The Purple of Life

She told me to hold on to the purple in my life.

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Location: Chicago, United States

I'm a 37-year-old editor and city dweller, wife and mother, moderately liberal and radically optimistic. I would fill my perfect day with a cup of coffee and the Op Ed section, a flea market and the playground, a run along Lake Michigan, a walk through the neighborhood with my son and my greyhound, a Cuban dinner and a bottle of red with my husband, and an evening flight to some European city. I wouldn't be picky about which one.

February 19, 2011

The winter that I turned 35

I just got back from a brisk six-miler in the bright cold winter sunshine. The sky was impossibly blue, the bike path bone-dry, sparsely populated with other runners. Last weekend when I ran outside, I saw cross-country skiers traversing the white soccer fields. This weekend it was guys playing touch football on green turf. The landscape has changed dramatically in seven days; towering snow piles have shrunken to dirty scrapes of ice on the grass. I’ll take it.

Although the Groundhog Day Blizzard was definitely an exciting one—we were engulfed in about 22 inches of snow in less than 24 hours. Both my office and John’s closed for the day, public transport was barely running, people were trapped in their cars for hours on Lake Shore Drive, and the Drive was shut down, which meant pedestrians could amble around on it, taking photos from a once-in-a-lifetime vantage point. A few hours after the storm passed us by, I headed out with my camera, exchanging smiles with strangers as we jockeyed for space on the sidewalks, narrow, winding valleys between mountains of snow. I walked on the beach (I wasn’t brave enough to step onto the frozen lake’s waves, though) and then walked a few blocks down the middle of Lake Shore Drive. Definitely an unforgettable experience… all of those people meandering on the snowy asphalt, making the most of a grownup snow day.

I think my wintervention has been going well. I’ve spent some hours in my local café, met friends for lunch and dinner, made progress on my Italy photo album, tried cooking one new meal, watched the Lunar New Year parade on Argyle Street, and attended a mayoral candidate debate. (It was sponsored by local Asian-American community groups, and to kick it off, a group of excited Korean teens performed a traditional drumming routine that brought a lump to my throat.) I'm going to the ballet tomorrow. My sister’s first baby is due at the end of April (I’m going to have a nephew!), and I’ve been planning her shower. I’ve been working a lot, editing a lot. I’ve been savoring quiet, lazy Saturday mornings with endless cups of coffee and the newspaper. I turned 35 and decided I was OK with that. My parents sent me a box of fun presents in the mail, but the best piece of mail that’s come this winter is our appointment to have our fingerprints done for our I600-A, the Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition. It means things are moving along, the cogs in the wheels are turning, turning, turning. Don’t look now, but March is beckoning.

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Blogger Birdie said...

I loved your photos - all of them, especially the parade on Argyle. I also liked that you wrote on how you exchanged smiles with strangers. It's so true! That day seemed to bring Chicagoans together in a unique way.

9:36 AM  

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