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A Vacation Day


On Tuesday, I had finished Mom’s books for the school districts (Mom worked on this deadline for 2 years, I worked on them for more like 1.5 years) and felt like giving myself a little reward. I gave myself a day off, no deadlines, no expectations.

After a lovely walk and chat at Mama Bear’s restaurant with friend Cynthia, I wandered home slowly and methodically. When we took our walk, we passed by Turner-Dodge house and the gardens were more colorful and exhuberant than ever this year. I am not sure why I did not take photos at that point. I think I was just enjoying the moment, a good thing.


So when I drove home past Reutter Park, I stopped and took photos of that beautiful late-summer spot. This was once a scary place to go (at least at night), back in the mid-70’s. There are still folks who hang out there who have little to their name, but it also is full of Cooley Law School students walking to/from class, and downtown workers taking walks on their breaks. Everyone leaves boundaries for the others, no trouble at all. Cityfolk, you know? We all belong.


Back in the 90’s I remember that the fountain was not operational and they filled it with gorgeous potted mums in the autumn. I took photos (on film) of that, I wonder where I put them. This week, I got photos of the spray going everywhere. (Across the street from the park is a beautiful building, the downtown branch of the library, also shown here.)

cooleypurplefoliage16I then proceeded only a few blocks further, and stopped at Cooley Gardens. This is located between Oldsmobile/ GM land and the I-496 downtown highway. There is a view of the three smokestacks above a power plant owned by Board of Water and Light, a locally-owned utility, from the gardens (not pictured). I just love how lush and wonderful this tucked-away mid-city space is.

When I got there, I found first one woman alone, admiring how wonderful it was after leaving work at noon that day. She commented that she somehow liked it even better than the garden at Frances Park. I agreed… Frances is very formal and controlled, and Cooley has an energy that just shows the growth and health of the plants there. It’s just gorgeous.

I told that woman how beautiful Turner-Dodge garden had been, and she was considering a visit there before going home. Cool!


Acooleygardenlynncloseupfter we chatted, two more women approached us. They had come together to enjoy the garden. One commented that my colors (particularly my floral skirt) were perfect for the garden. She insisted on taking a few photos of me with my camera. What a kind thought!

You know, you can make acquaintance easily with good people if you allow it. I’m glad I did.

So here I am on my vacation day. It was just wonderful, really. A glorious, warm, sunny late-summer day, with no obligations. What a treat!

The final photo is a sunken garden accessible from the Cooley Gardens parking lot, but outside the gates to the garden itself. What a big project that one must have been to build! I am sure that it was someone’s pride and joy when it was first installed.


2 Responses to “A Vacation Day”

  1. momtroll Says:

    Glad you could take a vacation day. Again, thank you for all of the effort that went into the books. Some have been sent out. Some are in piles to be picked up and one is waiting for your little friend. Joy, joy, joy!

  2. kathy b Says:

    I need a great garden walk soon. My beloved Huck was not allowed in the Chicago BOtanic gardens, but we snuck him in once. OTherwise I can go there and not feel his loss so much. I think I better write a post on sneaking Huck in places…..it wasn’t the only time we did such a thing!

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