Archives for posts with tag: Chicago

I’ve spent the afternoon reading Noah Adams’ memoir about achieving  his wish in his 50’s to play the piano. I had my favorite Hoagy Carmichael c.d. playing and I became nostalgic for those simpler days in Bloomington as a student, haunting the coffee shop across from the IU Law School where Hoagy was said to compose “Stardust.”

Hoagy Carmichael Statue

Hoagy Carmichael Statue (Photo credit: StevenW.)

IU pays tribute to Hoagy with a small museum, one that I visited and wrote about for The Beacher at least a dozen years ago [it seems] and bought the c.d. I listened to earlier.  And another Hoosier, Cole Porter, just shows how much class our state of Indiana has!

As I looked out my window, inky, blue-black, angry-looking clouds hover over the northern horizon, coming from Flagstaff. We are to get snow by Saturday, my neighbor said.

I miss Bloomington, and I miss the midwest. Maybe the snow will make me feel more like home. I don’t miss Chicago–I don’t miss their machine politics, their new mayor,  nor do I miss the jackhammer racket that I heard while waiting for our architectural tour boat to head upstream along the Chicago River.

I looked at a class B rv this morning. The price was certainly right, but the poor thing is 40 years old. I want something that I can use here in Arizona as well as a second home and transportation back to the midwest for visiting relatives and the beach I dearly love. When I was back in Indiana in September, my friend Miff let me know that she traded her old van camper for a newer Road Trek. Miff put plenty of miles on her former van, and I rode along on a trip or two and even helped drive it, easily. Miff has put plenty of miles on her life to date. She is twice as old and then some as the class B I looked at this morning. Wish I knew she was getting a new one–I might have bought the one she traded in. She stayed in it here at Dead Horse Ranch State Park several years ago. Her cat wandered off while there and heartbroken, she had to move on without him. I often wonder if I see his ghost when I drive around Cottonwood at night.

Main thing I did today was to get out the Eastern Orthodox cross my mother bought for me years ago. She was disappointed that I could not accept it from her since I had fallen away from the church. As it was, I already owned a smaller cross, safely tucked into my jewelry box. But this one, the big chunk of silver she had specially ordered from a silversmith in Jackson, Wyoming is absolutely stunning. It has more meaning to me now.  She had it blessed, and she left it in her dresser for me to find  after she died. I think maybe she has been nudging me from the other side to come back to the fold. And, after I received an extremely insensitive email from a former friend earlier this week, I decided it was time. I suppose I had an epiphany:

God bless the 8% of women who decided to go ahead with their pregnancy after learning that their prenatal testing showed they would have a child with Down Syndrome. Eight percent! And shame on those self-proclaimed strong women, the 92%, who chose to terminate their pregnancies. You tell me who is the stronger woman.

Could say more, but I’ll stop here.


Visiting northwest Indiana was a refreshing break for me. The time went way too fast, of course. Some of the highlights began before embarking on the Amtrak in Flagstaff. Jean, Linda and I visited Walnut Canyon (where we shot photos of the Indian paintbrush and other wildflowers; Sunset Crater, filled with black lava fields, and finally, downtown Flagstaff, where we browsed the shops and marvelled at the activiity for a Sunday evening. The train arrived a bit late, and I boarded by 4 a.m. and woke everyone in my coach as I fumbled for my reserved seat. But the views were heavenly as we travelled east through New Mexico. The overnight was a teeny bit much. Sleep came in fits. When we arrived early the next morning in Kansas City, I was ready to absorb the sights along southern Iowa and Mississsippi river towns. The train arrived on time in Chicago. I made it over to the South Shore station in time to catch the 4:02 pm pre-rush hour crowds.

The book signing was overwhelmingly touching, since high school classmates showed up to say hello and buy copies. I was totally taken off guard. Plus, the Times of Northwest Indiana filled their Sunday Lifestyle section with an article about me and the book. I sold out all the copies I had on hand, too. Left a few at the Chesterton Art Center and at the Beverly Shores Depot Gallery. The Westchester Library and Museum each received a complimentary signed copy from me.
Will post some pictures and add some notes about my train trip to Chicago from Dune Park to enjoy a Chicago river cruise.
If you missed me at the European Market and want to purchase a copy of Talking Landscapes: Indiana Dunes Poems, you can buy them at or or just contact me. Cost is $10, plus shipping and applicable tax.
BTW, tomorrow I begin a new class in Haiku and Senryu and Wabi Sabi with a new instructor at OLLI at Yavapai College.

Harold and i sign books at the Art Center on September 8.