After a few years of condo living in Chicago, Ray and I realized that we weren’t meant to live quite so close to other people. Ray sums it up best by saying, “I don’t mind living next to an asshole. I just down want to own property with one.”
Our upstairs neighbors were horrible. Dealing with a condo “association” was a pain. At one point Ray, bless his heart, volunteered to be the association president. Everyone thought he was the building superintendent and would call at all hours of the night with clogged drains and overflowing toilets. It got old fast so we moved. We started looking all around the Chicago area for a house. We eventually found this adorable little neighborhood called Ravenswood Manor. The name alone sounded like a nighttime soap opera. It was all old-style brick bungalows with an occasional mansion thrown in. There was a little park by the train station and even the state of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich moved in with his wife and kids! We found this one house that needed a lot of cosmetic work. Ray did not like it very much but I was very persuasive and we bought it. Man, what a pain it was to fix up but the end result was worth it.
We loved the neighborhood and our neighbors were all totally cool. We were two blocks south of the Brown Line train and there was a funky sushi restaurant with a spa in it right around the corner. Every summer we had a block party and hung out with all the families and at Halloween, they’d bus kids in from all around the city. Ray and I would sit out on our front steps drinking martinis and handing out candy.
We only lived there for about four years. It seemed like as soon as we got the house to be the way we wanted it, we decided to move. I was sad to leave such a beautiful place but we both grew up around the Los Angeles area and after almost ten years in Chicago, we were so burned out on city life that the opportunity to move to Bisbee, Arizona was a welcome change.
Believe me, there was a much bigger and better housing project that lay ahead.