Friday, June 29, 2012

Hot? Yes. Humid? Yes. Summer in Chicagoland? Yes.

The motherlode.
OK, it's official. Summer has arrived in Chicagoland.  Yesterday it was 103 farenheit, with a rainstorm in the works, heat index 107. Can you say "air conditioning?"  Me and my favorite girls grabbed the opportunity to return that Ashby birthday dress and head out to the land of air conditioning, itself: the suburban mall.  Oakbrook here we come!!!!  I figured the place would be crawling with people trying to escape the heat, they sure as heck weren't out there frolicking in the sunshine, but quiet as it's kept, I guess everybody has their own air conditioning, or their workplace is sufficiently chilled.   Anyhow, going to the mall is a major affair in the Steward-Nolan family.  We've been pondering our lists of wants and needs for about two months, while we save up the energy necessary to penetrate the land of the shopping.  As we pulled up to the exterior of Macy's, Ashby said that the store needs a new coat of paint. "Oh, if you only knew, poor thing."  Addie, ever the wizened older sib, explained: "Don't you remember how much paint it took just to paint my room? Well, look at how huge this building is!" Oh, how I love these kids....but of course.
 We managed to find entertainment in the escalator, the frigid temps, shopping for swimsuits and underclothes and shorts, all on the beneath-ground floor.  As we neared the basement Starbucks (yes, how could we resist the caffeinated/sugared joy of this day?) I exclaimed: "this is just like Battlestar Galactica.  While the rest of the world crumbles from the heat, we're here in this false window-less environment, wasting away."  Addie asked for a frappucino and I wondered, you've never had one of those, "oh, yes I have, with Dad, and so and so, and so forth".  Innocence lost.  What can I say?  If only I had known how many lost battles, thirteen years ago, maybe I wouldn't have fought so hard in the first place.  But then again, the fight is sometimes just for the sake of the fight.
Yes, you're a terrible mother...not only do you buy this crap, you tell us how awful it is.  boo!
 Caffeinated, dear reader, I made it up three flights of escalator to seek out the one thing that Macy's carries in abundance that I crave...Fiestaware!!!! What I really love about shopping for Fiestaware, is that for now, the kids are as easily delighted by the whimsy and pure beauty that Homer Laughlin has always and will eternally provide.  We made a few choices and got ready to pay up for a special, special treat.
White! Peacock!Flamingo!Shamrock! Made in West Virginia! Homer Laughlin!!!
 As I was leaving the store, I felt proud for shunning the piles and piles of personal adornment that Macy's sells, in favor of something that is timeless in my own home, and helps create beauty whenever we eat and share food.  Richly symbolic.  As for the kids, who doesn't need a swimsuit that makes them look like a bumble bee or underwear or shorts? I'm satisfied and OK with the whole experience.
I lied down on the burning cement, trying to get kids and sign in shot.


Watch out for that train! sky! Rock! Refuse! It's Cook County, for cryin' out loud!
And then today, this photo taken only minutes before the sky opened up and rain poured, thunder and lightning.  I was walking with a friend through the forest preserve and we stumbled upon this railroad track.  We figured we'd cross the thing, which we did, but as we were searching around for a drop from the cement wall, we saw an older gentleman with walking sticks who insisted we better get away from all that metal, storm was on it's way...a little excitement for a morning walk! 
   Cooled and refreshed, we made our way to the new Juice Bar in River Forest.  Who knew? The Juice Joint provides some serious  juices and smoothies, and they're just getting started.  We tried the Addicted to Love, and the We've got the Beet. Hearty and organic, just my style.