bodies in motion

  1. OMG! Is that apple crisp?
    Pass the vanilla icecream and get out of the way!

    Those baby datils need to rest and then be started inside in January or February at the latest. Even a St. Pete winter is too cold for young datil peppers.

    Patience grasshopper …

    Enjoy your adventure!

  2. It’s been years since I made apple crisp and now it’s not on my diet but my mouth is so watering for it.

    I am so jealous of your vacation! We haven’t be able to go flyfishing for more than a month and I’m going crazy about it. But we are heading for northern Idaho for the same kind of vacation, fresh air and monster fish. I hope I catch a bigger fish than you!

    Have fun!

  3. I love apple crisp or did you call it Apple Brown Betty? If it’s got brown sugar, I don’t really care what it’s called! Better pack warmish clothes; it’s in the high 60s, low 70s with a mix of sun and clouds. Typical NW weather–FOR OCTOBER. Grumble. I am still procrastinating on that hotel room when I really need to make a decision soon. I think Chicago sounds like a vibrant, interesting place. I would adore city living, but my husband would hate it, farmboy that he is.

  4. Oh, that looks delicious….and your vacation SOUNDS delicious.

    So glad you got the package before you left. Phew.

  5. Michelle de Seattle told me how to make the font bigger, so I’m enjoying your blog ever so much.

    Since I only know Bonnie by way of her blog, please give her a hug for me.

  6. How come everyone has your address except me? I have asked you twice – but so far – no answer. How can I send you something if you don’t let me know where??

    I hope you saw my posts about the lack of good mail service around here – especially in forwarding stuff. It’s deplorable!

    Please give Bonnie a big hug from me, and tell the others I said hi (I am not familiar with them, but maybe someday I will be). I hope you and Rich have a fabulous vacation and that you catch the biggest one ever!

  7. The rooftops go soy? Ho ho har de har har — that’s one of the funniest things ever said. Maybe it’s my jaded sense of humor.

    Anyway, this is a delightful post. Good luck on the fishing holes. I see a 35-lb salmon in your future.

  8. I just know that you will have the best time EVER.

  9. Just how long is Rich’s rod?!

    Lyric Opera tickets? You tie flies and are most refined and cultured, as well! Only two of the reasons why you are the apple of my eye, Vicki, and I can’t wait to give hugs all around!

    The bluest skies you’ll ever see are in Seattle, or, at least, that’s what Perry Como said.


  10. OMG, I can’t believe Bonnie asked that question. *snort* πŸ˜€

    And I’m looking forward to seeing you. At the moment, I am obsessing over my sick sophie who is, I fear, extremely ill. I’m personally a hypochondriac when it comes to my dog, but 3 vets later today, it doesn’t look good. S i g h. Anyhow, IZ has already informed me that there will be NO reason not to go,(read: he’s kicking me out next week!!) no matter how sick our Sopha might be. YES, I’d totally ditch to sit by her side, despite the fact that she resents me for giving her medication and totally seeks IZ for love. Damn dog. Just like kids…

    I digress… I’m looking forward to seeing you and PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, I don’t want to know anything about rod length. Just ENJOY. Heh. πŸ˜€

  11. I know you will have a fabulous time in the great North West. I just spoke to brother in law last night, he lives in Port Townsend, a musician. Right in that neck of the woods where you’ll be. It’s so pretty there. Lush and green. Just like down here on the Gulf!

    Safe travels.

  12. What is fishy about my question, Wende? It’s reel simple: I was lured by Vicki’s description. She always hooks me in and sometimes blows me out of the water, as well, but I bet we’re all in the same boat regarding the anticipation of seeing a beautiful, long rod enter a deep, dark, watery hole.

    There is also the thrill of a throbbing rod in one’s hand and one’s worm in a fish’s mouth, but let’s not go there presently.

  13. While the cats away…I go out for a few hours to listen to Britten and Vaughn Williams and come back to this! Wende, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to actually catch her with her hand in the cookie jar-or otherwise occupied. When we finally see her she’ll have that, “who, moi?” sweet smile…
    Can’t wait.

  14. OMG… BONNIE. Sheesh… when we’re together, remind me to tell you story of my college mentor and the little matter of the need for testosterone. I’ll just say this, he was an Old Testament professor and had a deep sense of, uh, oh… sheesh I can’t even say it.

    You’d think I’d be better with that sort of thing, considering my discipline, but I still blush reading Ruth. πŸ˜€

  15. OMG, I just realized how BAD those comments are of Bonnie’s in relation to your post’s title. Oh sheesh.

    Excuse me, I need to go, um…

  16. Whoa, Bonnie–I think I know now why you have a zillion kids.

  17. Whew! When you said vacationing in the San Juan Islands I thought omygod–Puerto Rico! Big hurricane headed that way. It would put the noise of those Thunderbird jets to shame. But I see now you’re headed west. Better, much better. Hope it’s a nice vacation.

    Saw the comment above mine by Heidi, so I had to scroll back here. Is that Bonnie the Spartan with those racy comments? She does sound here more like the Spartan women I’ve heard do reside in East Lansing.

  18. Enjoy your trip! Personally, I think that Bonnie needs to consider a career in writing romance novels . . . I’m not sure I’ve heard the Fly Fishing innuendo before but I think it works! πŸ™‚ Hope it all works for you!

  19. I thought it was using a smooth line that got a response, now I see rod length has something to do with it.

    Fishing is so complicated.

  20. Bonnie is irrepressible.

  21. I think Heidi’s right: Bonnie has given us a clue as to why she has such a large family.

    Happy fishing, Vicki. πŸ™‚ I’m looking forward to seeing you next week.

  22. It’s been a few years since I’ve been in Chi last, but I find it hard to imagine the old town all flowery and prettied up. Best of luck with the fishing.

  23. The weather has taken a bit of turn this weekend here in the drizzly northwest. Still, it can be quite enjoyable once you get out in it and hike around a bit. I like knowing you’re here in our neck of the woods. I’m waving at you from Port Townsend Bay.

  24. Bon voyage, Vicki – have a great time. I’m looking forward to pics of the one that didn’t get away.

    Fabulous shot of the planes overhead – McCloud’s opinion to the contrary.

  25. Vicki, I used to live against the Dover Air Force Base and the C-5s and C-19s flew over our heads. The noise drove me insane but I never lost my fascination with them. I love the fighter jets! Your poor kitty…

    It sounds like you need some relaxed time. I know what is like to have a difficult year – full of adjustments. Constantly adjusting.

    Relax & enjoy…

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