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I’m stuck in Folsom Prison

December 22, 2009

I hear the train a-comin’
It’s comin’ round the bend
And I ain’t seen the sunshine since I don’t know when…

I can’t figure out what it is that makes the train whistles more audible on some nights than others. Maybe it’s the snow, which is still falling. It’s not like last weekend’s storm out east, but it doesn’t stop. It’s already been snowing as far as I can remember. Shoveling is a regular part of the day, right up there with toothbrushing and clipping your nails and breathing. Reading the weather forecast is required before the planning of any events. Will we be able to get up the hill? Will we?

Today we did get up the hill and down another hill, all the way to the train station, where we left the car and headed for the city for our annual Christmas excursion. Usually we stay overnight, but this year, in the interest of being fiscally responsible, we did not. But while I missed the hotel experience, I also think we didn’t miss as much as I thought. We took a cab from the station to the Art Institute and wandered through a surprising number of galleries before the troops began to get hungry and crabby. The first restaurant we tried was too crowded. We ended up dining at Miller’s Pub, a Chicago institution. It’s paneled walls are covered with gilt-framed paintings of drunks and half-naked women and the occasional semi-tasteful landscapes and also with signed photos of many local sports figures and B-list celebrities. The food is not fancy, but the place is cheerful. There are huge tinsel balls hanging from the wrought-iron and wood chandeliers. The place is packed and everyone looks like they’re having fun. I forewent my usual whitefish dinner in favor of chicken pot pie. It was a worthy exchange. AJ devoured an enormous plate of spaghetti absolutely swimming in melted butter.

After lunch, we hoofed it back toward the lake. Mr. Spy and I took turns skating in Millennium park while AJ, who did not wish to skate, took pictures. It is lucky AJ did not want to skate, because we’d discovered just before leaving that we could no longer shoehorn his feet into his hockey skates. And the line for rentals was approximately 957 thousand miles long. It wrapped all the way around the rink and then some. But there was no waiting for those with their own skates. Lucky for me and Mr. Spy. We also took a picture of the bean with snow falling off of it:

Afterwards, we headed back toward the train, stopping to look at Christmas decorations on the way. We walked by Marshall Fields Macy’s to see their windows. They were okay. The aren’t like the lavish windows I remember seeing as a child. But AJ enjoyed them once he got over the obvious animation flaws (“How can she be writing a letter to Santa? Her crayon isn’t even touching the paper? Nobody writes like that!”).

Our collective favorite part, though, was on the other side of the sidewalk from the windows where we were lucky enough to stumble into the Puppetbike!. Today’s show included two cats dancing and occasionally fighting over the tip money, playing tug-of-war with a dollar bill.

Here is one of the cats dodging a crazy woman who kept trying to grab the puppets:

And then it was time to go home. And shovel some more snow. The walls of our annual driveway fort are coming along nicely. No pictures of those yet, alas. But they’re likely to get reinforcements over the next few days. We’re under a winter storm warning through Christmas Eve. Santa may need Rudolph this year.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 23, 2009 8:48 am

    There’s not enough street puppetry going on in Atlanta. Or snow, for that maatter. I’m jealous!

  2. December 24, 2009 5:29 pm

    we flew through O’Hare yesterday right in between the sleet and the snow. We were delayed, but lucky to be able to take off at all. The snow was beautful, though; huge flakes.

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