change in perspective

a moment in time

Categories: Beverages, Dinner for Two, Cocktail Party, Dinner Party, Posted on April 30, 2024 by Sandy Bergsten

It’s crazy how an unforeseen event can turn your entire life in a different direction.

At the end of February, I had to jump on a plane to attend to a family matter. Five days there I received a hysterical phone call that our apartment in Chicago was ruined. I had trouble understanding the urgency of what might have happened. I tried to reassure the person on my cell, picked up a landline at my father’s and called our building’s super. A minute later he entered the apartment and then I heard them both screaming.

It's very surreal to be on the phone trying to envision the distress the people are experiencing on the other end of the line. I knew I needed to get up there and see what was going on. I also knew I was in great hands with our wonderful superintendent, Eddie, who I knew would immediately put a plan into action.

Turns out an old, galvanized pipe from the boiler system to our living room radiator had broken off. For at least ten days every time the boiler blew during those chilly February days and nights in our 1920s building overlooking Lake Michigan, are apartment filled with steam. When the door was finally opened, it was as if our entire apartment was a Turkish steam bath.  It was a complete loss.

I loved that apartment for so many reasons- the view, the location, being back in an urban setting which really fed my soul. But living in downtown Chicago was never a good fit for my husband. He is a true country boy, one of his many charms. Driving in the car New Year’s Day we started discussing where we might both want to live when our lease was up this coming summer. Turned out- the universe had an accelerated timeframe.

Ever since my youngest moved to Park City, Utah she would periodically text me Zillow listings saying she thought we should move there, and that we would really love it.

Standing in my apartment with a N95 mask on and tears in my eyes I knew we had to move, and right now. If anyone needs a moving company in Chicago, Hollander Movers was truly beyond amazing. I made a phone call, and the owner, David, came over first thing the next morning. He reassured me that he could have me out of there the next day. Looking around at the chaos felt so overwhelming. With the seventeen ServPro fans blaring I thought it might be better if waited two days for everything to have a chance to dry out. We agreed on Monday. Sunday night the plaster ceiling in the living room fell in.

As the moving truck pulled away with more boxes than I could have imagined, I made my way to O’Hare. My husband and I waited for the truck to head west, then grabbed our dog and drove north to Utah to meet the van.

We were beyond lucky that our Park City rental was empty and when I asked if we could move in immediately, the reply was certainly.

One would think moving from an apartment in downtown Chicago to a house in Utah would have more square footage. Ironically the house was a little over half the size of our apartment, with no basement or attic. The dwelling-Jenga began.

Guardian angel number two arrived the same day as our moving truck.  Allen from Cleanville in Salt Lake City met us to take all of our oriental rugs off the truck. Turns out he is an antique oriental rug buff, instantly recognizing where I purchased some of my rugs in Turkey. He whisked them away to be repaired, cleaned and restored. In the driveway I asked him if he knew of anyone who could clean and potentially demold all of our newly upholstered furniture. He said he was a restoration expert and arrived the next day. Can you hear Clarence’s bells ringing in “It’s a Wonder Life”?

Then came the unpacking, repacking because of the downsized space, insurance adjusters, antique furniture estimates. It all might have seemed too much if it wasn’t for that view.

This tiny gem of a home had a huge backyard that backed up to the Swaner Preserve with the Kimball Creek flowing right below. This past winter, I saw a recipe for ranch water in the New York Times. Never in a million years would I think come spring I would be drinking one in my very own backyard in Utah.

It’s a really great cocktail. And I have a feeling this is going to be a really good chapter in our lives. It’s interesting how one change can spark so many others. So many new beginnings, and holding all the older chapters lovingly in my heart.

Here’s the recipe for ranch water, adapted from Naz Deravian.

Fill a highball glass with ice. Add two ounces blanco tequila and one ounce freshly squeezed lime juice. Top it off with Topo Chico sparkling mineral water. Gently stir to mix. Serve with a lime wedge.

The recipe says to keep topping it off with Topo Chico to dilute to your liking and extend the life of the drink. Given all that’s been going on, I’ll probably pass on that top off.

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