We're moving in January. In Chicago, also known as the Windy City, where the wind chill is known to cut through layers of wool and leather, straight down to souls, and makes eyes water not just because it's a physiological reflex, but because being outside in that weather just makes you sad. It's going to be great!
The first time I came to visit Tim in Chicago, we spent a Sunday afternoon at a dear family friend's home in Oak Park. As we were driving through this neighborhood, the old architecture turned me into a rubber neck and I suddenly piped up: "Where are we right now?!".
"My mom grew up here," Tim answered.
That's a valuable statement for a guy who was raised in France and didn't come to the states to live until he was 18. This neighborhood has rich history for him. I find this so fascinating; my mother-in-law grew up marinated in the culture of Oak Park, then moved to France, fell in love, and raised her children there. Without even realizing it, she must have continued to live and teach cultural norms specific to Oak Park to her children, and when Tim decided to go to college in Chicago and encountered his mom's old neighborhood, he felt like a certain amount of "home" was there too. I loved it.
Tim's parents own the place we live in now and we've been renting from them. It's been great, but now that Tim's brother and sister in law are expecting a little one, they need these three bedrooms and finished basement more than we do, and we want to be closer to the city for work anyway. The first place we looked was Oak Park. After seeing a couple of duds and getting discouraged, I got a call back from a building management company that had advertised an apartment with lots of windows. We went to see it, and fell in fast, optimistic, googly eyed love. We do that a lot.
This is the building; a concave structure with the ethereal light of heaven shining down into everyone's homes and hearts.
There was a problem: we saw the apartment at the beginning of November and couldn't move in until end of January. We knew it would be gone by then, so I called up the building manager and expressed my undying love and affection for her apartment and begged her to please call us in January if another one came open. She must have found my begging to be charming because she replied that they might hold it for us if we put in an application fast enough. So we did and we were approved. We decided to go see the apartment again and think realistically about living without a dishwasher or in-unit laundry, on the third floor without an elevator. It turns out that modern inventions can't trump natural light and deep, deep closets or free radiator heat.
This is our new place: