Posted in Blogfest Entries, Blogging from A toZ April Challenge, Blogging From A-Z 2015, Challenges and Contests, Just for Fun!, Life Writing, Writing in Freedom

Chicago: #atozchallenge, Day 3


There’s an old song that claims to have left a heart in San Francisco…but I think I can go that one better. Not that I have anything against San Francisco – we’ll be visiting there for S, after all – but I have a story about another city to share, today.

You see, I lost my husband in Chicago, when we’d been married less than a year.

It took 36 hours to find him – and here’s the story!

As I mentioned yesterday, we often traveled with my Accomplice pulling our trailer, while I followed in our aged sedan. In those pre-cell phone and texting days, we used signals or gas stops to communicate. Sometimes, though, things didn’t go as smoothly as we hoped…

And so it was, when we tried to drive through Chicago at rush hour. We were creeping along Lake Shore Drive in the slow lane, and, although I tried to stay right behind the trailer, one vehicle after another squeezed in between. Eventually, the trailer and my Accomplice were dozens of cars ahead – and then I lost sight of them altogether.

I thought I’d find him by the toll booths – but, although I waited for 20 minutes, I didn’t see him.

I was nervous, but my Accomplice had mentioned needing to refuel, so I assumed that he’d gotten off at the first rest area. I did the same. I didn’t see him there, either, so I asked about him. He’s a distinctive guy, with a distinctive rig…but no one had seen him.

Lake Shore Drive in 1973, not nearly as congested as in 1998! Photo courtesy of the National Archives, via FLickr Commons. Public domain image.

Our plan was to go to South Bend, Indiana, that night, so that’s what I did, stopping at every rest area to ask. When I got near South Bend, I stopped at the state police barracks, and then I got a hotel room.

The next morning, I called my parents; we had been headed to their home. “Don’t go anywhere,” my father said, and gave me a hotel number. It was 7am, but my Accomplice, being a man of action, had already checked out. I told my father I would stay at the hotel, so that when he called again, I would be there.

At five PM, he called me – from Erie, PA. He’d been to the state police, too – the Illinois State Police. He’ d driven within a mile of my hotel room. He’d called my parents to tell them “I lost your daughter” – which led to a bit of panic before he explained…

I got in the car, and drove all night, counting down the miles until I reached the trailer –  concluding a 471 mile separation, and a trip that could have taken only 7 hours or so, and then there were lots of hugs and a teary reunion, the details of which are private…

Fade to black (family-friendly  post!)

This post is part of the #atozchallenge – find more clever “C” posts by clicking the banner!


What about you? Have you ever gotten separated while traveling? Shopping? At a fair or on the beach? Got to have a happy homecoming, with a great story to tell, later? Share it here!


I am myself. I own my life, and live with three other people who own theirs. My intention is to do only those things that bring me joy, and to give myself wholly to those things I do. Writing has been my passion throughout my life, and this will become the home for my writing life...because it brings me great joy!

15 thoughts on “Chicago: #atozchallenge, Day 3

  1. Mary and I have never gotten separated that badly, but we figured out a way to stay in touch in the pre-cellphone days: walkie-talkies.

    I love that view of the Field Museum! We used to visit the South Side contingent of the family, and take Lake Shore Drive (which Chicagoans refer to as “LSD”) from the North Side. Crossing the bridge over the Chicago River and seeing that… I always heard “La Marseilles” (sp?) in my head.

  2. You lost him in my home town! I’m sure that must have been quite frightening. Me? If there were a place I could get lost in (only during spring, summer, and fall seasons, mind you), it would be Chicago. 🙂

    1. Sometimes, we didn’t manage so well! =)

      After this incident, we bought CBs, and, later, Walkabout intercoms. That’s what we were using when we drove cross country with our nursling newborn (NOT recommended!).

      Just today, that boy, now 13, set up Skype calling on his Kindle, and got his own number. We exchanged calls in our little house, so that both his dad and I have his number on our smartphones…

      We’ve come a long way since he was a baby, and even further since that nightmare in Chicago!

        1. It’s amazing to me how adept my kids (especially my son; he’s extremely tech-savvy, and our go-to guy for researching online) are with this technology. They make me braver than I would otherwise likely be…

  3. What an interesting story – I’d have had a melt down I am sure. My only “lost” story was losing my 3 yr. old son at the West Edmonton Mall. So scary. Someone actually took him to the lost kids area and I found him after an hour.

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