It amazes me that we’ve been in the city for a year. It was an incredibly quick move. We found out we were moving — that we had a place to live — only a couple weeks before we hit the road. On August 1st we left from Clyde with Ed’s Focus packed to the brim. We settled in pretty well, despite being without internet for the first week or so. it forced us to get out and explore, especially the nearby library and their free internet. I signed up for a Chicago library card and a Sunday Chicago Tribune subscription, checked out some local fare and we found good places to shop for groceries. August was definitely a month of adjustments, but i’m fairly certain its defining moment came on our second day.
I remember what it smelled like. I remember going out the back door, but having to go around the building the long way because of the smoke. I still remember the flames shooting out of the windows.
It’s been a good story to tell — on our second day living in Chicago our apartment building caught fire — but it’s definitely not one I want to relive. Chicago very nearly rejected us in the most blatant and historic of ways. I’m grateful to have not lost anything and I’m sorry for the people that did. I’m also glad it didn’t scare us away.