Inspired by Setting

While visiting with family a few weeks ago, I was blessed to experience several days of spring in the Midwest. I’ve been to central Illinois in the summer and winter, but this was our first trip this time of year. Many of the trees that were in full-bloom in the deep-south over a month ago were in their glory up north.
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Farmers and gardeners down south have their crops in the ground, but the Amish farmers were beginning to plow their fields—with horse power, of course.
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Trees that are fully green at home are just coming into their foliage there.
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Beauty can be found wherever you look.
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And so can corrosion.
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When possible, take time to visit new places. If that’s not an option, try viewing your regular piece of the world through new eyes. What details have you never noticed before?

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

Resettling back into a routine after a vacation is like trying to sift curdled milk with a gold mining pan.
Last week was a dream. Even the hours in a minivan with three kids and a grouchy husband were enjoyable- at least for me. Hey, I didn’t have to chase anyone! Plus the sky was blue and there were plenty of snacks within reach.
If you want to feel like your “A Thousand Miles From Nowhere” (name that country singer) then visit a village in the Midwest that’s surrounded by Amish farms. Call me crazy, but I’d up and move to Arthur, Illinois, tomorrow if I could. The weather was a nice break from the humidity of the Gulf Coast, though I have been up there when it’s been sticky hot. The snickerdoodle cookies at the local Country Cheese and More bakery were as delicious as usual. (I only gained one pound! And no, those two dozen I picked up on the last day didn’t make it home, but I had help.) The Amish crafts are gorgeous to look at and I was able to bring home a piece of oak furniture, which is the best physical keepsake of the trip.
Though I’m sure my children would disagree. They were spoiled, as usual, by grandparents and aunts. And having time with cousins, an uncle, and great-grandma was wonderful, too. Besides the daily trips on foot to the main street they had fun on the front porch with sidewalk chalk, a couple afternoons at the local school’s playground, a trip to Rockome Gardens, and a festive luau party.
Memories of family time and adventures with horses, buggies and trains to last until next time. Which hopefully will be in the not too distant future. It’s been about three and a half years since our last visit- much too long!