(Well, Plainfield anyway!) After a week of excitement, we are ready to begin the next leg of our trip. We arrived in Chicago after a little over 13 hours of driving and everything went according to plan.
For the next several days, (until Monday) we are staying here with my son Phil and his wife Brianna. It has been nearly four years since I have seen him and since then they have purchased their own house. Phil is a Joliet Police officer and lives in Plainfield, which is just outside the west side of Joliet. He has been on the force for four years and loves his job. He had wanted to be involved in law enforcement as long as I can remember. He also loves computers and builds them and repairs them on the side.
For recreation he loves to try different foods and now he is building a scale model train set in his basement. I will have pictures tomorrow, as everyone is sleeping and all our things need to be unpacked and organized. I can also start adding on the pictures of the show and the people from there at the same time.
I loved the drive here yesterday. I realize that most people prefer to fly, but I truly love seeing the landscape and experiencing all that driving has to offer. It has been six years since I have driven here and so much has changed. The speed limits have been raised to 65 miles per hour in most places which means that the minimum you need to go without having everyone on your tail is 70. I was happy that 70 was sufficient because for the first time in my life, I felt that on the open and uncrowded that it was fast enough.
We drove most of the morning through the beautiful hills of Pennsylvania (Interstate 80) and took that directly to Chicago. I did take some pictures of the mountains, but I need to see how they came out. I am sure that they will not show the beauty we were able to experience.
Almost immediately upon crossing the border into Ohio, the landscape changed from hills to flat farm land. There were acres upon acres of fields and you could literally see for miles in the distance. It is funny that when I lived here in the Midwest I never noticed it, but since moving to Nova Scotia with its many hills and cliffs, I am far more aware of the landscape.
I drove most of the day, as Keith was quite tired and fighting off a cold, but for one long stretch across Ohio he took the wheel. While looking out at the farmlands, a favorite painting of mine came to mind. I had not thought about it in quite a while, but I remember when I first saw it when I was in university, I was quite taken with it. It has always remained one of my favorites and now I am wondering if I will be able to find a good quality print of it for myself.
The name of it is “Christina’s World” and it is by Andrew Wyeth.
While looking for an image of it to show you here, I also found this information on it : Christina's Worldhttp://www.moma.org/collection/browse_results.php?criteria=O%3AAD%3AE%3A6464&page_number=1&template_id=1&sort_order=1
While driving and looking at the miles and miles of farmland, I couldn’t help but think how lonely and isolated it looked – especially now when the landscape is so barren. Keith and I were amazed at the number of abandoned and collapsed buildings we passed and it truly shows the state of how things are.
I attended university at Southern Illinois in Carbondale, which was a six hour drive south of Chicago and I remember the many, many times I made that trip back and forth and thinking how vast our world really is. With growing up in a congested city area, we tend to forget the other cultures and lifestyles exist. I think it is a good thing to venture out from time to time and experience different places first hand. With flying you can’t do that.
While traveling thorough the country this way, I also noticed the gradual change in landscape from mostly soft wood trees in the east to mostly hard wood as we continued west. The changes were very subtle, but they were something that I would not have noticed from a plane.
I like that these things have me thinking in this way. It is as if my senses were awakened and made aware again of the many differences that we have in the world. It is so easy to become complacent in our lives. We each live in our own world and find comfort in its familiarity and routine. There is nothing wrong with that, as comfort is a good goal to strive for, but I encourage you to every once in a while take a step out and look around at the other things that our world has to offer. Be it by reading books, looking on the internet or even by watching a movie, you can open yourselves to all kinds of inspiration and understanding of others.
And I do feel inspired. Although I am only partially through my trip, my head is already nearly exploding with new things and ideas that I can’t wait to implement when I return.
Today will be an organizational day. I finally have a decent keyboard to type on and am able to type near my normal speed. I need to download my pictures and present them to you along with my thoughts on the show. I may be doing a “sub blog” of that just to make it easier to follow. After living out of a suitcase and the car for a week I need a day to reorganize and take a breath.
Again I want to thank you all for your comments. I feel like many of you are right with me here on my journey and it is fun to share it with you as well as those of you who are not. I have had the chance not only to meet many of you personally, but also to meet so many new people who share the passion and love if woodworking with me.
This is truly the trip of a lifetime. :)
Have a wonderful Wednesday!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"