Day # 7 Freedom, Wisconsin to Eureka, Illinois
October 27, 2014
Next Stop: Eureka, Illinois
We miss the ocean, the fish and the sun. We’re getting tired. It seems to be accumulating so we’re looking forward to spending the extra day in Illinois. We’re in a hurry to get to NC but also need a break. Eureka’s a good place for that. We left at 10:00, stopped at Starbucks at 11:11. I had blueberry oatmeal, Emilie had a donut. She was living on the wild side.
1:30 pm Stopped for lunch, etc. Were at a truck stop and the sandwich guy had just wheeled in the fresh sandwiches. Score! I also found some Nestle’s chocolate milk that was flavored Thin Mint. It was sooo goot. It tasted like runny Chocolate Mint ice cream, just like I love it. We also found some cheese curds for Angie (she had put in a special order the day before).
Afternoon I’m slipping—I didn’t write down the time we hit ILLINOIS. My birth state. We’re tired! Anyway, it’s good to be in the motherland. Things look familiar. The beautiful black soil, the pristine farmland, corn ready to harvest, fall foliage. It just feels like “home” even though it’s been 43 years since I lived here.
4:00 EUREKA!! And as my siblings will remember: “First to see the water tower, First to see the courthouse!” We would always try to be the first to announce the news of home when we’d come home from Chicago or other far flung locales. We came into town right on schedule. Miles driven so far: 2,479. What that means to me is I only have a short time before I have to say goodbye to Emilie for real. This trip is going too fast. You’d think that after almost 2,500 miles I may not feel that way but I haven’t faced the fact that she’s really moving so far away. I’m the Queen of Denial and sometimes it’s OK with me to stay that way.
It’s now 8:47 pm Central time. We’re leaving here tomorrow morning, stopping in Bloomington, Indiana to have lunch with my sister, Carolyn and them will continue on to Charlston, W. Virginia. Thursday we will complete our trip with our arrival in Raleigh in the afternoon. Before I start my next day (I don’t even know what day this is of our trip—I’ve let myself go. Oh dear.) I want to talk about our Eureka experience.
We went up to mom’s room when we got here and found out that my cousins, Janet and Stan Reedy were coming as well. They walked in about an hour later. We visited for a while and then made plans to visit and have dinner together the next day. I want to say right here that now the last three times I have been in Eureka, Janet and Stan have been here, too. There was my brother’s funeral, mom’s 98th birthday party and now. It’s been so good to get to know them better. My mom and Janet’s mom were sisters. This summer when Dave and I were in Canada we visited with Janet’s sister, Alice and her husband John. We were all pretty close growing up as they lived in Indiana and we in Illinois. They are 10+ years older than me—closer in age to my sisters—but I LOVED it when our families would get together for holidays. It was so much fun getting in on the older girls’ activities and our parents played cards into the night. I was a kid so I didn’t have to do any of the work. I really appreciate my cousins and am thankful that we are still in touch.