Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Lions and Tigers and Bears

I'm not sure I will ever again be capable of stringing more than two words into any sequential sense. I am that tired.

Our Chicago accomodations were rather, um, spartan, given the cost. We had to wait half an hour on the dinner reservations so carefully made and confirmed. Our Ohio State Son succumbed to the effects of the previous week-end's partying and slept for two days. I stayed behind in Chicago Son's apartment Saturday night where the word "spartan" hardly does justice to what I encountered. As far as I can recall, we did send all of our children off to college with a full complement of towels, bedding, and other life basics, of which one graying towel seems to be all that remains.

On the plus side, we met Chicago Son's charming girlfriend and on Friday we went to the Shedd Aquarium and on Saturday Chicago Son and I made the seven-or-or-so mile walk from Hyde Park to downtown (something I have wanted to do since my first look at that path along Lake Michigan on my first trip to Hyde Park a few years ago) and on Sunday we found a fabulous Italian restuarant for dinner.

I spent Monday visiting Windy City Seminary, and came home somewhat overwhelmed by the combined sense of what a spectacular privilege it would be to spend three years immersed in life at either of the two seminaries I have visited and what a daunting task it would be to reorganize my existence to embrace that new life.

My mixed feelings of elation and apprehension merged into complete exhaustion on the flight home. I can't claim to have been revived by the discovery that, with exactly four weeks to go before Christmas and absolutely nothing done in preparation and nary a vacation day ahead of me and a house in desperate need of a thorough top-to-bottom scrub with a Brillo pad, my husband had decided to use his free time on Sunday to rip off the wallpaper and knock out the damaged plaster from an entire corner of the dining room. Down to the studs. Wallpaper that was damaged by a leak oh...maybe a decade ago. In a room where thirty or forty people will gather in EXACTLY TWENTY-SEVEN DAYS.

My husband does not know how to plaster. Neither do I.

I am dealing with my complete disorientation, and with the fact that in a little while I have to prepare and teach four classes, by playing with my new images from Chicago. The one above was taken near the Bond Chapel on the University campus. There is something about those twisty arches and sharp points and the stark backlighting that exactly reflects my mood at this precise moment.

11 comments:

Carol said...

Somehow, "welcome home" doesn't seem to quite fit here. Ummm...the seminary sounds interesting but as though it just added to your whole discernment process. Once you waited for dinner, was it good? Sorry the weekend wasn't exactly what you had hoped it would be.

Cynthia said...

The wallpaper and plaster thing happened to a friend of mine two weeks before Christmas last year. What is it with husbands? She just gave up and hung a sign on the exposed studs that said Praise The Lord Anyway.

kairos said...

Is your son going to the UC Div school, or one of the hyde park seminaries?

I'm just curious, since I'm a Div School alum and current PhD student there (though working from afar).

Sounds like a profound trip for you. Thanks for sharing it!

Gannet Girl said...

My son is a 4th year at the College. I'm the one looking at seminaries.

Quotidian Grace said...

That's a gor-geous photo, GG.
Sounds like you are feeling truly overwhelmed. Try to take a little sabbath time and let some stuff go.

ppb said...

I'm not an alum (but was rejected for a job there---does that count), but I really loved Bond Chapel--more so, even than the spectacular Rockefeller. There's just something quirky and cool about it.

Kathryn said...

I was wondering how the weekend went. Oh my! I'm glad you got to do the enticing walk and had a nice visit with the son who was not sleeping.

Our bathroom was torn apart for more than a year due to a plaster issue. There is currently a 3x3 foot hole in the ceiling in a corner of our living room due to a plumbing repair 11 months ago. I expect your dh will be explaining the hole in the wall to your friends in 27 days.

Do not stress about the holidays - remember what Advent is about. I want to hear more about the seminary visits.

Lisa C. said...

Oh my God!! You're married to MY husband!

Virginia said...

Shedd Aquarium and Oceanarium... I would love to go back and visit there.

Peace, Virginia

Paul said...

I know how to plaster, but I guess that doesn't do you much good.

Lisa :-] said...

Sometimes I think husbands were created to give our lives just that much more excitement...

Gee...I was born and raised about twenty miles from Chicago, but it seems so much more exciting seen through your eyes.