A little over a month ago, I flew to Chicago for a conference. The conference began Thursday and I arrived Wednesday afternoon, so I had time to walk along Millennium Park and the Loop, sit at a café and read a bit, and drink in a beautiful late May day. I bought a stamp at 7-11 and mailed a birthday card to Y (I can't find anywhere that sells single stamps in New Orleans). In the evening I retired to my Airbnb room and watched some of a White Sox game.
Today I flew in to Chicago to begin a month-long research stint at the Newberry. I arrived after the library was closed, but with time to walk around the River North neighborhood, admiring the architecture of the Loop, and sit and read for a bit at a café. It is a beautiful July day. I went to a 7-11 and bought a stamp to send a birthday card to my grandmother. Afterwards I popped into a bar to watch some of a White Sox game, and then retired to my Airbnb room for the evening.
At 6:30 am on the first day of the conference, I was awakened by the phone call from the petsitter, telling me of Sancha's fall.
I close my eyes with superstitious trepidation. Friends and loved ones: please be extra careful where you step tomorrow!