Pie in a new city

More from the backlog of summertime photos.

The destination

We moved to Chicago in July. Within three days, I received this email from my friend Kira, who lives in Maryland but used to call the Windy City home: “Hey, Random question – what’s your daytime availability like over the next couple of days? I have a surprise for you to pick up, but would need to know if mornings or afternoons work better for you. xo”

I named a morning. She sent me step-by-step public transportation instructions, telling me to call her when I got off the bus at the corner of Ashland and Chicago for further details.

Instead, when the morning came, I borrowed a car, figuring I would combine my surprise adventure with a grocery run. I typed the intersection into a GPS. The gas tank was full. I felt good.

Forty-five minutes later I realized…there’s more than one “Ashland & Chicago.” Poor Kira. I went pretty far west to a very green, residential community that Google Maps calls River Forest before calling her to clarify things.

But I was still amped. I took it as a good sign when I drove past this pretty mosaic.


Explore, indeed. I rerouted and soon found myself at the correct Ashland & Chicago, and then—after a laughter-filled call for further instructions from Kira—a few doors down, at…

Hoosier Mama Pie menu

Hoosier Mama Pie Shop!

pieplant print

pie plates


Hoosier Mama Pie Company

two little chairs

The nice cashier looked at me, then down at a clipboard full of pie orders. “…Welcome to Chicago?” she guessed. “Yes!” I said – “I mean, thank you!”

“Oh, good,” she said, “my next guess was going to be ‘happy birthday.'” She slid a white cardboard box toward me. “Your friend ordered this for you.”

Hoosier Mama Pie Company

And so the little white box rode shotgun, and when I got back to the empty apartment we feasted on cherry berry pie and missed Kira and watched a summertime storm through our screen door. It was a good day.

cherry berry pie

The savoring

My pals at Everybody’s Invited!, an event planning company in Portland, like to orchestrate what they call moments:

Think about a time when you received a gift. More than likely, you appreciated the gift because it was personal and it was unexpected. The gifting was perhaps made even more memorable because the experience, while brief, was joyfully shared between giver and receiver.

I’d say the pie surprise definitely qualified as a capital-M Moment – and if EI! ever needs to launch an East Coast affiliate, I nominate Kira for Chief Moment Officer, Baltimore Office. All in favor?

Photos: Chicago, IL, July 2012



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