Monday, May 23 2022


page banner

Dear Journal,

Good morning, my Internet neighbors. It's time to open up another week. I know that because the house is awake. The morning sun fills my half-empty house. The dishwasher loudly whirrs from half-empty kitchen. To write at the computer, I took the only comfortable chair in this room, leaving the other metal chairs pushed into our temporary dining room table. As it happens, I've also got a half-empty cup of coffee beside me. Well at least that's one problem I can fix.

Sip. It's good to be here today. In case you didn't pick up on the repetitive theme of that opening paragraph, we've already begun to move our stuff into our new house. But before we had a chance to do any of that, we had to close on the house. We left the dogs with a sitter in Rockford, then the rest of us made the mundane drive to our new neighborhood. We arrived a few hours early, so we walked around Target and spent some time playing at our new neighborhood park.

When it was time to sign the papers, we followed our realtor to a cramped law office down the street. Our lawyer arrived a few minutes late, and we followed him into a tiny room in the back where he'd talk us through each of the papers we were about to sign. He sighed and rolled his eyes each time he took out a piece of paper as if his role was trite and boring, but I could tell he was having some fun embellishing his explanations and poking fun at the state government. "This fee is extra in Illinois," he said using his pen to point to a figure on the contract. "Since COVID, they think they can get away with charging more, and they can - welcome to Illinois."

We must have signed thirty papers. When we made our way to the bottom of the stack, Marissa and I gave each other a fist bump. Everyone in the room, amused by the gesture, quietly laughed. Marissa and I thought a fist bump was totally in order. There was something comforting about the purchase being official on both end.

What was even more comforting was when everyone left the room. We thanked our realtor and lawyer in the parking lot, and suddenly we were alone with a set of keys. There were no more people to deal with, and at last we were left alone with our house. "Let's go home," said Marissa. "The fence guy is gonna be here in twenty minutes."

We spent the afternoon in our new, empty house. We played football in the backyard. We shot hoops in the driveway. The previous owners bought Rodney and Miles their own basketballs.


When we got tired of wandering around our new property, we just hung around in the empty living room until Marissa was finished talking to the fence guy.


We had very few chairs. But at least the carpet felt nice, and the ice water tasted delicious.


Before heading home, we grabbed dinner at Lou Malnati's. We chatted with the waitress about how we had just bought a house, and we assured her that we would be back. Toward the end of the meal, without warning, they brought out a melted ice cream cookie dessert in lieu of a housewarming gift. That free dessert felt kind of like a special contract with Lou's to make them our family's new staple pizza place.


It's official - we're a Lou's family now.

We'd be back in Schaumburg only two days later - this time with a full moving truck. Packing your things up for a move can mess with your emotions. Maybe I was just tired from all the packing, hauling, and driving, but adding Rodney's baseball bat to the moving pile, I started to get choked up at the thought that his baseball bat wasn't ever coming back. Miles' red trike was never coming back. Our dining room table was never coming back.

The second time we walked in our house, it felt fuller. We had the dogs with us. We set up our dining room table. We had our first meal at home - an unceremonious lunch of packaged fruit, taco chips, guac, and a rotisserie chicken I picked up from the nearby Jewel. That's right, reader - we're a Jewel-Osco family now. I just love how that sounds.


We wanted to stay at our new house. I hate being in between places like this. It feels like there's still so much work to do before we can fully move in. The only way we could convince ourselves to jump back in the car and drive back to Madison was with a stop at Dairy Queen.


We'll end things on a silly note. Enjoy some napkin drawings from the past week.


"Eat at Lou's"


"Monkey Bar Master"


"Tiny Charles Ming" (we didn't bring his booster seat to the new house, so when we sat at the table we could only see the top of his head)


"Rodney drives a U-HAUL"

Here's one I found on Rodney's desk. He was bashful when I discovered it, but we assured him that this drawing of Sonic from memory was nothing to be embarrassed of.


That's what I got today. Thanks for stopping by, everyone. Have a good Monday.