You know, I’m really…

You know, I'm really glad Simone and her family love living in the city so much. The city is great. The city kicks ass. It is a terrific place to raise kids. And although we've left the city, I still resist the suburban label. I mention frequently that Oak Park is on the subway line, and just fifteen minutes from downtown Chicago, and that the commute to UIC (near downtown) is actually a little shorter than it was when we were living in the city, in Wicker Park. I want to be a city girl. But still.

I love it here so much. Partly it's loving my house. With all the housing stress and uncertainty, I just find it immensely reassuring and grounding to go over to my house and be domestic there. Weeding makes me happy. Yesterday I spent a few hours putting paint on the walls and pruning away dead stuff on a flowering bush (I don't know what kind it is, tiny bracts of white flowers, but it's the perfect shape to have a fairy garden hidden underneath it). This morning I'm stiff and sore, but it's a good kind of soreness. If I have time, I'm going to go take a stab at the overgrown lilac bush today.

But more than the house, it's the neighborhood. The last few weeks, I've been driving around Oak Park more than normal, running up to the paint store (up at the far northwest end of the suburb, and we're currently living at the southeast end), looking at houses and their paint schemes. And I am struck, over and over again, by how stunningly beautiful it is here. The broad streets, and the tall parkway trees arching gently overhead, forming long canopies of dappled sun and shade, ever-changing as the wind rustles through.

I think this is a part of me that was formed by growing up in New England -- I just can't resist tall, leafy trees. I fall in love, over and over again.

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