Sunday, November 09, 2008

Another lazy day and Obama's house

It was another lazy day. I barely finished reading the paper when Jordan and Jacob arrived about ten this morning. Seemed to me there was a lot of interest in our usually thin paper--Obama's plan to cancel many of Bush's presidential directives about stem cell research, the environment, etc.--all things that can be done without going through Congress and all things I applaud. Then there were articles about Sarah Palin's reception back in Alaska, and a lot of other stuff I found fascinating. I had to hustle to gather the recipes Jordan wanted, empty the garbage, make the bed, and generally act like I had my act together.
Jacob was in fine fettle--he'd scream loudly and then get the giggles at his own behavior. Then he went to pushing a toy car through the house at a fantastic rate--until he got it tripped up in the rug and went down head first. It was a slow motion fall and at first we didn't realize he was in trouble--but he was sort of a triangle over the upside down toy and apparently didn't know how to free himself. So there were tears. But we had a fun morning. Tonight two good old friends came for dinner--I did scallops with tomatoes, shallots, and mushrooms, asparagus, salad, and a coconut bread that had been a gift. Charles, who is usually a slim eater, ate two large helpings.
My email has been busy today with messages from a childhood friend. She found on the web where the Obama family lives--turns out it is less than two blocks from where she grew up and about six blocks from where I grew up. She has bombarded me with pictures, aerial pictures, etc., and it's all been such fun. Everyone says that Obama lives in Hyde Park, and I say that I grew up there bcause Hyde Park is well known, but technically we were all on the other side of 51st Street, so we lived in Kenwood, a neighborhood of mansions that once belonged to the meat czars and other people famous in Chicago's history. Our house was modest, and Obama's though clearly larger is not one of the huge mansions. It's across the street from a Jewish temple that I can still see in my mind today. And on the corner of the block where my friend lived, there was a drugstore in the basement of an apt. building--you went down some steps to get to it. Kenwood was one of the first neighborhoods in our area to integrate as wealthier African Americans bought some of the huge mansions. It's a wonderful neighborhood, and I feel proud that he lives there, though I haven't been back in years. I was amazed at the value of his property, but then several years ago I heard the house I grew up in was for sale for $500,000. I think my folks paid $6,000 for it in 1937.

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