Illinois Adventures · Musings & Whatnot

The Lazy Dayz Of Summer – A Mini-Adventure In Northwest Illinois

Sometimes life tries to get the better of me and I’ve been finding that a low-stress adventure is helpful.

Adventure is a great way to take a mini-break from life and that’s exactly what I did recently while out running errands.

I Seriously Need To Chill Out…

Admittedly, I’ve been a bit stressed out lately and I need to find a way to chill out.  

I was scheduled for gallbladder removal surgery (earlier this month) and things didn’t go so smoothly. I have Biliary Dyskenisia (not gallstones).

My surgery was cancelled just moments before I went under the knife because my blood pressure decided to go completely bonkers.

Prior to this day, my blood pressure had been fine. We’re a bit baffled about my blood pressure suddenly went crazy.

The stress of surgery can definitely raise blood pressure and, at first, the doctors weren’t concerned. But when my pressure went totally berserk (getting up to 220/102) they decided it was more than pre-surgery jitters.

I’m currently working on getting my blood pressure back under control.

The Road Is Calling Me…

If dealing with health issues isn’t enough… the road has been calling me rather loudly.

The road has been beckoning me for some time now but I need to resolve my health issues before hitting the road again. And, I’m also here for my Dad until he no longer needs my help.

With that being said, adventure awaits and the Road is calling.

It’s a yearning that’s hard to ignore.

I’m in a place I call The In-Between and the In-Between is a tricky place to be.

Now On With The Story…

I had to run to Freeport to have my blood pressure checked again and to run the usual errands.

My blood pressure was still a little high and I started a new medication to help resolve the issue.

Dad Wants McDonald’s…

Dad wanted McDonald’s for lunch so I went to the McDonald’s at the Travel Center in Stockton IL. Stockton is closer to home than Freeport is.

The drive-through was jam packed so I decide to go inside.

I felt a little silly because Dad wanted a crispy chicken sandwich and I didn’t know which one to order. I don’t eat at McDonald’s so how was I to know?! 

I had to ask the person behind the counter which one to order. He grinned a bit when I told him I don’t eat there.

A Last Minute Mini-Adventure…

As I pulled out of McDonald’s, I thought to myself “it’s time for an adventure!”.

I spent 7 years of my childhood in this area and it’s been a while since I’ve seen the old homestead.

Back in the 1970’s, my family lived in an old farm house situated on about 4 acres of land. My family consisted of my mom, dad, great-grandmother, brother, myself and any animals we acquired along the way that managed to become part of the family.

So…

I decided to turn right (instead of left) and take a spin down the back roads of my youth.

The Mini-Adventure Begins…

As I head down the road I begin to feel myself being pulled back in time.

Looking out over the landscape I can almost hear the corn grow. Off in the distance, a light haze hovers over the land.

If I were to travel these roads a couple weeks from now I’d see nothing but corn on both sides, the road ahead, the road in the rear-view mirror and the (hopefully) blue sky above.

As I drive, I go through a misty white fog that transports me back in time. Ok, maybe I imagined that fog but humor me, please!

I reminisce about the youthful, carefree, lazy days of summer when my family lived out here in the country.

I remember it being hot back then. In those days, we weren’t privy to the wiles of air conditioning but, hot or not, I always wished summer would never end.

The end of summer meant the start of school and I really did not like school.

Driving further, I see a farm that’s not too far down the road from the old homestead.

The area has expanded a lot since I lived here as a child but it’s still peaceful, country living.

I loved living in the country. I enjoy nature and I enjoy being away from town and away from people.

I’m not anti-social, stuck-up, shy or any of that nonsense. It’s just the introvert in me.

Maybe that’s why I enjoy the nomadic lifestyle and why some people (possibly extrovert’s) can’t understand how I don’t get lonely.

Extroverts recharge via socializing.

Introvert’s recharge via alone time.

It’s as simple as that.

Note to self: Clean the bug guts off the windshield if you want to take pictures out the front window!

I turn the corner and head up the road leading up to the house my family and I lived in so many moons ago.

These back roads used to be loose gravel but, over the years, they’ve been upgraded to asphalt.

Living here as a kid, I remember everything being dusty. We always knew when someone was coming down the road by the trail of dust they left behind. And, Mom and Dad’s car was always coated in gravel dust.

I finally reach the old homestead but there’s not much to see from the road.

The acreage we lived on was about a quarter mile from the road in the middle of a cornfield (the cornfield was owned by someone else). There was a long lane that lead to our house and land.

In the picture above, way back in there – nestled among the trees, is the top of the two-story farm house my family lived in when I was a child.

The old barn, windmill and other buildings are gone. Whomever lives there now has made it their own.

I looked at the old homestead on Google Map’s satellite view and it’s changed a lot. They’ve also have a swimming pool now! 

As I approach the highway I drive through another (imaginary?) fog that transports me from the past back to the present day.

The time for reminiscing has come to an end and it’s time to get back home before Dad’s food gets too cold.

Back in the good ole small town of Warren Illinois I round the curvy stretch on the main drag of hwy 78.

I love coming around this stretch. It’s just so historical looking.

I briefly imagine this street as I think it might have been in it’s crowning glory – during the long-gone days of yesteryear.

Parting Thoughts…

My little trip down memory lane was a great way to de-stress and re-energize.

I need to incorporate more of this into my life.


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