Sunday Gratitude: Owl Home Range with the Grands

Photo by Zdeněk Macháček on Unsplash

My Sunday gratitude is for these past three days I spent with Grand and Papi Owl. It’s not been a great winter for them, and they recovered from a fortunately-light Omicron bout just a couple of weeks ago. Since Massachusetts weather and Ilinois weather are usually equally bad at this time of year, it seemed the right time to go. And I got to miss the shoveling. Or not, as the case may be.

Chicago (where they live) is not where I was born or grew up. As a child, I did spend a couple of weeks just about every summer and some holidays visiting my grandmothers in South Holland, Illinois (Dutchies through and through). Chicago is one of the truly great cities on this planet though few people seem to know that. My memories are filled with Cunis Candies fresh blueberry and peach ice cream, visits to the Field Museum, Lincoln Park Zoo, and Art Institute, and major feasts at the Greek Islands Restaurant in Greektown. Cubs games with my dad–now you know why I was never a New York or Boston fan. For a while my dad worked in the Sears Tower which the Owlets believed to be named the “Serious Tower”–and possibly still do as I never corrected them. It’s now the Willis Tower, I suppose. The Grand Owl, my mom, is a plant clinic volunteer and master gardener at the Morton Arboretum–The Champion of Trees, which is a favorite place of mine (unsurprisingly).

This time around we ignored the city, and had only a short visit to the snow-footed trees at the Arboretum. My dad is not well, which is not my story to tell, but I was able to sit and talk for hours with the Grand Owl, my mom. She has the world’s most prodigious memory, and reading skills, and interest in her kids and grandkids. I am so grateful to have the time with her–to hear the stories, to laugh at memories, to drink the wine, watch incomprehensible Finnish TV shows. Make time for your parents–always always make time for them when you can.

See you soon, Chicago…and Grands…


  • A lovely bit of gratitude. I couldn’t agree more — when my mom passed, she had come up from Hartford and was rehabbing at the old Spaulding Rehab hospital near the O’Neill Federal Building, and I was working in that federal building. I had lunch with her every day for months, and took her to the Public Garden and Science Museum on weekends. Such a blessing. Thanks for making me grateful today too.

  • Amen to all that!

  • I live in Hyde Park Chicago for 3 years, a few blocks from Lake Michigan, surrounded by coffee shops, bars, bookstores and museums. Yes, it is one of the great US cities. (Although I didn’t have the $$ to enjoy it fully then. Twice a year we’d go downtown for a dinner and play night.)

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