Monday, September 2, 2013
Travel day today. Rich, Janel, Mom, Dad and I are heading to Evansville. On the way we are going to drop off Pablo in Springfield at the airport. Last night Jackie asked Pablo What his plans were for Monday. He told her he was going to Springfield. Jackie asked him why and he replied that he just “likes” Springfield. “Springfield, IL or Springfield, MO?” He says he likes them both… In actuality he will be dropped off in Springfield, IL in order to catch a flight back to San Francisco.
Breakfast is a bit earlier than usual (8:30am) and the menu is a Midwestern treat.
We all gather for the last time (this trip) in the dining room and enjoy both the food and the company equally. Mom’s biscuits coupled with Eric’s gravy are a thing of beauty. This is definitely a different breakfast for our Spanish amigo.
Sadly, it is time to part company with Janet and Eric. They have worked so hard this weekend to make it a very special gathering for our family. All the hours they spent in both planning, preparation and implementation are greatly appreciated by all. Thank you so much Janet and Eric – we love you!
Getting to Springfield is an easy ride (Dad directs us the back way) and we are at the airport in no time. All of us have enjoyed meeting and spending time with Pablo and hope he will return in the near future.
Mom and Dad suggest that we make a stop in Arthur, IL – an Amish community about an hour away. They know of a dry goods/bulk foods market that they think Janel will especially enjoy. There is some concern that it may be closed since it is Labor Day, but we decide to travel that route anyway. We motor along country roads where the scenery changes between huge fields of soybeans and corn.
Soon there are glimpses of indicators that we are nearing Arthur.
As we get near the center of town we see that there are banners in the street indicating that this weekend is a Cheese Festival! We like cheese. Why, yes – we will stop and take a look around. The entire main drag has turned into a walking street fair complete with vendors selling all sorts of homemade crafts, giant tenderloin sandwiches and also a free cheese tent. The people watching is fabulous.
There is quite a mix of people in the street. Some are wearing shorts and flip flops and others are decked out in long dresses with bonnets or trousers with suspenders and a big straw hat. Buggies share the road with cars, laundry hangs on all the clotheslines (Monday is washday) and most of the houses have been added on numerous times to accommodate growing generations of family. We wonder where the Amish draw the line with not using technology/electricity etc, but this will require further research. Meanwhile, having learned from the Visitor’s Center that Beachy’s store is open, we decide to leave the fest and head out of town towards the dry good mecca.
Beachy’s is an incredible experience. There is every kind of bulk product imaginable from dried fruits/nuts, every conceivable kind of flour, colors of gelatin, preserved fruits/vegetables of all sorts to various types of canned meat which captures Janel’s attention.
We make a few purchases. Janel has to show great restraint since she will be flying out in a few days and has absolutely no room in her backpack.
Time to hit the road. The balance of the trip to Evansville winds through fields and farmland. Dad seems to know these roads like the back of his hand and our GPS device in our car is NOT happy with his choices! However, we follow him and arrive at their Evansville home before we know it. It is great to see “my” house again.
Miraculously after driving all day, Mom and Dad manage to whip up a dinner fit for a king. I don’t know how they do it! (They will tell you that they are 80 years young, but I refuse to believe it). We sit down to a marvelous dinner of grilled pork chops, grilled sweet potatoes, sweet corn doused in butter, Eric’s tomatoes, cottage cheese with freshly snipped chives and Mom’s homemade crusty baguette. This is all accompanied by a nice bottle of Mondavi Cabernet.
After dinner we sit around, relax and solve most of the world’s problems. It is going to be a tough night for me. Looming in my mind is the inevitable fact that tomorrow I must say goodbye to both my parents AND my girl.