Tag Archives: Lake Michigan

Chicago Memories: Lakefront Painting

On Mother’s Day, Casper and I walked to the beach, passing by a small farmer’s market and beautiful murals on the way.

Part of a huge mural under an L station. More here.

We played in the waves a little bit – Casper was disappointingly cautious – and I ended up dropping our camera into the water by mistake. It’s a goner.

Beautiful Lake Michigan.

We laid out our tapestry on the grass, off the beach to escape the brutal wind. It was chilly, but I set up my paints and worked on some pere on the back of cereal boxes. Casper wandered off to find us some food and while he was gone a girl showed up and started watching me. I asked her if she wanted to paint. She said she’d have to ask her mom and ran off.

She returned with two siblings. So Margo, Daniel and Olivia painted with me. Margo was the one who originally approached me. She was 8, I think, and definitely extroverted. She added sand to her painting and chatted incessantly. Daniel was 5, I think, and rather quiet. Olivia was 11, I think, and just hitting those awkward preteen years. Margo sat right down and started painting; when I asked Daniel, he didn’t say anything but sat down and waited for paper; Olivia said “I guess” when I asked if she wanted to paint and made a point of regularly correcting her siblings’ stories and claims.

The two girls looked at me with skepticism and wonder when I said that I live on the road. And when I took my hat off to show them my completely bald head, Margo was the only one brave enough to touch it.

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Playing cards at the Lincoln Park Zoo.

We stayed at the first couch, Abby’s, from May 2 to May 7.

Maia and Sophie, Abby's kitties.

By the second day there, we decided to bring Salem inside for good and let the three cats just have it out. There was lots of hissing and picking of fights. Casper hardly slept the first two nights because of all the 2am hissing fits. Abby’s kitties are Maia, who is very simple and reminds me of Brittany from Glee, and Sophie, who is more like Santana. They’d fight all night and then seem to agree to take a nap around 10am each day and there would be peace. Eventually Salem kind of won out as the king of the house and the last few days there were times when all three cats were quiet.

During our time at Abby’s, she was gone at work pretty much all day, every day. We spent quiet mornings drinking too much green tea (accidental caffeine overload) before heading out for sightseeing. In the evenings, we would chat and laugh with Abby. She works in a long-term care facility for folks with mental illness so she and I had lots to talk about. Her bookshelves were full of books Casper and I both recognized. Her walls displayed beautiful, goddess-y art and even some Frida. Casper cooked an incredible soup the second or third day as well as a nice breakfast on Abby’s day off.

A yak-thing :)

We went to the Museum of Contemporary Art on Tuesday because that is their free day. Jim Nutt’s work blew my mind and inspired me, too.

The Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago is free everyday! After it closed at 6pm, Casper and I went to a head shop and then a grocery store. We sat under one of the super noisy L overpasses and ate tasty challah and salami and cheese and juice. Then we passed by the Oz Park – which we’re definitely planning on visiting again when my feet aren’t killing me – and wandered our way home.

As we were getting some stuff out of the Pearl before heading up to Abby’s, Casper called out that there were ducklings in the road! They turned out to be geese: two parents and 11 goslings. There was a long line of cars behind them, driving at goose-speed with their headlights on. The family was headed for a big, nasty street so I immediately started guiding them to the sidewalk and to the right, towards what a bystander said was the nearest park with water.

Mama, Papa and 11 goslings on Wieland Street in Chicago.

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