This is a photo of my father Eddie Spaghetti the Meatballs are Ready Degliantoni in all his gloriousness in my backyard in Evanston. My mother and father are visiting for two weeks and we’re showing them Chicagoland for the first time. They’re from the Bay Area and they’ve never been to the Midwest. Be nice if you see them walking down the street please.
Let’s play a quick round of trivia. What’s in my dad’s glass? Nope, not apple juice, silly! That’s Jack Daniels on the rocks with a splash of water, his favorite drink.
And next to him on the picnic table is a leg of lamb from Costco, only the best. He’s sitting there waiting for the grill to warm up. That’s how I found him yesterday when I came home from work. That man looks happy and healthy for 75 and for being my father.
I am thrilled to have my parents in town so that I can show off my new city and life and apartment. Normally I see them about once or twice a year, for two weeks max. When I turned 18, I moved more than eight hours away and I’ve been moving farther and farther away ever since. My distance from my childhood home has little to do with how much or little I like my parents at the time and everything to do with my gypsy blood.
As I look at this photo I think about me at 75, cue the Beatles tune “When I’m 64”. Will I be in one of my son’s homes cooking them my amazing pasta sauce, sipping Prosseco? What will my relationship with my children look like in 35 years and where in the world will they be living? They better like me and I better have the money to visit them!
Both of my parents think Evanston and the North Shore are gorgeous and cannot believe how pretty it is. The trees! The huge houses! Lake Michigan! I’m so happy they like the area; it’s much more fun to hang with enthusiastic parents vs. worried parents.
When we were leaving El Paso last year, they were sad and nervous about our pending move to Chicago. “What about your great friends and the kid’s fantastic school?” they said. They brought up good questions and legitimate worries but we told them we had done our homework and everything would be just fine.
Yesterday they met several of our new friends (thank you Lori and Kate for being so darn friendly and nice) who gave them the perfect impression of the Midwestern temperament that makes me truly love people from this region. They also got to see the boys’ school and we very impressed by the lovely grounds and new building. All this and a huge scoop of Hartigan’s Ice Cream made them very excited for our new life and new home.
This is a photo of a happy man relaxing on a summer night in the backyard right before he grills a delicious leg of lamb. After this photo my husband, two kids and mom all joined my dad at the table and we had a fantastic dinner, outside in our backyard, in our new city of Evanston. I was way too busy eating Ed’s delicious leg of lamb to waste time taking a photo!
Thank you for reading my blog "Evanston Newbie", a project that I am using to chronicle my new life in Evanston since moving my family here from El Paso, TX, in 2011. Do you have favorite Evanston bakeries, bike shops, events that you can recommend? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will post my review on this blog. -Lisa Degliantoni