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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Creating traditions that stick like custard to a child's face

Growing up in San Mateo, California, I distinctly remember the childhood milestone of being able to walk ALL the way from our house to the library down on Hillsdale Boulevard without my mom having to push me in the stroller for any part of the journey.

My mother used to walk us to the library all the time, a cute little building with big windows, lots of plants and the cutest children's reading room ever. This journey is still one of my earliest memories and before I even knew it, I started that tradition of walking to the library with my children when we moved to Evanston. (We used to walk to our library in El Paso but too infrequently to call it a habit.)

These days we walk to the library every week, each child in charge of their own late fees and library card, to pick up weekly reading. The staff is lovely, the facility is always clean and my children look forward to it.

It's also important to point out that we usually follow the library visit with a trip to Andy's Custard just up the street which probably guarantees my children are willing to go.

When we first arrived last summer, we would visit the library just for something to do and now we go because we are library patrons and readers and residents of Evanston. It's a new tradition, one that we do weekly, and I will lead the charge of making sure it sticks, like custard to a child's face.

Update: After I posted this, I sent it along to my mother, who emailed this reply, which was too cute not to share; When you were still in a stroller Karen, Denise, and I would walk to the library pushing you along. We would fill up the basket on the back of the stroller and with your sneaky little hands, you would toss a couple of books out quite frequently. It was a long hike home, but we perservered every Saturday! Congrats to you and the Boys


Thank you for reading my blog "Evanston Newbie", a project that I am using to chronicle my new life in Evanston. Do you have favorite Evanston bakeries, bike shops, events that you can recommend? Send me an email at and I will post my review on this blog. -Lisa Degliantoni

Friday, May 11, 2012

Ritual: Two friends go jump in a lake once a month

It's so fun to have a relationship with a beach, which I totally do seeing as Dempster Street Beach is my family's personal beach or at least we like to think so. It's only 2 long blocks from our house and we can walk to it easily anytime of year or day.

It's off season now which is why this shot is completely empty of people but just before I took this photo, 2 Northwestern Students showed up at the beach, stripped to their shorts and jumped in the lake. They were only in the water for a minute or two but it freaked out my son's and me to see people swim so early in the season. Of course I interviewed them when they got out of the water.

It turns out once a month these two friends go jump in the lake, the entire year, even in January. It's just something they do. Two friends who go jump in a lake once a month. That is a fantastic monthly tradition.

I can't wait until the season opens and this lake is full of screaming children and adults jumping in the lake. It's been quiet on the beach in the off season and although I love it, I love a busy beach too.