|After posting here, I e-mailed yesterday's blog to my parents. I got two insightful replies.|
When I visit Chicago, and if there is time -- which there usually isn't -- I sometimes visit Albany Park, a neighborhood from which I moved in 1954. We had moved there about 10 years earlier.
I'll walk around looking at the apt. building in which I lived, the schools (public and Hebrew) I attended, the stores at which we shopped, the movie theaters I attended (they are all torn down now), the alleys in which we played.
And I'll remember the people I knew, wondering what happened to so many of them and knowing what happend to others. Anyway, I appreciate the feelings you're having as you prepare for the next chapter in your life.
PS: Funny, but I hadn't thought about Albany Park or its people for some time. It was a bittersweet exercise.
Changes like that were always hard for me, too.
When I first moved from Chicago I cried like a baby.
I felt better after seeing a poster in a Hallmark store -- a big flower -- and it said:
"Bloom where you are Planted."
I just took a walk around Hyde Park. My normal route, just about a half hour start to finish.
For the first time since making the decision to get the condo, I felt nostalgic about where I am now – where I've been the past six years. Every step brought back memories, and every landmark holds a story.
I think all the activity around getting a new condo, crashing an old car, and getting a ‘new’ car was able to distract me. But now the move is setting in.
I know I'll create new memories and new stories in Clifton. But right now, I'm sad about leaving Hyde Park.
|“What do you think about all this?” a sensitive co-worker asked as he waved his arms at the office Christmas decorations. |
He was referring to the giant decorated Christmas tree, empty oversized boxes wrapped like gifts, white lights adorning the ficus, and Christmas carols playing from a portable home stereo.
“I like all this,” he continued, still waving his arms. “But I don’t want other people to feel uncomfortable.”
“It doesn’t make me uncomfortable at all,” I quickly responded.
Then I paused.
“But it does make me feel … different.”
He seemed disappointed, as if the display of decorations was rubbing my nose in the fact that Christmas – and all its festive hoopla – is not for me.
I tried to clarify. “Feeling different isn’t a bad thing. I *am* different. I *like* being different, being Jewish.
“If you walked into an NAACP meeting, you’d notice you’re white. When I walk into the building, I notice I’m Jewish.”
It’s interesting. There’s hardly anytime I feel more Jewish than Christmas time.
For me, Christmas is about seeing friends who are home for the holidays, gift exchanges and holiday parties. It’s about cookies and candy, and wishing other people 'Merry Christmas' as they celebrate their holiday.
Meanwhile, I’m quietly comfortable being different. And I’m grateful that the holiday that makes me feel that way.
|No matter how old I get, I still want to etch my initials into freshly paved sidewalk.|
|Not too long ago, holiday shopping season began on Thanksgiving.|
Then the sellabration leapt an entire month, all the way to Halloween.
On Monday, Macy’s set up Christmas trees in its windows.
The thermometer was pushing 90.
But the following day, the weather broke.
Overnight, tomato season became apple season.
And Macy’s window décor seemed a little more at home.
But really, it could have waited ‘til Thanksgiving.