Tag Archives: Chicago

Saturday:) Sittin’ and Singin’ “Up On the Roof”

18 Jun

“The sky’s the limit if you have a roof over your head.”

~Sol Hurok


I told you that last night Matt and I had pizza up on he roof. Before it got dark, Matt went back downstairs, but I stayed up on the roof, enjoying the cool night air, the sounds of the city, and the magnificent skyline.

Chicago is a fun city with a beautiful skyline. It’s the city where I was born. It’s home even though I don’t live here anymore. They say you can’t go back home again. Why not?

My view from the roof.

My view from the car.

Saturday:)Sitting at the Station and Some Other Stuff 

7 Jan

Better to get off the train at this station. Than to do it later, when it’s too late. Remember Time doesn’t wait!

~Deyth Banger


Another Chicago adventure today. A Metra train ride into the city was on my agenda. My sister dropped me off at the Elgin station, and my son Matt was meeting me at the Western Avenue stop. It sounds very adventurous, but I never know where the heck I’m going. I rely on family to point me in the right direction. 

It was just about an hour ride, and Matt was there waiting. It was pretty cold out, but the sun was shining. Felt like 3 degrees according to the weather map app.  Matt offered to call an Uber to take us to lunch, but I was bundled up and ready to walk. (Plus, I haven’t gotten much walking in these past weeks.)

Whenever I visit, we go to the local hot dog joint, called Fatso’s. (Appropriately named) The Chicago hot dog. 

Yes, I’m eating my way through Chicago. 

After the dog and fries, we took a frigid walk back to his place. It was a good three miles or more, then three flights up the stairs. I guess I got my steps in today. And…we’ve only just begun. More adventures tonight. 

See ya later!

Sunday Sermon and Home Sweet Home

27 Jun

We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.” ― Pascal Mercier


Today was my day to go home, leave Chicago and go back to McKinney. But, which one is really home. Like the quote says, “We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place.” It was sad to leave my mother, sister, sons, family, and friends. That’s home, or back home, but that’s not where I live.

An early morning start, with Mom waking me at 5:15 to ask if I needed to get up. I told her not till 6, but then couldn’t go back to sleep. Then she teased me with a big smile and outstretched arms and said, “Don’t go!” My sister came at 6:30 am to pick me up for a ride to the airport, but I wasn’t quite all packed. O’Hare is a zoo, so we left plenty early so I had more then enough time to allow for traffic and for security. Everything went smoothly and on time.

O’Hare is a nice airport, but it’s crazy huge, chaotic, and more like a small city surrounded by planes. I had over two hours before boarding, so I made some calls, wrote a little and read. When I got to my seat, 22E, the overhead was empty and I was even able to lift my heavy suitcase up there without male assistance. I was so proud. When the next two passengers arrived, it turned out to be a mother and daughter. One had the window, and the other had the aisle, with me in the middle. The mom offered me her aisle seat. Wow! Glad I didn’t pay the extra $55 for an aisle seat. Got it for free. My lucky day.

The plane was packed, but it was a smooth ride, no delays, and on time back to DFW. My friend Zelda came to pick me up and arrived just as I was walking out to the curb. Perfect timing. Then to make it even “perfecter,” (I like to make up words) we stopped for lunch, had a big salad, then stopped for ice cream. YES! The diet starts tomorrow! (Maybe )

By the time I got home, it was almost 4. The first thing I did was crank up the air, turn on the ceiling fan and lay my head on my very own pillow. But then…I felt guilty. I didn’t go to Mass. I was traveling all day. But, St. Gabriel’s has a 5:30 Sunday evening Mass. So, I got my sorry…self up, and changed my clothes and went to Mass. Of course, to feel back into the swing of things,  I went early and greeted at the door, saying “Good evening,” instead of my usual morning greeting. I missed my usual morning ministry, so it was great to see the smiles and hear the return greetings. It was a nice service with lots of singing, a wonderful singing group with guitars and a young woman with the voice of an angel. Sometimes change is good.


The Gospel was the one where Jesus tells some of His followers that difficult choices and sacrifices must be made to follow Him. My take on it…pretty much the same as Father Mike’s, the visiting priest from Oklahoma. Being good, doing good, and following the word of Jesus is not always easy, but the reward is everlasting.

Gospel. Luke 9:51-62

To him Jesus said, “No one who sets a hand to the plowand looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.”


So which place did I leave behind something of myself? Where is home? I guess it can be both.

We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.” 

― Pascal Mercier

Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom

22 Jun

“If a little bit of a good thing is good, than a whole lot of a good thing is even better.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Another grueling day of torturous eating frenzy in Chicago. I’m storing it all up for the summer. We ain’t got notin’like it back in Texas.

My dear friend and Super Grandma, Lin, stopped by with her 3 year old adorable granddaughter today to take me out to lunch and ice cream again. I know, I know! It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.

YES!!!!! Portillo’s!!!!!

Next, ice cream at Culver’s.

The three year old borrowed my phone and took a picture of me…caught in the act by a 3 year old!

A good day!

Montage Monday:)A Week in a Peek

21 Jun

Who said you can’t go home again? Thomas Wolfe wrote a book about it. I do it all the time. It’s wonderful.

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Two weeks back home in Chicago visiting family and friends, and one week left. It’s been a great visit so far, doing all the things I love and seeing all the people I love. 

Life is short my friends! If you get a chance to go home again, GO HOME!

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

20 Jun

“The only reason why we ask other people how their weekend was is so we can tell them about our own weekend.” ― Chuck Palahniuk


How was your weekend??? I’m just asking so I can tell you about mine. It was great!

I had the pleasure of attending Mass at St. Helen in Chicago. Matt happens to live right across the street from several churches. I had my choice. ( Also, loud church bells clang, clang, clang from various steeples ALL DAY LONG!)

Magnificent church in a Polish/Ukrainian neighborhood.

The Gospel was interesting, but i liked the second reading from St. Paul to the Galatians.

Brothers and sisters: Through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus…

My take on it…pretty much the same as St. Paul. We are ALL brothers and sisters, all children of God.


So now to the other stuff. Saturday was a wonderful busy day with Matt. We walked 5 or 6 miles in the morning. He wanted to show me a very cool walking trail that the city made from an old unused elevated train track.

We worked up an appetite so I could rationalize eating a Chicago hot dog and fries.

Oh yah! Poppy seed bun, pickle, peppers, the works with…yes, celery salt. All smothered with greasy fries. Don’t be jealous!

Later that evening, Matt took me for gelato, and we sat by the river, with a beautiful view of the skyline.

Then, at 8pm, Matt got us tickets to The Improvised Shakespeare Company, an Improv Comedy show at the Del Close Theatre. Very, very funny. I’ll admit, I laughed the entire time.

That was my wonderful weekend. There’s more about today and deep dish pizza. I’ll save that for another day. I’d hate to give you too much Chicago fine food envy all in one day.

I hope your weekend was wonderful, too.

Wednesday: Words of Wisdom

21 Feb

Words of wisdom for today, or any day, for that matter: “Home is not where you live, but where you are understood.” Christian Morganstern

I no longer live in the city where I was born and spent most of my life. Chicago is home and it’s “my kind of town,” as the song goes, but now, we live in Texas. From the time we moved to McKinney in ’04, the people and the city welcomed us with open arms. I like to think that I will always bloom where I’m planted, but sometimes the soil makes a difference. I made wonderful new friends, joined a tennis team, started writing, worked on my art, and changed my life. McKinney is where I live, where I have blossomed, and where I am understood. I’m home!