On Saturday, I drove down to Chicago with my dad and our dog Mable. We went down to visit my grandparents. I haven’t seen them since before I left for the Peace Corps, so I was long overdue.
Before we stopped by their house to visit, we went to a tamale factory a couple blocks away to pick up some damned good tamales (Tom-Toms, if you’re curious). This was the first time I needed to be buzzed into a shop to buy something and it wasn’t because it was high class and exclusive. It was a bad neighborhood.
After we had our tamales, we headed over to visit for a few hours. My grandparents have lived in the same house since 1967 and they’re fully aware that the neighborhood is far from what it used to be. But when you’re their age, 80 and 75, what’s the point in finding a new place to live? The house has held up well over the years. It has enough space for my grandparents, two uncles and my aunt.
My grandmother, at her ripe age of 75, still works five days a week. She still has the energy for it, getting up at hours of the morning which I could never bring myself to do. She commutes to the north side of Chicago to work.
My grandfather has been retired for a while. He spends his time enjoying retirement. He shops and cooks and meticulously arranges the kitchen so he, and only he, knows where things are.
We spent time catching up with the family, Mable was a big hit with everyone. She’s a sweet old pooch who likes to be petted. We were all happy to keep her happy.
My grandpa, true as ever, had a meal of rotisserie chicken, corn, and macaroni and cheese for lunch. My dad and I both looked away when he went to add butter to the corn and macaroni. We don’t need to know the exact details on why are both so delicious.
After our visiting was done, we drove over to a suburb to see my aunt and uncle at their new bakery which had its unofficial opening on Saturday. We got a tour of the place, and I got jealous. I’d love that kind of thing to look forward to everyday. Its a lot of work, but I’d be on my feet and working with my hands. My uncle sent me home with some family discount cupcakes and macarons.
All in all, it was a good Saturday.