My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #300: Playing Tourist

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 03-31-2011 02:07 PM 4097 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 299: We have arrived in Chicago! Part 300 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 301: I'm really trying! »

There are so many things that I find different now that I am back. Even though I spent the majority of my life here and grew up in the city, I feel like a tourist. Everything is so different. I believe in one of my earliest blogs that I mentioned that I think that the one thing that we can count on in the world is change. What I am experiencing here is a fine example of that theory.

I left the Chicago area seven years ago. Since then so many things have occurred. Where once there were empty fields, now there are full shopping malls. My son now owns a beautiful home and he and his wife are planning their family. And my daughter, who had lived with me until only recently has grown up even more and is turning into a beautiful young woman. It is all good.

But I am no longer comfortable in this type of atmosphere. The constant activity, although exciting and stimulating, can be overwhelming to me. It is still good though, because I know that it is only temporary. Soon I will be back in my own comfort zone and able to walk on the beach or through the woods and hear nothing but the sound of the crashing waves and seagulls screaming or the rustle of the leaves underfoot and the rush of the river.

There will be plenty of time for that though. For the moment I am enjoying the short time I will have with my children.

We had a dinner at Phil’s last night and I was the cook. I made them one of their favorites (Chicken Alfredo with broccoli and mushrooms) and it wasn’t until later on when laying in bed I realized that it was the first time that we all sat around the same table in years. I am kicking myself this morning for not getting a picture of the three of us. I would have liked that. But perhaps there will be one more chance before we leave to get together again. It will be difficult though because my daughter Danielle works two jobs and is on call every day. But we can try if her hours are good.

It was a lovely visit and we had fun. We took turns reminiscing about funny things and gently kidded each other about many things. I loved it so much and the moment seemed to pass by much too quickly.

Today we are headed to the Museum of Science and Industry and then to Navy Pier. I charged the camera this morning and promise to get something up soon. After this venture, I don’t think we will be running so hard for the remainder of the visit.

I find myself missing the kitties quite a bit. We were looking at pictures and talking about our various pets over time and it really made me homesick for a bit. Phil has custody of Salem, Danielle’s cat that we rescued in 1997 and he is showing his age. He used to be black and white, but is now white with black and white peppering and looking quite frail. Phil also has a dog named Wicket that “plays” with Salem and has incessant energy. I can’t see how Salem likes it, but he tolerates it and on occasion I am told that they cuddle up together and sleep. So it apparently works for them.

I must run off now and get going. Another whirlwind day. I will upload some pictures to my Picasa album soon so they will be online for you all to see. We just didn’t really stop until late again last night.

Keith’s cold seems to be getting better. We still haven’t figured out if it is allergies or not, but it is on the mend in any case.

Thanks for all the nice thoughts again. I like reading them at night when I settle down. It puts some normalcy into the day for me and helps me feel less homesick. :)

Have a wonderful and creative day!

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

9 comments so far

View jackass's profile


350 posts in 3738 days

#1 posted 03-31-2011 02:13 PM

Congratulations on # 300. Hope you are enjoying your trip home.

-- Jack Keefe Shediac NB Canada

View GaryD's profile


623 posts in 3394 days

#2 posted 03-31-2011 02:20 PM

Sheila, glad you are having a great time. It is always nice to be with your children, and talk about what has happened over the years and how each perceives it. I know what you mean about going “home”. Everything always is changing. Tha t is for sure. But it sure makes it nice when you get back to your own bed. Have a great rest of your trip and be safe going home. Glad Keith is felling better. Nothing like being on a trip and not feeling good. Take care.

-- Gary, Little River,SC I've Learned that the Lord didn't do it all in one day and neither can I

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2829 days

#3 posted 03-31-2011 02:35 PM

going back to the “old stompin grounds”, is fun, and also tuff sometimes. I moved away from a town booming with industry, jobs, and great childhood memories. I still have some family and friends there, but, the town itself, well, I feel like throwing up when I see how it has just crumbled apart. NO jobs, NO factories anymore NO nothin. the Ford plant that was populated with 10000 people when I hired in, and many other factories that once flourished, now have weeds growing up around them, broken windows, fallin down gutters, etc…. like a ghost town really
it’s very hard seeing THAT type of change. we have to remember all the good times to stay sane
Enjoy the rest of your trip. travel safe

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View RonPeters's profile


713 posts in 2905 days

#4 posted 03-31-2011 04:05 PM

I’ve been following your blog. Really cool stuff! Can’t wait for the pics from the show/trip!

I was born in Chicago. Lived near Armitage and Shefield for a time. I attended SIU back in 1971! Then got drafted. I haven’t been back since 1975. Glad you still have connections there.

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View patron's profile


13606 posts in 3366 days

#5 posted 03-31-2011 04:25 PM

thanks for sending this
the ‘new york times’ lol

calm coffee time in the morning
catching up on your ongoing adventures
laughing with you at the quirky stuff
thinking about the insights you offer

have a great time
enjoy it to the fullest
now get out there
and mingle on the highways
with the maddening crowd

act normal
they may think you are one of them lol

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3216 days

#6 posted 03-31-2011 04:49 PM

You are going thru the same things my wife and I have.

We lived in Fl for 10 years-and were amazed at all the changes when
we came back.

Now we go to visit our kids in Fl., and find ourselves out of our comfort zone.

Glad your having a great time, hope you get the picture you want also!!!!

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3140 days

#7 posted 03-31-2011 11:20 PM

its always exciding and the same way werd to play tourist in a place where you now every corner
or at least think you do :-)
it doesn´t matter if you do it a you do it now or if you force yourself to do it by taking the camera
with you with one purpose and one task lets say taking the best shot of a door and make a statement with
the picture , its werd , funny and very difficult to do but its a great eyeopener :-)
just try to make 20 scroll patterns of a cup of coffee with a statement in with out words just made
by the pattern it self and the goal is that at least one has to be able to compeat in a exebition with other artist with the same task given :-)

enjoy and take care

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18288 posts in 3701 days

#8 posted 04-01-2011 06:46 AM

Glad to hear things are going great and you’re having fun. Going back is always interesting. I guess the shocker for me going back to Nampa, ID and my folks farm was everything that used to be so big is really so small coming back from Seattle-Tacoma area. especially, those big olk’ dairy barns that are about the size of s city slickers house ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View davethenovice's profile


17 posts in 2638 days

#9 posted 04-01-2011 02:50 PM

Sheila -

I saw from your last post that you’re visiting your family in Plainfield (pretty much where I live). I too can say that this area has changed dramatically in recent years and I have only lived in Illinois since 2006. I moved out here from Detroit for a job reasons and have really enjoyed becoming an adult as the area has grown as well. I hope you’re trip with your family continues to be enjoyable. Safe travels!

-- Dave the novice - Illinois

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