This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Chicago seasons try the soul. Snow barely melts before the temperature shoots towards ninety. Ray Bradbury’s “All Summer in a Day” haunted me from my first childhood reading and re-visits me each Chicago springtime. I know a long, sticky summer stretches before me, but I love the subtler pleasures of spring. Pastel buds pop awake in cool breezes and soft sunlight. Other embrace the full-fledged, flop-sweat of summertime. I prefer beaches before they open for the summer stampede. A friend makes fun of my preference for parkas over bikinis as my preferred beachwear. Today, the spring that started on Friday, spontaneously combusted into the upper eighties. That’s summer by my definition. My poor pansies, planted on Saturday, now look parched and plaintive in their pots. The collage above of last year’s spring pleasures decorated my work computer and held me through the winter that threatened to last until June. I offer it here as a wish that spring has not said goodbye before – like Bradbury’s trapped protagonist – I could go out and play.
One night last November my husband walked in the door and dropped a bombshell. His company wanted to relocate his project to Singapore. The news commenced a panic-stricken flurry of non-activity. No one knew if, when, or how the move would happen. Our boys will each start a new school next year. My dread of their departure from childhood suddenly shared mental space with a geographic move of similar magnitude.
I proceeded to plan lives on two continents. High school registration here and emails to international schools there. I absorbed more knowledge about the small city-state at the southern tip of Malaysia than I possess on nearly any other part of the planet. We protected our boys from our uncertain plight. My husband and I whispered in corners on weekends and spoke on cell phones from parking lots as we worked to preserve our life here while we lay groundwork for a life there.
I named this blog “Mystories,” because I wanted a space in which to explore stories from my existence and the mysteries of life. Such public navel gazing demands the ability to share. So long as we kept our Singaporean secrets, my missives diminished. One week ago, we decided we could not continue to put our lives on hold for what one senior executive dubbed corporate “dithering.” We won’t spend two years in Asia, but my husband will go for a few months to hire those who will run the project in his stead. With luck, he’ll go this summer. Our family can enjoy a prolonged vacation in Asia’s cultural melting pot, and I can blog about it.
I am not a city girl by nature. Too many people producing too much mess makes me squirm. The gum and spit-ridden sidewalks of London and dog-dirtied streets of Paris distract from my appreciation of great architecture.
I prefer to stand atop wind-swept cliffs overlooking oceans and surrounded by sheep.
However, nighttime hides the spit and $h*t from view and allows me to enjoy the illuminated glories of mankind’s creations.