Moving Out of my Old Orbit

It is panic-inducing yet thrilling to be writing this.  For five or six years I have communicated with my husband’s “family” on his web site under the banner “Janet’s Planet”.  I am still there, as far as I know.  But when the Tribune asked if I wanted to blog on the Chicago Now site, I made the leap of faith.  It is not because I think that I am special; it is because I know I am ordinary. Most of us lead fairly undramatic lives, centered around our jobs and our families.  This does not mean that we do not face issues of enormous consequence- if you are lucky enough to have a long life, there will be knots and brambles, gifts and joys.  Some are profound and universal: births, deaths, illness.  Some are individualized and of a small scale:  a funny joke, a cute picture, great pizza.  I hope to write from both ends of the spectrum.

What qualifies me to try this experiment? I hope it isn’t just that I am Steve Dahl’s wife, though I have been an appendage of the Steve Dahl Experience for 33 years, in one form or another.  I have been an English teacher and am a non-practicing attorney. I have 3 sons, all grown and on their own. Most relevant to this new adventure is the fact that I am a rabid consumer of the printed word.  I love to read.  We get 4 papers every day:  Sun Times, Tribune, USA Today and Wall Street Journal.  Sundays we add the New York Times.  We subscribe to two local papers.  Steve used to laugh at the fact that I would devour so much information without an occupation to use it in.  But I DO use the information in my jobs as a mother, wife, and citizen.  I am not the only one who clips columns and forces them upon friends and family.  Now I can forward stories in e-mail form to my contacts, or fold them into this space, so generously loaned to me by the Tribune.  Yesterday, before I had my login, I came upon a story about a raccoon that hitched a ride from my hometown of Detroit to Chicago.  I had to post it at  Today, this gem could be yours!
Newspapers represent and advocate for their communities. We crave local stories because we crave a sense of belonging, and being a part of a large organism.  The voices on Chicago Now reach out to this community, and welcome discourse as long as it is civilized.  They offer a place to indulge one’s passions:  gardening, cooking, exercise, sports, books- so many interests.  And then there is me; I do not expect to indulge anyone’s passions, but I would like to be part of a circle of friends, living life, laughing and sometimes crying together.   Bookmark me, and we will navigate good and bad times, sweet and sour tastes.  I am officially open for business. 

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