Arriving in Chicago on a Friday night. We get real Chicago-style pizza near Midway Airport where planes fly just above our heads. Near the south shore in Hobart there is a wedding rehearsal with the other half of the family. We will all gather for a celebration of a new marriage on Saturday.
BBQs at Dan and Dawn’s, corn-holing competitions, waffle-ball in the backyard. Even the matriarch and patriarch got into the games! There was the beach at Lake Michigan and driving the old neighborhood. Remember 4995 Roosevelt Place and all the baseball dings in the side of the garage from the 3 Moslander boys? Oh, they are still there. Our giant spruce is nearly dead now, but there is the house, the one we all finally lived in together before growing up and moving away began. Schools and businesses and streets we travelled. A Vienna Red Hot at The Village Shopping Center. I could still smell J C Penney’s even though it hasn’t been there now for almost 20 years. My first real-life job was there.
Once green-grass, established neighborhoods with distinct ethnic identities, houses where people had lived for over 40 years in a thriving steel-mill industry and could be counted upon , like clockwork to be edging their perfect lawns at exactly 6:15 pm every Wednesday evening now have the signs of transience at best. Bars on inhabited house windows, boarded up openings on empty, beautiful brick homes on hills. You can buy a million-dollar Denver-type home there for $15,000, cash. So says the hand-written cardboard sign. The city waits to be revived.
But we remember our life and times.
And the vivid colors come flooding back and our hearts are warm in the remembrance. These were good times and good places. This is where we finished growing up and where our parents had to let us go. There are altars in every direction, signs that point to God’s faithfulness in our lives.
Jordan and Alise start their life as husband and wife. We dance and eat and make merry. We see old friends and catch up on 30 or so years.
Joe and Robin and their family couldn’t come this year. We are remembering them always, bringing them up constantly, missing their presence…
The boys wrestle and play pool and work out to get pumped up. I give my mom a perm, which, though a bit kinky to begin with, of course, turns out just fine. I get lots of time with Averi & Amelie Belle and they are truly the “belles of the ball!”
Southlake Worship Center – home church
We got to attend church at Southlake on Sunday. So sweet. More on that later. But Pastor Sam Abbott and congregation welcomed us fully. Rocky and Tara led worship, with a small acoustic, all-family band. It was lovely.
Back to Chicago
On Tuesday there is a trip into the city: Navy Pier at Chicago. Then an authentic Puerto Rican meal to. die. for. at Tami and Gerron’s church, provided by some ladies of the congregation. Sitting on the front stoop at the church, we get a taste of a busy Chicago neighborhood. The sounds, the smells, the accents – colorful and unique. Tami and Gerron are perfect there.
Before we part we have our standard Family-Mass, a time of worship and fellowship around Him whose mark on our lives keeps us one, Jesus Christ. It is informal, it is easy. I wish it really could be captured in a way everyone could experience it. Somehow, we just blend. We just are :: The Moslanders. The descendants of Ross and Norma Moslander, 4 generations of us, declaring God’s faithfulness from one generation to another.
In all my dad pastored in Des Moines, the Davenport, then a short time in Cedar Rapids, and a short time in Robert, Louisiana before we got to Gary, Indiana. I kinda call it home and Dan and Dawn are still there. And with all of us there, it felt like home. But home really is where my mom and dad are.
These are just a few of the moments, especially dedicated to my mom.
HOME is wherever I’m with you.