I'm too attached to people here to blog about them, and they know who they are and how much I will miss them when we leave. But it does feel somewhat safer or less daunting to reflect on the materiality--the places and stuff--of Champaign-Urbana.
Like the parking meters next to the Champaign post office that only take pennies. I will miss those. It makes me happy that they're there.
And locker 276 at the Activities and Recreation Center, in the turquoise aisle. It is positioned perfectly in relation to the showers and the bench, and it is always available. I used it today in fact.
And the expresso bikes at the ARC. These have fun video routes and let me track my past rides and race my "ghost." When JM and I discovered that if we chose the same routes we could race each other, oh the delight. I never beat him, though.
And the bike racks next to Lincoln Hall. I have perfected my jump off the curb and no longer need to slow down to curl around for parking. On my dismount I frequently see my colleague Tom standing just outside the door, having a smoke.
And my office, its dusty windows, peeling plaster, 29-year old paint job and all. I have a couple more weeks in it, but with my lovely restored antique sofa on its way to state college, and a big dusty spot where the old (heavy!) lawyer's cases were until we moved them down to cf's office, it's already not the same.
And the Comm office in Lincoln Hall. The door to it is rather heavy and requires some leaning to open it. But behind it are the nicest people in the world, and I will miss their greetings and smiles.
And Gail's house, where we have a writing studies potluck twice a year, for which I can't ever recall having bad weather, and the back yard, in which I have watched many a baby grow into toddlers and then kids, and colleagues' kids into high schoolers.
And the porch next door to the mouse house (C & S's porch). It's where I'm sitting right now, and it's where I will have spent significant chunks of three transition summers. It has apparently been raining for awhile, and I only now realized it.
And, well, the house on Michigan Avenue. The one that C found for me, and where she and JT and S joined us for tornado warnings. I will miss them, but I will not miss the tornado warnings. We cleaned out the whole house today, and I cursed the day I bought that bag of peas, an ingredient in the vegan pot pie that S and M and I devoured. The recipe only takes a half cup of peas though, and the open bag stayed in there for over a year, leaking peas everywhere. As I picked them out, chasing some under the stove, I thought about that pie with its warm whole wheat crust and how happy the three of us were when we were eating it.