Changing Shells Part Two

So about that part two… I’m sitting here on the eve of signing our new lease for the next chapter of our lives and in the moment I am very excited and a little bit wistful. Today That Redhead and I drove around what is soon to be our new neighborhood to get a lay of the land. She was so excited that she fell asleep. Lol! Seriously though it was super exciting and her drowsiness had more to do with a big Hub 51 brunch than it did with any boredom. As I said in my last post I had only three homes in my first 18 years and then 13 or so I think would follow.

My journey past 18 would then carry me to a couple of years in a residence hall called Wenley House in the West Quadrangle at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Then a couple of classic rundown student apartments that were terribly overpriced and in sorry states. One was at 1516 Geddes across from the cemetery and the other was on the corner of Oakland and Arch for those of you who know the campus. In a way the shabbiness made them all the more charming. My ex-wife and I then shared a few typical suburban apartments one in Rawsonville, Michigan and the later in Southfield. Finally came a return to Chicago and a life in the South Loop that started in 1990 long before the area was chic or even safe for that matter.

The first home that I owned was in Dearborn Park One overlooking the tennis courts and during that time my ex and I were lucky enough to also buy a place in New Buffalo, Michigan which I still have and for that I am so grateful! Other than my current pad in the Roosevelt Collection I don’t think anyplace has ever been as much of a perfect “shell” for me. Yet somehow I have a good gut feeling that the next place is going to measure up just fine. See I seem to have this sort of “this is going to be a perfect home vibration” thing that happens to me when I’m in the right place on a housing search. It happened when I first moved to Chicago in 1990. It happened when I bought the townhome in Dearborn Park. It happened when I first pulled up in front of what was then a total dump on Merchant Street in New Buffalo. It happened when CJ and I both fulfilled our originally separate but then shared dream of living in the Roosevelt Collection. And it happened last Saturday when we walked through the new place up in Northpark at our soon to be revealed new address. Call me superstitious but I don’t feel right giving exact information or putting up photos until the lease is signed which we expect to happen tomorrow. Let me just say though that this could be the find of all finds.  And oh by the way it is about exactly three miles west as the crow flies of my first ever residence in my life. I can’t wait unnamed-8to tell more soon. Last night as the snow fell I walked out in front of the complex and realized that this could very likely be my last snow storm as a South Looper and the picture was perfect. I just savored it.

But as with all things in life there is an ebb and a flow. Just as I get super excited to get the wheels turning on my future, I hear news from the past that the wonderful lady who was the maid of honor at my first wedding died over the weekend. She was 49 years old, same as me. She had the brightest smile and the kindest demeanor. I haven’t seen or spoken to her in many years but I have a lot of great memories that include her. I will say a prayer for her husband and her kids and as I get ready to “molt” again and find a new shell I will try not to nitpick about what I wish might be a little bit more perfect, but instead just be grateful that I am lucky enough to have the chance to grow another. Precious is time indeed.

Rest well Kathy. May your new home be your best ever. You certainly deserve it and the angel population will be better with you in it…


About Jim Herbert

I've been wanting to write my whole life. By age 45 it had amounted to nothing more than a storage locker of half full journals and a lot of unfulfilled dreams. Then Paris in the fall of 2011 happened. It was the catalyst I needed to consistently blog. At first I had a hard time hitting the publish button, but now two blog sites and over 300 posts later I'm hitting my stride. I'm also a budding speech writer. I've recently been heavily involved in the Chicago Storytelling scene and have also won the Chicago Toastmasters Area 66 International Speech Contest. Check out our website at for more details about the amazing things that are happening in my life. A book or two are nearing completion. With another Paris trip on tap for Easter of 2015 I can only imagine that there are Infinite Possibilities on the horizon!!!
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