Posted on July 2, 2016
Our Great American Road Trip- St. Charles
We have been on the road for a few weeks and we started out from St. Charles, Illinois. It is a little suburban community about two hours west of Chicago. It is located on the Fox River. I have not visited everything that there is to see and do in this small town, but my brother and his family have lived here for about five years.
Coming to a tranquil place where I could make the rapid adjustment into life without a schedule both a pleasure and a shock, especially with four kids underfoot. I left my clock set to the hours that I would normally awaken if I was working. When the clock would go off, I would just look at it and wonder “Why do I need to get up? What do I really need to do?” The first couple of days, I did have a few classes to teach, so it was necessary to be awake earlier than the rest of the house, but after that, it didn’t really matter, so I slept later or read. Bean kept to her routine of getting up when the sun arose and joining her cousins for boisterous play time immediately thereafter.
Bean’s cousins are all involved in a theater group in town, so a few days during the week, they went off to practice. Bean would walk out the backdoor to the park down at the end of the backyard. That was a major adjustment. In Chicago, I would never let my daughter walk out to the park without an adult. Bean was able to experience life the way it was for my brothers and myself in the summertime. We would go and visit our cousins in Louisiana and the only thing there was for us to do was play all day.
We took walks every day. The most memorable walk had to be when we went to the library. I am sure people were surprised to see two ladies, one of whom was very pregnant, and four children each with an open book in their hands, walking down the suburban streets where most everyone drives. Each walk was an adventure. We found our first suburban mulberry tree, smelt the cookies of neighbors, surveyed numerous neatly manicured lawns, and tried to get lost.
One of the most inspirational events of the week came at the end. My younger brother plays in an ensemble called 4theBeat. They were had a live performance in a venue not far from St. Charles. He invited me to come along. I had a blast! All of the members were genial. The audience was older, but oh how energetic and very receptive they were. One lady stood out to me the most. She got out on the floor when no one else was there. She created her own funky and free moves. She danced like there was no tomorrow.
I was so impressed with her, I had to speak to her. I told her how much I loved her creativity and energy. She said, “Honey, the way I see it, these people will never see me again.” She shared that she was a cancer survivor and dancing was one thing she had to give up for a while, but never again. That conversation was the perfect inspiration for the next leg of our journey on our Great American Road Trip 2016.
I love sharing my journey with you. If there is an aspect of my trip that I may have neglected to mention, but you would be interested in knowing about, please let me know in the comments below. I am trying to become a better writer and storyteller and you can help me! Next week, I will tell you all about the bus trip to Miami and more.