OMG I Am Off Until January 4th

Erin: Know what I have to worry about tonight?

Scott: What?


I’m on my third cup of coffee, at my computer, and am in my fuzzy red bathrobe, the one Scott bought me a couple of Christmases ago. In a few minutes, I’m going to go run a couple of miles out in the snow and then come back to try out Jillian Michaels on Exercise TV since we have Comcast now and access to all of those snazzy work outs.

I have been waiting to enjoy my house since we moved in. It just hasn’t been possible. Work has utterly and totally sapped my energies and concentration, so every night I got home and just collapsed. I have trained my anal-retentive brain to come to some peace with the boxes still piled all around, the spartan rooms and all of the shops in the neighborhood I have yet to explore. The idea of going out after I’ve closed the garage door was far too overwhelming for me.

But last night, after my husband got home, we went to Fox’s and had a beer and some pizza. I came home and poured through two issues of Newsweek, an issue of Esquire and the latest issue of Playboy. Because I am a supportive wife. And I didn’t worry about anything, though I did check my work Blackberry because there are some habits you can’t fully break, and I went to bed and it all felt pretty peaceful.

I felt light, as though my brain finally had some extra room in it for things I take joy in. Including new things to take joy in. Did you know there is an outdoor ice rink around the corner from us? I didn’t either. I love the south side.

Fact: this entire neighborhood is run by the high school kids. This isn’t a joke. Every place you go into, you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting some 16-year-old girl in sweatpants rolled at the hips, a ratty McAuley t-shirt, faux-Ugg boots and her hair sloppily piled on top of her head. I’ve been aware of this fact for some time, as Glin’s vet is down here, and all the girls who work the phones are McAuley girls. But it’s something else to live down here and realize that the ‘hood is run by adolescents. I love it, because it reminds me of where I grew up, and there is something awfully comforting about a neighborhood so entrenched in a culture of family. It’s just a funny change from where I’ve been living for a decade.

Despite feeling as though I haven’t been able to fully take in our new house, I can tell you without hesitation that we love it here, even more than we thought we would. This is our home, and within about two weeks it overwhelmingly became so. Last weekend at our friend Christopher’s Christmas party, I realized that Scott and I were so gushing over our new home and neighborhood that our dear, dear friends were doing that kind, polite, smiling and nodding thing people do when they ask a simple question and get an extended answer they really didn’t want. Finally, to stop us from talking anymore about our house and ‘hood, I put them all out of their misery by saying, “And in Beverly? The raindrops taste like candy! And in Beverly? There is sunshine! Every day!”

Everyone laughed, but here is a secret: the rain here does hint of a velvety, dark-chocolate aftertaste. That could just be all of the Guinness that gets consumed in these parts, though.

It was easy for this place to become home for me. It reminds me a lot of Joliet in the best ways, and all of the Irish, well, everything, is comforting and soothing in ways that people who grew up steeped in their own heritage only know. For Scott, though, I wasn’t as sure. But, as you can read from his own post, he’s found his home, too.