Christmas trees on parade

Post 50/2021 Saturday 11 December . . . We spent a day in Chicago this week. The radiance of Christmas trees met us coming and going, even as caution played out in travel, Christkindl Market, and, except for the Market, smaller numbers of people afoot. Everyone on the South Shore Line, an electrically powered interurban commuter rail line, wore a face covering. The train runs from South Bend International Airport to Millennium Station in downtown Chicago (2 hours, 90 miles/140km).

This display at South Bend International Airport is titled, Celebrating 10 Years / Bears in the Air. The program has provided nearly 13,000 bears to children in area hospitals and $61,000 to the Robert L. Miller, Sr. Veteran’s Center.

During November and December, the return trip on the train (going east) is free. Management made it clear that passengers had a choice: “Wear a mask or you won’t be riding this train.”

A friend of long, long standing, Oscar, and his niece, Cheri, met us at Millennium Station. We went to the Market first and then to lunch in the Walnut Room at Macy’s. The only crowded area we encountered was outdoors at Christkindl Market. Even the Walnut Room was not yet filled at noon and the tables were appropriately spaced. We felt at ease, though social distancing was hard to do, especially when queuing to make a purchase.

Numbers were smaller at the Christkindl Market (25th Anniversary); people mostly gathered at standup tables out-of-doors to eat and drink. We had a drink of Glühwein, a look about and then were off to the Walnut Room at Macy’s for lunch. A very nice lunch, a very nice tree, the nicest company: John, Oscar, Jan, Marty, Cheri.
We knew Macy’s as Marshall Field and Company. Somehow, still do, making a purchase of Frango Mints, a Field staple, almost obligatory.
The tree in the Walnut Room at Macy’s, depicting The Story of Tiptoe.
The 108th Annual City of Chicago Christmas Tree, in Millennium Park, looking west.
The Bean in Millennium Park mirrors people, and depending on where you view it, the surrounding city. Four of us are smackdab in the middle. I’m holding a white shopping bag.
End station at South Bend International Airport, about an hour from home.
A family in Goshen puts on an elaborate light display.

Tornados

Today’s news includes reports of devastating tornados in states south of Indiana, with lives lost. For those most affected, and for all of us, I offer this prayer by Anselm (1033-1109):

“God of love, whose compassion never fails; we bring before thee the troubles and perils of people and nations, the sighing of prisoners and captives, the sorrows of the bereaved, the necessities of strangers, the helplessness of the weak, the despondency of the weary, the failing powers of the aged. O Lord, draw near to each; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.”

My wish

Let a little bit of magic, childhood memories and engagement with present day realities guide our steps.

-John

2 thoughts on “Christmas trees on parade

  1. Your Christmas trip to Chicago sounds great! Marshall Field’s at Christmas was something we did a couple of times years ago. But we never got to experience the train, and Millennium Park didn’t exist yet.

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    1. And I remember, Steve, meeting you and Karen on the edge of the Loop and walking to the candy factory. You’d love the train. Best!

      Like

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