A Mission From God?

We thought it would be a good idea to spend our final night in Chicago watching “The Blues Brothers” in Grant Park. Just before the movie started, there was an announcement over the PA that “thunderstorms are likely after 9pm.” Despite the warning, we all agreed to stay for the entire movie.

When the movie got to the climactic Palace Hotel concert, the wind picked up and rain started to fall. Then it started to pour. We sat through it for about 5 minutes. At some point, we couldn’t hear the movie because so many people were screaming and running around. So we decided to leave.

We were absolutely soaked. Once we got to the parking garage, I took my shirt off in order to dry off (you’ll understand why I’m telling you this later). Melissa and Jake were with us, so they also tried to dry off. As we waited in line to leave the parking garage, a large man tried to cut the line and pull his car in front of me. I didn’t let him, so he pulled in behind me.

As I inched forward in the parking garage, I could vaguely hear people yelling something along the lines of “guy with no shirt.” At first, I thought someone was just making fun of me, but then I heard the word “wallet” and it made me pay attention. Then I heard, “Hey guy with no shirt, there’s a wallet on your trunk!”

I jumped out of the car and ran to the trunk. But Shawnee, Melissa and Jake didn’t hear anyone yelling at me, so they thought that I was trying to get in a fight with the guy in the car behind us. Despite this, they made no attempt to try to stop me or help. Turns out Melissa and Jake left their IPod and IPhone on our trunk.

I apologize in advance for the pictures from that night that Shawnee is going to post.

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The Couch

Before we Mike and I were married, everything in our apartment came from an alley or a thrift store. We imagined building our home one piece at a time, as we could afford it. In my head, this accumulation of stuff felt symbolic of the growth of our relationship. I imagined that someday we’d look around and see bookcases made of cherry instead of particleboard, and when this day came we’d be well on our way to the American dream.

We decided that our first major purchase would be a couch. Even though it cost more than everything else in our living room combined, the sofa we found was a comfy piece of heaven. It was a symbol of us beginning our life together, and it was worth every penny.

A year after we bought it though, we had to move. And it was after a long, hot, muggy Chicago day of moving that we discovered the sofa wouldn’t fit through the door of our new apartment. We didn’t know what to do. If we sold it online or put it in storage, we’d loose hundreds dollars. If we left it on the street, we’d need to find a cheap replacement. Finally, Mike called the store where we bought it to see if they had any ideas. The clerk said, “Call this number. Ask for Dino.”

We called, and Dino, a tough-as-nails Israeli, answered the phone. He said, “I’ll be there in an hour. Two hundred dollars. It might take 20 minutes; it might take three hours. I’ll get your couch in.” The hurried conversations made it feel like we were doing a drug deal instead of trying to move a couch, but we were desperate, so we hired Dino. When he showed up, he handed us a card that said “No couch to (not too) big. No apartment to small.” which I thought was cute and funny. Five minutes after that, he was ripping the upholstery off my expensive couch with the claw end of his hammer. Then he did the unthinkable… he literally sawed the couch into three parts. Dino easily slid all three pieces of the only nice piece of furniture we owned through the door of our new apartment. It was like he was trying building a ship in a bottle. Then he slapped on a couple of brackets, whipped out a staple gun, and reupholstered the whole thing.

While I was watching Dino work his magic, I realized that trying to fit a huge couch into a tiny apartment is a much better model for a marriage. It takes some creative problem solving and a commitment to making things work. Accumulating stuff doesn’t have anything to do with it.

It’s been two years since then, and we’re selling everything and moving across the country. Instead of hiring Dino to get our couch out of the apartment, we decided to take it a part ourselves, which was so much fun. If you haven’t ripped a large piece of furniture a part, all I can say is that has to be more therapeutic than a year in couple’s counseling. We highly recommend it.

Welcome to Our Trip Blog

As you all know, Shawnee and I are taking a road trip from Chicago to San Diego. Then we have one week to find a place to live in SD. Then we’re traveling through Asia for 5 weeks. Once we get back from Asia, we’ll move into our place in SD (ideally) and then I start my job on September 29. Should be interesting.

Since several people asked us for emails about our trip, we decided to put together a blog to share our experiences with you all. Hope you enjoy.