Summer in the City

It’s funny that, for someone who has been living abroad since I was 17, I still get homesick. All the time.

And there’s something about summer in Chicago that makes me particularly jealous when I am somewhere else. There are many times of year that I want to be in Chicago: autumn, when you can pick apples and go to haunted houses and feel the chill in the air; spring, when it’s rainy and everything smells new and the streets are full of puddles; even winter, when it’s Christmastime and snowy and the days get dark at 4:30. Even then, I miss it.

But I especially miss the summer….and it’s not the beaches, or pool parties, or sunbathing. In fact, I generally dread swimsuit season and everything that goes along with it. It’s just the…festivity. I miss the Taste of Chicago and its crowds and the fact that someone always passes out from dehydration. I miss the concerts in Millennium Park at night, and sitting on blankets in Grant Park to watch fireworks on the 3rd of July. I miss SummerDance in the park and dragging my friends to see Klezmer bands and making homemade mint juleps and dancing tango. I miss sitting on the couch with my mom and watching one of Chicago’s typical summer thunderstorms, and I miss sitting on the deck of my dad’s house, drinking brandy slush and watching him barbecue chicken on the grill. I miss sitting in my grandparents’ garden, watching the birds in the birdbath or looking at the flowers or searching for the little man that has guarded our rock garden for years. I miss the fireflies and the buzz of crickets at dusk and the smell of the heat and the humidity that makes any attempt at hairstyling worthless. I miss the tinny song of the ice cream truck that drives around our neighborhood, and the faraway sounds of a baseball game or a family picnic. I miss driving down the country roads at night, with the windows down, listening to music that’s only fit for summer and enjoying every minute of it.

I miss Chicago, and I miss its summers, so it’s a good thing that I’ll be there soon. Vacation, here I come!