My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #299: We have arrived in Chicago!

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 03-30-2011 02:37 PM 4147 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 298: Better Early than Late Part 299 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 300: Playing Tourist »

(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 World

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 ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

12 comments so far

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6859 posts in 4004 days

#1 posted 03-30-2011 02:48 PM

Hi Sheila;

You’re going to need a week to unwind, by the time you get home.

I like long drives like that myself. Just you and your thoughts, mixed in with the scenery. I drove I 80 through Pennsylvania many times, as my father had a farm in Northwestern Pa. It is truly beautiful there.

Well, I’m glad to hear you’re having a great trip. I’m anxious to see your pictures.

Oh, the picture by Andrew Wyeth is really very nice. One of my favorite artists.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Druid's profile


1768 posts in 2820 days

#2 posted 03-30-2011 03:49 PM

Hi Sheila,
Sounds like you are really enjoying the change. I see why you like the painting (have you scrolled it yet?).
Have a great time with your Son and his wife. You have to rest up for the scenery on the return trip.

Have you noticed that your next report will be #300 in your series?


-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3328 days

#3 posted 03-30-2011 05:41 PM

yea i just saw it will be #300 sheila..yeawhooooo..well all i can say is i loved this report…yes the drive and seeing the country is the only way to see it i think…i love driving and seeing other country…im really happy for you that your getting this trip and having a wonderful time…you so deserve it…since i cant do the long trips right now without being able to lay down , because of my back…i will love anything you give to us..i want to see all of the pictures..if you dont do them in this blog…maybe you can burn them onto a disc and send it to me…well have fun my friend from the north…cant wait to see pictures of the show and your more detailed blog of it all….thanks sheila

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Ken90712's profile


17563 posts in 3213 days

#4 posted 03-30-2011 06:24 PM

Great update, look fwd to seeing pic! have fun visiting with your son!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View huntter2022's profile


275 posts in 2640 days

#5 posted 03-30-2011 06:27 PM

Shelia , good too hear you made it to your son’s . Hope Keith is feeling better , Must of got it from the show because Mary and I both have been fighting a cold since we got home. As I said before the show was great and looking forward to next year . Ever year there is something different and I meet new people and see some I met before . (Like a reunion). Maybe you will be there next year, even if it is just to see the show.
I rather drive also you see so much more . Enjoy and try to behave there hate to have your son give you a ticket for speeding or something else .

-- David ; "BE SAFE BE HAPPY" Brockport , NY

View Verna's profile


202 posts in 2798 days

#6 posted 03-30-2011 07:19 PM

Sheila, I’m glad everything is going so well. I, too, love to drive around this beautiful country of ours. The change from different types of trees is one of the most distinguishable sights that I do enjoy. The hills, the flats, the mountains. A lot of sights to behold. Enjoy your stay with your son and daughter-in-law.

Be safe.

-- Verna -- Indianapolis, IN

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3061 days

#7 posted 03-30-2011 09:48 PM

Its been a bit strange without our daily report from Canada. Welcome back. Looking forward to the pics’.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 2946 days

#8 posted 03-31-2011 12:52 AM

Include me on those buddies looking forward for the photos. Also send my best regards to your son Phil and Brianna. Driving back home is the most exciting part too. Be careful and be safe.
God Bless,

-- Bert

View patron's profile


13606 posts in 3365 days

#9 posted 03-31-2011 01:16 AM

glad you are safe
and gettin a breather
before the show

miss your daily blogs

i wake early and with my coffee
open to read your thoughts and adventures

you have dear abbey beat by far
always upbeat and thought provoking

enjoy your visit and the show
and come home safe

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View bubinga's profile


861 posts in 2692 days

#10 posted 03-31-2011 01:19 AM

I got started on using a photos ,of a person, or thing ,and creating a workable scroll saw pattern.
Very tricky to do , What held me up was the Good ,expensive ,Editing software,to get it right.
I wanted to do my grand daughters
Sooo!! I just get the patterns and cut.
Saw your add at Scroll Saw Village

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

View Blozo  's profile


146 posts in 2669 days

#11 posted 03-31-2011 04:05 AM

welcome to plainfield. things are gonna warm up a little but the weather isn’t going to be that great for your stay, but enjoy your time while your in town

-- eat crap

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3139 days

#12 posted 03-31-2011 08:28 AM

thank´s for the update glad to hear this legg of the trip went relative good
I hope Keith will bee better tommorow
enjoy the day´s with the fammmely :-)

take care

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