The Chicago Files

A CANADIAN EXPAT'S EXPERIENCES AND OBSERVATIONS LIVING IN THE WINDY CITY!

 

[courtesy https://pngtree.com/]

A few days ago while walking down the street, I noticed someone had set their sprinkler in such a fashion that it was spraying on the sidewalk.  Despite the fact it was a hot and humid day and the cool-down would have been a welcomed reprieve, I decided to try to walk around the water-way.

I noticed an older gentleman with a walker approaching the ‘waterway’.  I thought to myself, oh dear, I hope he can get through the area without slipping.  Maneuvering his way through the water (and all the while I was unimpressed with the person who seems to feel that the sidewalk needs sprinkling – it happens on a regular basis I’m afraid), I asked him if he needed any help; he was hard of hearing, so he didn’t respond.

When he made it through the soaked sidewalk, I caught up to him and said, “You are braver than me for going through that sprinkler!” With a huge grin on his dear, wise face he replied, “Women are much more delicate creatures than men I suppose.” I laughed and told him that I was being more of a wimp than a delicate flower.

Traveling in the same direction, we chatted as we walked.  I listened to his words intently, and was fascinated by an interesting fact that he shared with me.

“See that church over there?” he asked, all the while pointing his hand towards a lovely old church, while keeping the other hand tightly around the handle of his walker.  I nodded as he added, “That church is over 100 years old.  When it was being built, all of the members of the church used horse carts to get rocks out of Lake Michigan, and haul them up here.”

I kept nodding. He continued with more interesting information.

“Every single stone you see in that church came from Lake Michigan.” Lake Michigan was close by, so I could picture horse-drawn carts hauling heaps of rocks from the beach to this church, which is about a 5-minute walk.  I wondered how on earth the rocks were removed from the lake; I asked my knowledgeable friend this question, but he didn’t know either.

“Do you attend this church?” I queried. He responded that no, he was Jewish, but always took the time to learn about ‘his world’.  I was utterly intrigued by this gentle man’s words.

“I’m on my second marriage,” he said.  “I divorced the first one, and I’ve been married to the second one for 28 years!” I told him how wonderful it was that he and his wife had been married such a long time.

“I married the second one when I was 65.” I remember thinking, oh boy, now I have to do math, and I am rubbish at figuring out numbers in my head.

“So that makes you………” my comment was abruptly broken by his answer to me.

“I’m 93!” was the reply.

Wow, I was incredibly impressed at this man’s wit, wisdom, and sweet disposition.

“Do you like yogurt?” he asked.  I don’t, actually, but he offered a suggestion, nonetheless.

“Don’t buy just any old brand,” he said.  He opened a small satchel that was attached to the walker.  Inside I noticed about four or five yogurt containers.

I looked up at him and asked, “Wow, I’ve never heard of that brand before.  Is it your favorite?”

The response was priceless.

“I don’t eat  it the way it is.  I make cheese from it!”

I wasn’t quite sure how that could be done, and I didn’t have the opportunity to find out, as he informed me he was late to catch his bus!  Bus? I thought perhaps he lived up the street; however, his grocery store journey was not yet over.  He was on his way to catch the bus!

I thanked him for a lovely chat, wished him a wonderful day, and off he went.  As I turned the corner towards my place, I couldn’t help but feel sheer and utter gratitude for this delightful encounter that truly made my entire day.  Just as I approached my home, I saw something out of my peripheral vision.

At first I thought it was a hummingbird.  All at once, it flew directly in front of me.  It was a monarch butterfly.  For those that recently read my post about the monarch butterfly who so graciously posed for me while I took some photos, you might recall that this has always been a symbol related to my dear grandma.  She loved monarch butterflies, and I had not seen a single monarch butterfly all summer, until a few weeks ago, and here was the second time.  Gram, thank you again, for this beautiful symbol after such a lovely and appreciated meeting of this dear older gentleman.

I hope you are having a gentle, kind, and gratitude-filled day!

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