I was sad when Maggie moved back "home" to Wheaton after living in South Bend for ten years. Her husband Mark, a very well known and respected historian, retired from Notre Dame at the same time that Jim did. We became friends through our church and walking buddies the last few years.
Maggie said she would be in South Bend this past weekend and did I want to take the train back to Wheaton with her Sunday afternoon? Of course I did! We boarded the South Shore train at 1 pm. It was a 2 1/2 hour ride to Millenium Station, a half hour walk to Ogilvie Transportation Center, a 1 1/2 hour wait, an hour ride on a crowded Metra train and a short walk to their renovated condo in Wheaton. Driving would have been faster but would have had its own stresses.
The condo had a fresh paint smell and was very lovely. It was fun to see familiar furniture in new settings.
We had plenty of time to chat all afternoon and then even more over sangria. parmesan chips with guacamole, and fusion tacos at a very nice little place in Wheaton. Plus we had a dessert taco to end the meal in the best possible way.
With the time change the night before and then another time change heading to Chicago, my clock was off. I read my mystery far too late and had a hard time shutting it off when it was time to sleep.
With the table set as if we were at a very nice inn, Maggie treated me to a breakfast of oatmeal with toppings. We drove through the country to Immanuel Church, the home church they returned to, and toured the building taking time to investigate the beautiful organ which her son plays on occasion and helped to build We checked out the food pantry where she and Mark volunteer and even helped unload a "food recovery" van.
Our next stop was Trader Joe's--always a treat for me--and a chance to buy my supper and my favorite milk chocolate truffle candy bars.
It was so good to be able to see Maggie in her new (old) surroundings. Now, when others ask, "How's Maggie?" I will be able to tell them to check out my blog!
Maggie brought me to the Wheaton Metra station at 12:30 and I headed to town. It was a little over a mile walk to the Hilton Garden Inn. After checking in, I walked to the Art Institute and had a wonderful time seeing familiar works and the "Whistler's Mother: An American Icon Returns to Chicago" exhibit.. I walked past the Bean,took my obligatory photograph and helped out some tourists with theirs. I enjoyed supper in my room--bread with brie, a salad, and some wine.
Tomorrow's plans are iffy--but I do hope to be on the 12:35 train heading for home. And maybe even the 8:45 if I get myself psyched up that it is really 9:45 South Bend time.
I did take the 8:45 train after a very snowy, slushy but mercifully short walk to Millenium Station.
One week later, Maggie had a stroke in the middle of the night. She has been hospitalized for the last week after a long surgery to relieve the bleeding. She has not been responsive yet as far as I know. I cannot blog about it. Not yet. It has been overwhelming and so sad. But I did want to add this note.