Thursday, August 14, 2008

the next chapter

Because I can't figure out how to move these pictures to the bottom of my post, here are some pictures that I borrowed from the wonderful world of the internet to show you of our neighborhood.

This is a view of the street east of ours, but it looks just like ours.
Cubbies fans, eat your heart out. We are only about a ten minute train ride to Wrigley. This is an almost-aerial view of our community, Edgewater.
One of the coffee shops just around the corner
The bike trail that runs right by our apartment
...and right by the beach!
A lot of the houses and apartments in our community are coverd in beautiful ivy.

One of the gorgeous churches on the main street.
This is the Episcopalian church we visited last Sunday. The homily was wonderful, and the church was just beautiful on the inside.
Our main street, Broadway

Ah, hello blogworld, dear old friend. It has been several years since our aquaintance has been frequent, but hopefully the old match will light again.

It has been a few years since I have graced the xanga world with my writing presence, and so much of my life has changed and grown since I was last a frequent composer of words. Once I began my job in youth ministry two and a half years ago, it seemed that sermon outlines and newsletters received all of my writing attention.

Because of this single-minded mission, I'm afraid that my writing may be a little dusty and in need of some moth balls. I remember in high school I could sit down at two in the morning and write a 12-paragraph blog packed with wit and hooks and insight with amazing ease...even though my reading is at the highest it has ever been, the typewriter in my mind needs some new keys and a little grease.

As I was saying, life has changed so drastically in the past four years. Four years ago, I was packing everything I owned in to my Jeep Wranger--the soft-top windows bloated from the excessive amount of clothing and books--and making that ceremonious drive away from home and towards Atlanta. I listened to Rascal Flatt's song "Moving On" on repeat for the first hour of my drive. Then, as the sun began to rise it warmed my melancholy, nostalgic heart and I sang Dixie Chicks at the top of my lungs for the next nine hours (you guessed it, Wide Open Spaces. It's a right-of-passage, give me a break). My heart was so anxious and nervous and excited and unsure of what the future held.

How could I have known that I would leave Atlanta with a healed heart towards my broken past, a friendship with Missy that I could not live without, two years of some of the most hilarious memories, a renewed confidence in myself and in other people, a fresh look at God? I could never have dreamed all that I would learn and see and experience.

And now, four years later, I just unpacked a bloated U-Haul (a little bit bigger than my Wrangler) as a young woman married to the most wonderful, selfless and adventurous man in the world. Four days of unloading boxes, alphabetizing and organizing over 500 books (not an exaggeration; I counted), multiple trips to the dumpster, moving furniture from room to room, hanging Beatles posters and picture frames...and just like that, a new chapter of life has begun. What lessons will be learned, friendships made, experiences treasured...well, that is yet to be revealed. I have never been so excited about a new chapter of my life, because I have never before had the love of my life by my side, hand in hand. He paints the world in so much color and love and renaissance.

On more of a basic note, we love our apartment. We live in a neighborhood called Edgewater; a very diverse community. Our street is lined with old brick apartment buildings, beautiful trees, and is generally pretty quiet (except for the occasional car driving buy blasting Spanish radio, TuPac's greatest hits, or Beyonce). The 18-mile bike trail that runs along Lake Michigan starts on our street, and it takes us approximately 10 minutes to walk from our apartment door to the beach. We have already taken our bikes for a journey along the lake several times, and we haven't required the service of our car since last Tuesday. Loyola University is two blocks north of us, and provides a wonderful resource of bookstores. Down on the corner is a meat market, and just one block west is an awesome grocery store with a delectable produce selection, our bank, a pharmacy, a branch of the local library (one of the first things we did was get our library cards), and the red-line train that runs straight downtown. There are all sorts of coffee shops, Thai food restaurants, Mexican markets, and used bookstores within a four block radius of our apartment that we are anxious to explore.

We live in a one-bedroom apartment on the second story of our 12-floor building. Our living room and kitchen windows face out on to the main street, which bring in the breeze from the lake and a beautiful blanket of natural light. We have all hardwood floors, antique fixtures, and a surprisingly limited amount of outlets. There is an old-fashioned elevator with a gate that allows you to see the walls as you ride up and down, and our landlord is a sweet older woman from (formerly) Yugoslavia. Her name is Patricia, and she starts cooking up all sorts of Slavic dishes starting approximately at 11am. Since our apartment is slightly above hers, we can faintly smell chicken and cabbage in our closests in the early afternoon. It brings a sense of homey-ness, I suppose. As soon as we have access to a camera (mine is out of commission), I will post some pictures of our apartment. Bartleby, our cat, is all settled in and finding all sorts of mischevious things to do and get in to (including dive bombing on to our bed from the windowsill at four in the morning).

Jason's first day of school is September 2nd, and I'm sure I will write more about it in the coming days (since this post is getting a little lengthy). I am in the process of starting online courses in the next couple of weeks, and I have put in my resume at the Boys & Girls Club down the street. They currently only have positions in their finance department, but I thought atleast I would start looking around for some options.

As stated before, this post is getting a little lengthy, and I have no desire to scare off any readers on my debut. There are so many things to write about, but the hours are so many and time will allow things to be told.

For now, happy Thursday! We are sipping our coffee and working on things that require being worked on before heading off to a concert in Garfield Park tonight.

Mercy and peace,



Brittany Henney said...

You're wonderful!!! I already knew most of this from talking to you on the phone, but it made me excited to see it again. Muah!! Love you and miss you!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey, it's me, the dumb kid from camp that can't read a map and has trouble paying bills on time...

good blog. I've been pretty skippy on reading the entirety of people's blogs lately, so I figured I'd start being just, and someone told me to read yours, so that was pretty good timing.

your cat's name is awesome. fyi.

talk to you later,


Netta said...

Your neighborhood looks Wonderful. I'm so happy for both of you!
Love you!

Gettysburg Campfires said...

Sure you and Jason are enjoying your new married apartment. Looks cozy. Have read some of the books you have read over your brief lifetime. One that most others for certain have not, To Kill A Mockingbird.

Thanks for including me, Cassie.

If you like William Bennett's book, try his new one on History of America.

Jackie Magnuson said...

I'm glad you're blogging again :)

Anonymous said...

it was amazing to hear about your last four years in your blog. I did not realize how much I missed your blogs until I read this one. It is exciting to see newly married life from another's eyes. It reminds me of why I married John in the first place...:) I look forward to reading more of what is going on with you in the future!