Monday, September 04, 2006

End of Summer Road Trip: Chicago

We left Wednesday evening around 8pm and headed across the Connecticut stopping in Westfield before the river to pick up a Red Sox cap for Gaelen from a Freecycler and then it was no stops till Webster with a waxing quarter-moon setting in the West heralding our Way. Jan Scahill was waiting up for us when we puled in just past 1am. Ambiana slept the whole way and we listened to a book about Abraham the Was-He-Real? or Mythical? Patriarch of Judaism, Christinany and Islam. Ambiana woke right up when we arrived and she LOVED Jan, could not get enough of her nor Jan of her. It feels so good to stop there; warm, familial, loving. The big bed is like our own and the breakfast cereal and muffins delicious. We wish for them to visit us so we could be as welcoming. In the morning Bill and her were out but left us yummy wheatina and bagels. Colleen, Ambiquoop-ti-doops and I went for a walk we did around the old neighborhood. The train tracks around the house on the corner are gone, our house swallowed up by additions and renovations; the trees that are left have grown big, the place I lived in is gone, just a memory, the fields and orchards now new housing developments, cookie cutter and factory homes, all look like they were assembled at home depot and lowes.

The lake is still near though and the climate is lush. I imagine arriving by lake, coming ashore in Irondeqoit bay, working my way overland up the river valleys...was this place covered in forest or grassland 400 years ago? Will it be so in 400 more? Jan and Bill arrived home as we were saddling up to push on. Bill is sweet with Ambiana, we are glad we saw them before we left and look forward to seeing them on our way back in 3 weeks...usher in the equinox with them.

It is sunny and beautiful and we roll from Ontario to Erie listening to Abraham lore while Ambiana sleeps. We drive non stop to Cleveland; gas drops from $2.95/gallon to $2.39...Colleen had some concerns about Ambiana being older this trip and being fussy because she's constrained but she proved to be quite content amusing herself as well as Colleen. We stopped at Edgewater Park on Lake Erie at Cleveland with a strong NE wind blowing and surfers in the water...surfing in Cleveland. We picked a melon b4 we left and cut it open but it was not yet at the sweet stage and tasted somewhere between the Rind and a Cucumber. Ambiana enjoyed her piece. From Clevelend we skirted the southern shore of Erie and stopped at my Dad's across the Maummee. Patti we saw for 10 minutes as she forgot we were coming and had a date. Employing my father's technique we arrived right at dinner time and ate pheasnt and rice, debated the merits of using a microwave to cook corn, downloaded his Ireland pictures from his digital camera and got a look at his robo-vaccum.

When Ambiana got sleepy we loaded up again and headed across Indiana territory and drove into the sunset rain, all misty purple falling wisps with bright orange ball and deepening sky with a blood red moon calling us forth till it set amongst the freeway construction of the chicago portage. The Abraham lore was completed. In summary, each religion has a common link in Abraham but each interprets him differently. As tribes became cultures they personified law, morality and authority to mold the populace. Abraham, father of Issac and Ishmail; one he exiled the other he was prepared to murder, accepting and obeying the will of a jealous god. Where is the Love?

On this leg we listened to Chronicles: Bod Dylan's AutoBiography. It is very interesting. Both Colleen and I have asked each other several times juts what he f*%k is he talking about? But it's insight into the mind of the Pluto/Urabnus Conjunction popularly known as the 60's. He writes of the label and the call for him to be spokesman for and lead the youthful generation but he wants no part of it, just wants to be with family and live a simple life which he can afford to do in style because of the $$$/e=mc2 the youthful generation spent on his records, concerts, and persona. The masses were invested in him or at least the idea of him, his craved for simple life rested on their backs. Listening to the words he's written I can't help but think that he balked when his moment came, was fearful of the responsibility, knew all to well what our culture does to the revolutionaries, just wanted to retreat into anoniminity, rebuked his role in the collective unfolding or maybe just chose to go about it someway else. Too bad he never collaborated with Buckminster Fuller. Dylan's 65 and plays 200 shows a year, he's pluggin into something when he plays and he describes what he's doing and like he's off on some grand journey but he's going it alone, or maybe with his band and a few of those who get it and he doesnt care if anyone gets it and that kind of sums him up...

We arrived in Chicago around 11pm Central Time, Ambi is grumpy and right to bed. We see grandpa but only briefly. We sleep in and go running when we wake up rolling Ambiana along Colleen's running-round-the-block-and-pond route. Then we go over to Debbie's house and help her with making up the programs. I help with the alignment of the text and we leave with a stack of 49 to assemble stopping at Victoria Secrets (why do people think this stuff is sexy? is it? Malls are like DisneyLand on $$Crack$$) Anyway we had to be here to buy some adhesive something or other for $18 so Debbie's breasts would look good in her dress.

