Opening Ceremonies & Isolationism

The Opening Ceremony of the Rio Olympics was a delight. From beginning to end, the game designers, producers and International Olympic Committee united to attempt something truly ambitious and profound. Instead of focusing the Ceremony on the home country, a long-standing tradition of glorious patriotism – as seen in London 2012 – and extravagant pageantry … Continue reading

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Travel Tuesdays: Revival

I recently came across my Travel Tuesday stories: a short-lived weekly ritual exploring places I had been as we waited (and waited and waited) for the uncertain future to transport us to America. I felt strangely jealous.  Delighted to revisit places I fondly remember, surprised and rather chuffed at being transported by words I don’t … Continue reading

Iowa

Imagine for a second the state of Iowa. Probably you see farms. Perhaps a church. Almost definitely wide open land and big skies. Even if you have never seen the endless fields of the American breadbasket, the region’s reputation precedes it, and by a wide margin. My own Iowa memories center on my great-grandmother’s attic … Continue reading

Serendipity

A new year so often signifies a fresh start; a clean slate; a second chance.  But I find starting over easy, the promise of new adventures exhilarating. It’s the staying which can be hardest.  I opened so many new cans of worms last year it would be simplest (and shallowly gratifying) to throw them all … Continue reading

Things I Like — Sara/Sara

My name in the US is bland. Overly popular in the 80s, it trundles along unremarked except the very occasional with an H? Brits, though, especially the posh ones, upon seeing my written name query is it Sara or Sah-ra? Both vowels uniform, like Princess Zara. Or Italian beauty, cara. I like this glamorous doppelgänger. … Continue reading

Adrian.

Last summer, when we’d only just arrived, I was out exploring our neighborhood one afternoon and realized I needed to buy bread but didn’t have my wallet. I turned back toward home to grab it and on my way a kid — maybe late teens or early twenties — stopped me outside our L station. … Continue reading

The Not Knowing

Lately I have been pinch-hitting at a local school. It is super fun. I get to work with kids and explain things like rainbows and dipthongs and fractions. I bring in library books for story time and host Jeopardy for the older ones if we finish early. I get asked things like “What color is … Continue reading

American Surprises

An incomplete list of surprising things upon our return and since: People use the phrase “I like to service my clients” and “How can I service you better?” with straight faces. Texting my sister is easy because I don’t have to do any math to know if she is awake. Hardly anyone notices Bean has … Continue reading

Our Neighborhood

About a million years ago I joined #MakingTime, a month of daily prompts to reclaim life and find balance in the little spaces between Stuff. It had some pretty awesome things about it and I enjoyed my escapades. One of my daily challenges was to take 20 pictures of my day and really spend time … Continue reading

Chicago at One Month

We moved to the Windy City four weeks ago. It feels much longer somehow. Moving in was the traditional small-scale saga, starting with a farce of a landlord having no key for our bolt and ending in a beautifully crafted climax: a gaggle of family perched, in pairs, up each section of our fire escape … Continue reading