Labor Day musings. Once, on a trip to Chicago, I was driving west on the Kennedy to I-90, and passing by the outskirts of the suburban towns where I grew up. We had lived in Oak Park and moved west successively, so much that the towns created a line of dots on the tollway, like footprints away from the city. My parents’ last home was in East Dundee. They were both gone and the house I had grown up in had traded owners back in the 1980’s, when my mother downsized and moved to Dallas.
I was on Interstate 90, and I realized I was nearing Route 25, I wasn’t far. On a whim, I steered the car towards that old address — you know how you never, ever forget the way home.
I drove by the house, circled a few times to see the neighborhood — yep, the deeded bird sanctuary was still next door. The neighbors’ houses were still there, too, and fairly well-maintained. Homes I once thought of as huge and sprawling looked small and almost ordinary to my Texas-sized house eyes. I came around back and pulled into the circular driveway of 648 Council Hill, right in front of the two car garage I had opened with a clunky remote thousands of times.
I took a deep breath, walked to the front door, and rang the doorbell.