We then went to the Clancy's for Pizza and Beer. We love them. Ann and Bob have 3 beautiful girls and most of the neighborhood kids in their yard. Pizza was yummy, company was too and we even received an Irish dance performance from Shannon and Colleen (their 2 year old not our soon2b30 year old- Sept 8th) Then it was home where we assembled programs making tiny holes and tying them with little ribbons, I quit at 11pm to watch ESPN's Baseball 2night so I could witness the continuing malfortune being suffered by the Red Sox. A symptom I believe of the disease in the front office and their business attitude.

On Saturday we got up bright and early and went to lakeview for the wedding rehersal. The wedding is taking place in the Formal Garden of a lavish estate that is now part of a learning institution. There are collonades and walls, ornate sculptures and a pagoda with fountain and reflecting pool with the reception taking place in a large hall marbled and grand. The rehersal BBQ was also saturday and Colleen, Ambi and I drove to the park where it was going to be right after the rehersal. We set up a tent for naps and then went on a sweet run through the woods and over the des Plains river. We flew, it felt great. Then we relaxed in the park till the party arrived. First the caterers who put up the show and dished out the food and then the guests with bats and balls and flying discs and other games. It was fun, everyone loved ambiana, the food was good, there was an ice cream bar. We met a nice couple, Dan and Hui Min, I ate too much ice cream:( After the BBQ we drove to Palantine and spent the night with Colleen's mom. I watched the Notre Dame football game with Bill and then crashed hard in Matthews room. Colleen and her mom stayed up assembling the rest of the invitations and discussing how they were going to do Colleen's hair on Sunday.

On Sunday morning Kris and Bill made us a wonderful fruit and pancake breakfast. Ambiana and i went on a morning nap/run combo along a meandering bike path. When i came back Kris was cutting Colleen's hair and transforming it into an updo. It ttok forever and on the way to Debbie's hotel Colleen was sure it was a big old fuzzy mess but when we arrived at the hotel and the rest of the bridal party started gushing about how beautiful she looked she got over it. Ambiana and I spent the afternoon together as Colleen attended to Debbie and did maid-of-honor stuff like holding up the wedding dress when Debbie walked, making sure the wedding certificate was filled out and signed and posing for many pictures. Ambiana and I walked the grounds and played in the grass and she took a nap in a shady place while still attached to me.

The wedding itself was short and to the point. Both Debbie and Aaron were flooded with tears of joy and the whole thing was beautiful what with the gorgeous sunny afternoon and the splendour of the setting. Afterwards we mingled a bit and then it was time for Ambiana to go to the hotel and spend some time wtih Grandma. This was her 1st time away from either Colleen and me but we both felt she was ready for it. I droppped her off with her bag of toys, her bag of clothes and diapers, 8oz of mother's milk and the jogger and snugli. It felt a bit strange to leave her but we had faith in Kris and there was no separation anxiety on either part when I left.

The reception was fun, i missed Colleen's speech which made me sad but the dinner and cake took my mind off of it. There was no bouquet or garter toss, no cutting of the cake but there was the jingly glass kiss command and a 1st dance which was sweet as Aaron surprised everyone with his dancing agility. The band was a 9 piece combo with horns and 2 female and 1 male singer and they rocked from disco to R&B to a yiddish reel which culmintaed in the bride and groom and their parents taking turns being hoisted in the air in chairs. Then it was time for some salsa and some more roof-raising R&B. We stayed till almost 11pm and then headed back to the hotel and our baby. We found her with Kris asleep in the snugli. There had been one meltdown precipitated by over-tiredness and a diaper change which was allevieted when Kris took to the halls and ran into a mother and 3 kids who soothed Ambiana with a rendition of "The Wheels on the Bus Go Round & Round." Then she mostly slept until we got back.

We slept in the next day, even taking a nap all 3 of us together and then went over to Aunt Karen's for lots of food and fun conversation with Lindsay, Ryan, his gal Jenn, Dolly and Karen. Grandpa Jim and Karen joined us for dinner and we looked at the wedding video and pictures of Jim and Karen's trip out West earlier this summer. Ambiana really liked Ryan and would stare riveted at him, it was super cute.

We spent the night before we flew to Alaska at Colleen's mom's house. They threw a birthday party for Colleen for the very first time and she got to meet her Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle Kip. It is so nice to be meeting this branch of her family. They are very kind people and we are sure they will be a big part of our lives from now on!