Times with Friends!

These last weeks have brought with them joyous times with friends.

To my delight, Kate and Reuben, two dear friends from Canada came down to Chicago for a weekend (and they brought fresh-picked blueberries with them!).

I was glad they both appreciated walking to places and doing everything inexpensively, because that is the Chicago I know! Neither of them had heard about the Bean before – one of Chicago’s distinctive landmarks. So we went to the Bean, passing by Navy Pier and through Millenium Park, and skirting a very loud and packed Lollapalooza event! We also spent time at Lincoln Zoo, enjoying the colourful show of life. In the evenings, Kate and I cooked (leaving Reuben to himself, since men aren’t allowed in the girl dorm), and together we watched The Book Thief and I learned to play Ticket to Ride (but I lost).

An adorable sand fox at the Zoo!
An adorable sand fox at the Zoo!

At first it was surreal to see these Canadian friends in Chicago. 🙂 But then I felt like we were no longer in Chicago: or, at least, for a weekend none of the stresses of life here seemed to matter…and it was very relaxing!

we didn't do too good at taking pictures while they were here!
we didn’t do too good at taking pictures while they were here!

The day after Kate and Reuben left, my roommate and I started our last move of the Summer (total of three). Doing a room check could be a blog post in itself! I am so grateful for my roommate making our moves fun. Now that I’m back in my room for the school year and she’s in her room, I really miss her!

One girl I’ve been blessed to know this Summer is Nat. As two Canadians, we already had some things in common (like, broken French conversations and correct pronunciation of “bag”). Nat is an illustrator and artist, and her comic plots and superhero t-shirts kept work days interesting! Throughout the Summer, as we were occasionally paired to work together, I discovered something else about Nat: she can bring out the crazy in me like no one else. Our conversations over cleaning dorm rooms and public washrooms (yes: another Canadian thing to say!) quickly became an exchange of some of the strangest things I have ever said! I made up some stories for Nat, such as a bullfrog that tore the wings of his butterfly-love with his horns. I told her my throat hurt and she heard “the goat carrots”….which morphed into the tale of an animal kingdom where the Language Maker forgot verbs, and they had to use fruit and vegetable names instead! That made for some crazy conversations that people around us could not understand! 🙂

One of my favourite memories of Nat will be the night we spent together last week. Excited about my new knowledge of Ticket to Ride, I proposed a game night. Nat made her boyfriend’s famous maple popcorn…which was scrumptious and sticky! To prevent stickifying our game pieces, we ate the popcorn out of my crockpot with chopsticks…isn’t that a perfect game night? 🙂

c'est bon!
c’est bon!

I will miss this friend!

After Nat left, I spent a few hours praying with another friend. We used the Northumbrian Celtic prayers. I have never prayed them before, and I loved it!

The star of my last story is, once again, my roommate. After work on Friday, we spent a few hours in a clinic, first time for both of us. Then, we walked to the Grant Park for Summerdance. I suggested an alternate route to avoid the congested Michigan Ave. Well, we didn’t get lost but we did end up taking a lengthy detour! By the time we reached the park (after about an hour of walking), we were both exhausted. “Charleston” was the dance of the night. Neither of us knew what that was, or if we had the energy for it! It turned out to be a lot of fun. The twirls were a bit hard for us to get in sync, but we enjoyed all the other steps we learned. During the dance lesson, we were constantly rotating partners. It was my first time dancing with men I don’t know….hm. Some of them smelled a bit too much like beer. It wasn’t a bad experience, but I am glad we rotated often!

photo taken from Google images

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