What I Did on My Summer Vacation

August 1, 2016


  1.  Developed a formula for grocery shopping in a big city. This is it: The exact same number of people who are currently residing in a residence are also required to carry enough groceries back to feed, water and wash them all…unless you have everything delivered, which is also something I discovered.
  2. Learned my way around a new neighborhood, sort of.
  3. Ate stuffed pizza for the first (and last) time. My tummy thanks me.
  4. Made friends with lots of dogs. I will miss you Brad, Elvis, Mila, George, Max, Lexie, Corndog, Henry, Lovey and Dovey. Be good.  You know how to do that.
  5. Made friends with a homeless woman, Marie. Yes, Marie, I will look for you next time I am in town. And yes, you can take me out to lunch.
  6. Watched fourteen brides and grooms exit their wedding ceremonies at Church of the Holy Name, from 27 floors up.
  7. Took a wonderful class in writing The Solo Show. Maybe I will someday. Maybe. Thank you, Arlene Malinkowski. You are a good teacher, and funny too.
  8. Saw War Paint while it was in previews at The Goodman and introduced my friends to the playwright, Doug Wright. Lah-tee-dah.
  9. Had dinner and saw a show with an old friend. James Dumont, you are the best and I admire the way you live your life.
  10. Had the wonderful experience of discovering new friendships and deepening existing ones. Scarlet and Tommy, you are the best. Dolores and Keith, Joe, Mary, Liz, Marsha and Turnstull, Kathryn and Randy, I am so glad I met you. Annie and Anthony, dinner next time, ok? Ivy and Juliet, thanks for showing me the Miniature Room. Matt, Melissa, Marie, Richard, Rachel, Cindy, Molly, Rob, you are pinnacles of hospitality. So many new friends! You all made the city feel like home.
  11. Spent time with friends from home and elsewhere who were visiting the city for a variety of reasons. Love you lots, Amy and the other Amy, Chris, Mary Jo, Linda, Colleen, James, Ruby, Heather and Carley.
  12. Went to a picnic at Melrose Beach at the end of August and never broke a sweat. Not even a sparkle. Thank you Chicago Dramatists.
  13. Worshipped, studied and found friends at a church down the street. Thanks Fourth Presbyterian. You are mine now.
  14. Heard my husband whistle the Anderson Whistle at the DNC, over and over and over. It made me want to run towards the TV like a dog.
  15. Enjoyed binoculars. That is all I am saying about that.
  16. Ate lots of fabulous, old fashioned hamburgers. Thank you Gibson’s, and also McCormick and Schmick’s. Just.. yum.
  17. Wrote very little.  Sorry.
  18. Went to readings for four new plays, none of which were mine.
  19. Ate black spaghetti for the first time.
  20. Probably really screwed up my ears for good. The damn elevators, you know????
  21. Missed my friends and family from Louisiana, some more than others. You know who you are. If you are reading this blog, chances are I missed you.
  22. Practiced yoga in Millennium Park with almost 1000 people at one time. A big Om to that.
  23. Got to experience the city through the eyes of a nine year old whose favorite thing about Chicago was a one pound chocolate Hershey kiss. Thanks Mac. Right back at you!
  24. Developed a relationship with architecture.
  25. Visited the campus of Northwestern University and got to see my mother’s grad school file, which was still in the archives. Thank you Northwestern. Sniff, sniff.

Mostly, I loved every minute of my life, even the few days I was sick. You know why? Because the good, the bad, the old, the new, the exciting, the dull, the festive, the lonely, the spiritual, the intellectual, the scary, the familiar, the high and the low…it all makes for this rich, wonderful gumbo we all swim around in. So today I am feeling grateful, willing and excited to see what is next, and that is probably the best thing I did this summer.


3 Responses to “What I Did on My Summer Vacation”

  1. Tom said

    I enjoyed doing what you did and being with you.

  2. Anne said

    A summer definitely worth writing an essay on.

  3. Really enjoyed your essay and was able to vicariously visit your city life!

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