We are back from a drive to La Grange, Illinois, the rare Chicago suburb that is an actual place rather than a bedroom.  Our goal was to mess around in an antique mall, where we found the elegant fellow above – a piece of Occupied Japan ware, six inches high.  Lords and ladies are not my usual thing, but this guy is so foppish and dashing and imprecise that I got a big ol’ crush.  Now he is living with us, showing off his fine self alongside a plastic brachiosaurus and a rock from Lake Ontario.

We had a great time in La Grange – we had a good lunch, we did a little shopping – we were only gone a few hours but it was all so different from our usual weekends that we felt like we’d been away on holiday.  Very nice.

What made it easier to get out there and back is that this is day 324 of no measurable snow in Chicago.  Three hundred and twenty-four days.  The telly calls it a snow drought.  It’s that, and a just plain drought, period. Chicago is also flirting with another record, for number of winter days above freezing. While this dry, balmy weather is very convenient for me in the short run, it is also unnerving.

Humans share one thing in common with china figurines – we do not look to the long term.  What would this fine fellow have to say about this warm air, this lack of snow? He would say agréable, bien sûr – he could keep wearing his impractical flounces and fab green coat, and of course he would not have to worry about a slip-and-fall, an especially grave concern for those made out of china.  In sum, being a brainless statue, he would love it.

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