Friday, February 10, 2017

Rememberings of an unashamed people watcher

I've sat at my window and watched car after car roll through stop signs as people walked/jogged/biked on the concrete trail that crossed town. I've seen parents with babies in strollers, toddlers trailing behind crying and stomping their feet, trying to enjoy a sunny weekend afternoon. I've watched professional bike racers and kids on training wheels share the path with ease and probably some frustration mixed in.

We witnessed the craze and excitement of Pokémon Go as fifty people, old and young, crowded the street corner where three Poké stops were located.

Late one night I sat up and prayed for the homeless woman who set up her pallet across from our apartment. She yelled out several times a minute until, I suspect, she decided to forgo sleep and got up to walk downtown, leaving her pallet behind.

Every Saturday morning our family woke up to the sights and sounds of the farmers market coming to life. Wildflowers gathered up and tied with string, fresh eggs and vegetables spilling out from every canvas bag carrying man, woman and child. And every first Friday night, the shops turned into art galleries and people gathered to hear pop up concerts on the street corners.

One night just before last Christmas, Chris and I watched as the police arrested a man for pulling down the colorful Christmas lights from a downtown business storefront. Those colorful lights stayed discarded on the pavement for days.

We watched and wondered many a late weekend night where the formal clad college students being picked up by charter bus were headed.

We've watched lively parades and (road)bikers with protest signs and loud jazz bands stroll the b-line at dusk. I spyed a young couple get engaged right on our street corner as the sun set behind them and a photographer snuck priceless photos.

Each weekend brought with it a line for the steakhouse across the street, and the amazing smell of steak-filled smoke as it wafted up to our window. And every November we watched in fascination as parade goers gathered excitedly on Krampus night and strange creatures roamed at dark around us.

We sorrowfully watched as the beautiful handmade mural of Bloomington and its sister city was
ripped and torn as it came down when the building it was attached to was demolished.

Mid-September came with my favorite weekend. The annual music festival brought the loud deep
thudding of drums and international music that filled our walls. We opened our terrace doors wide and let the cool autumn air in, mixing with the sounds of beautiful music and people laughing from the streets below.

I've sat and marveled at hundreds and hundreds of sunsets. And thousands and thousands of snowflakes as they floated down to cover pavement and rooftops below. The historic Bloomington Antique sign painted across the large brick building and the smoke stack that loomed on the edge of downtown ever our home's backdrop.

We witnessed life and joy and heartache from that big beautiful window of our third floor apartment.

We lived life and joy and heartache inside that 900 sq ft two bedroom apartment. I will always miss
and be thankful for that home and what the Lord gave us there...

the sweet friends that filled it, the prayers and tears and joy we shared inside those walls...I will never forget the late night laughter and conversations with all the people we loved and that loved us so well. All the meals shared and game nights that lasted late... the playdates with little kid friends and cups of tea with their mamas. The relaxing craft nights with friends (and too much chips and dip) and community groups that became like family. My youngest baby girl turned into a big girl who talks and acts like an independent teenager, my oldest became a reader and my baby boy... we brought him home from the hospital to that tiny apartment and watched him take his first steps and say his first words inside those walls. Chris and I celebrated our 12th anniversary just before moving... and that apartment was our home together and I had never felt closer to my sweet husband.

Bloomington... you gave us so many unexpected blessings and we will always love you.