Now that we’re inside the 30-day mark for the move, I can’t help but notice every time something happens that I think would never normally happen if I tried to make it so. These things lately have ranged from an impromptu gathering of friends on a patch of Boulevard tree bank during the very first summer concert in a neighborhood where I lived for five years, and there was never any excitement. I finally had dim sum. I took a ride on a water taxi (which, by the way, for all you visitors to Chicago, is the cheapest way to see downtown from the river at $2 a ticket. Grab a local and get the poor man’s architecture tour – bypass the $15 docent and big boat).
Over the weekend, I found myself on the back of my dear friend’s Stella during our annual Chicago scooter rally. We took up the rear as we were leading a small ride of non-locals back to a meeting spot. As I looked at the pile of scooters stretched out before us, the grip on my friend tightened and I put my chin on his shoulder. He nudged me to ask, “what?” and I said, “I could never plan this. If I wanted all these people in a room together at a tiki bar 20 miles outside the rally site, it would never happen” and yet, that’s exactly what happened that night. People I could see often but don’t and people I only get to see twice a year, all converged into one spot and we had the most fantastic night complete with 3:30 am Golden Nugget breakfast. Almost every day something happens where I think, “this is the last time I’ll ____”. Not with sadness, but with awe. As one of my girlfriends said as we were on the blanket at that summer concert, “It’s like the city is throwing you a goodbye party!” and she was exactly right.
So the bucket list. There are things on this list that I have never done and with no excuse, either. I have roughly three weeks to accomplish a few things and they are:
1. Water Taxi (check)
2. Dim Sum (check)
3. Lincoln Park Zoo (America’s last free zoo, or at least one of them)
4. Hollywood beach on a warm day
5. Have an oatmeal shake from Irazu
6. Get dressy and imbibe a cocktail at Maude’s
7. One more Scotch egg at the Gage
8. Eleven City Diner for one last breakfast
9. Avec for dinner and to stay goodbye to my friends and family there
10…. something will fill this spot, I’m terrible at naming the last thing on any list
So today, with the 68 degree breeze blowing through my empty house, I begin to pack the very first box. After that, I am off to spend time with someone that I am very much going to miss and later tonight with more folks who I will be thinking of from time to time. The goodbyes haven’t really started yet, at least not for everyone else. For me though, they are always hovering just out of the room. Three weeks to go, it’s going to get a little rough from here.