Samuel Reuben loved Chicago. When my mother made him leave the gray stucco house at 4907 North Bernard Street, where I was born, and move to the brick Tudor house in Glencoe, where I grew up, a part of his heart dug in its heels and shouted “No!” He couldn’t bear to sell the beloved house in which so much of his life had been lived and where so many of his little chickadees had been born.
So he didn’t. He rented it, instead.
He did the same with all the buildings he either inherited from his father or bought himself. Each became as much a part of his soul as the books that I write are a part of mine. They symbolized his love and his labor. They were investments of his hopes and his dreams.
All of us have purposes in our lives. Jobs. Goals. Short or long-range plans. The grocer sells fruits and vegetables, the actress plays Emily in Our Town, the gardener makes hydrangea trees grow, and the lawyer tells us what to sign when we are writing a will, closing a deal, or buying a house.