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Tag Archives: Chicago

Nissan Paramedic.

Nissan Paramedic. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As some of you may know, last week when I was in Chicago on a celebratory vacation (graduation) to see my daughters and their families, I had an unfortunate accident. About ten minutes after our arrival at my older daughter’s home, I lifted my camera bag out of the car when I felt a sudden, searing pain that ran from my wrist up past my elbow. Excrutiating. I was immobilized. Once back in the house my son-in-law ran for ice and my husband tried to comfort me with words. Nothing worked. Every movement of my body only exacerbated the pain in my arm. When we determined that I was unable to get into a car to make a run to the emergency room, John (son-in-law) called an ambulance. Within minutes a crew of men from the fire department showed up to apply first aid while we awaited the ambulance. And all were focused on helping to ease my pain. When the ambulance arrived, the paramedics gave me a painkiller, loaded me on a stretcher and into the ambulance, and we were off. The night was cold with blustery snow, and we had to drive at a snail’s pace through Chicago rush hour traffic! On the way to the hospital I discovered that the paramedic with me in the ambulance was “Joe.” Joe has done this kind of work for 25 years more or less. He loves his work. His father, a brother, and an uncle are also paramedics. I also met Victor and Carlito who were attentive and caring. I must admit that until this experience, I never really thought about the work that emergency service personnel do, or the danger they face while doing their work. I appreciated that these types of services existed, but never really thought about the people who are first responders to all types of emergencies. Last Monday night while in the back of the ambulance on the way to the hospital, I felt genuine gratitude for Joe, Victor, Carlito, and all the others whose names I did not get. Thank you to all emergency service personnel whose sole purpose is to provide emergency aid and transport to folks in need.

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Jacob and Genevieve absolutely love each other! I don’t get to spend nearly enough time with either of them, but when I see them together it thrills me. Jacob lives in Chicago and Genevieve lives in Pittsburgh, but their parents (my children) are intentional about visiting each other from time to time. I watch these two and am reminded of how much I enjoyed my cousins growing up, even though we are scattered across the country. I had no idea how much joy I would get from watching my children’s children bond with each other. Before the end of the year, there will be more children to add to this mix! More joy! More bonding! More grandchildren! More cousins! I do not know what any of us did to be so incredibly blessed, but I know without a doubt that I am incredibly grateful for my grandchildren, and the gift of watching them bond with each other!

 

Visiting my daughters in Chicago has always proven to be problematic. The main reason rarely  visit is because the cost of getting there is prohibitive. Well, not anymore! When we moved to Cleveland, I was introduced to the Megabus! These two-decker beauties are fun to travel in. They stop in major cities and run express lines throughout the northeastern part of the US. Rides are comfortable, and the buses are wired for electricity so you can plug in your phones or computers. They advertise free wi-fi, however you will be lucky if you are able to pick up a server. I was able to do coursework off-line for the seven hour trip, so I’m not complaining. In fact, I am already planning a return to the windy city in March! The Megabus is extremely economical, too. I booked round-trip tickets two weeks in advance for a TOTAL of $35.50. If you plan far enough in advance, you might even luck out and get a $1 ticket!  Another couple on the bus with me got $10 round-trip tickets when they reserved six weeks in advance. In case you haven’t figured out, I am sold on Megabus. They have provided a way for me to visit my daughters three or four times a year as opposed to once every two or three years.  I am extremely grateful for the Megabus!

Jacob is an eight-year-old boy living in the suburbs of Chicago. I don’t get to see him nearly enough. He is precocious, gregarious, happy, energetic, a typical healthy kid who is surrounded by love, and he is my grandson. (He also loves to climb trees!) I am fortunate to visit him in the Windy City and we are having a ball. Last night, Jacob and I had a date to see “Puss in Boots” at a local theatre. Jacob’s mom (my daughter) and John dropped us off at the movie theater then left for two hours. Jacob and I watched this fantastic movie together (fantastic because I was with Jacob), ate candy and popcorn and drank pop, laughed a lot, and enjoyed hanging out together. I can’t think of a better date night except with Richard. Even then, a date with Jacob is something special! I am grateful for movie dates with my grandson!


With summer just around the corner, and temperatures already hitting the upper 90’s, I find myself thinking of the beach.  This photo was taken on Mother’s Day a couple of years ago when I visited my daughters and grandson in Chicago. As warm as it looks, we were wearing jackets and parkas, even so this reminds me of summer time at the beach, lying on a lounge or a beach towel under a larger umbrella with tons of sun block slathered on.  The beach suggests relaxing with a good novel, toes in the sand, a dip in the lake–or ocean, if that is the case.  There is so much more than just relaxing at the beach.  There is an entire eco-system that we are often oblivious to.  But for today, I am grateful for the beach and the fun and relaxation offered there.

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