Monday, September 21, 2015

I Found Chestnuts!

It's become somewhat of a routine now to go grocery shopping either on Sunday afternoons or Monday afternoon. I prefer Monday afternoon, so today I set out on the train to head to my favorite store: Aldi. 

I didn't get any photos of Aldi because, well, it's not very photogenic and isn't the most glamorous store. If you're from Europe, think Lidl (they're actually owned by the same company, I'm told). Aldi's shopping experience may not be at the top, but their prices are the best and so it's kind of a thrill every time I go there!

I took the "L" on this beautiful Chicago day.

Imagine that everything is silent when you look at this photo. Quaint, peaceful and idyllic. Now insert city noise into that with sirens and cars, and you have an accurate portrayal of the scene. 

I settled into a little tiny seating are outside of a coffee shop to work on some homework before heading to the store. There was no way I could pass up sitting outside today! Oh, how I wish I could've sat out in the grass, or perched on a mountainside. But today, this sufficed. Even though cars whizzed by me, I also got to stare at trees and cute coffee shops and watch people go about their daily lives. This neighborhood of Chicago is one of the more peaceful ones in terms of culture and style, so even though it's still not quiet, it was refreshing. 

One of the best surprises about the day: a kaštan!! I grew up collecting chestnuts in Czech every fall. Our school held "chestnut drives" and classes received points for the number of kilograms of chestnuts they could collect. Those points then counted towards a school-wide competition, with the incentive of money towards a trip at the end of the year if your class won. The chestnuts were collected and then sent to foresters to help feed deer during the winter. Such was the life of living in a small town nestled in the Beskydy mountains!

The competition was fierce when it came to collecting kaštany, so of course I tried to play my part in elementary and middle school. Finding a chestnut today reminded me of those days. Chestnut trees abound in Frydlant, but until today, I hadn't stumbled upon any in Chicago. What a treat to find one at my feet on the sidewalk as I carried my groceries back to the train. Obviously, I then went searching for more, but contented myself with only pocketing two of those shiny gems. 

The rest of my day was filled with writing a paper, reading for Systematic Theology, and for my Hebrews class as well. It also included simple things like cooking dinner (butternut squash and kale salad!) and tidying my apartment. Speaking of tidying, we should really get a vacuum soon. The realities of daily life are made up of such details. Thanks for going along for the ride!

(Gotta love the iPhone photos, by the way! I don't get to carry around my camera on my daily outings, so most of my photos these days come from my phone!)

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