Sunday, October 7, 2012

Weekend in Corn Field America

This weekend has been a triple whammy of fun hanging with my oldest daughter Michelle and my youngest daughter Danielle.  Sarah my middle daughter could not make the trip because she had a directing clinic at UCA and had to be the responsible one of the family and stay home.  Sarah you were missed and missed a great time.  Danielle lives in a small town in IL with her mom and younger sister.  Those of you who know me , know that I try not let a little thing like geography get in the way of spending time with Danielle.  Normally she fly's down to Little Rock to visit us,  but at least once or twice a year I go north to visit her.  Usually my trips are in the off season because of the farm and I miss football season.  This year a farmer  friend of mine agreed to help me with the weekend markets enabling me to make the trip.  Just another example of why being a small farmer rocks.  Anyway it's usually no big deal to see your child march in a parade or cheer at a game, but with Danielle during football season geography usually has had the upper hand.

Danielle is the drum major for the Knoxville Junior High School and she can walk backwards and conduct very well.
Watching Danielle lead the band made my heart swell with pride.  Music is such a big part of our lives and seeing your child not just embrace it, but excel in it can't be described with words in a blog.  Needless to say Michelle and I had tears in our eyes as Danielle gave us a glare for screaming her name as she passed by.

The next morning Danielle had to be dropped off early for the game to re-take pictures for her cheer team.  So what does a farmer on vacation do on a Saturday morning?  Visit a local farmers market is what this one does.  The Galesburg Farmers Market is a modest market in a parking lot with a few farmers selling their fall goods. This morning is was 32 degrees and the growers had RIPE tomatoes!

A check in with the Hillcrest Farmers market found it to be a good 10 degrees warmer than this market in IL.  Puts the cold weather in perspective.

The homecoming games for the Junior High started at 10a Saturday morning and the cold feel of the bleacher benches reminded us we were not in the south.   It did not seem to put a chill on the cheer squad as they did their job of getting the crowd in the game.

Danielle really seemed to enjoy doing what she was doing and this shy little girls voice could be heard clearly calling out cheers with a passion.

With the games over we headed to Peoria so the girls could do a bit of shopping and I found a warm bench to hang out while they went on their bargain hunt.  A few new outfits in hand we decided to go to a sushi place that Danielle and I had visited last winter.

For the last 6 years Danielle has been telling us about the 'famous' Gilson Haunted House where she works on weekends in October. Now I have to admit that I have never been impressed with haunted houses and just because she had always 'said' it was so cool had not swayed my opinion.  That changed last eve.  The haunted house is a converted three story school house and the attention to detail would impress Walt Disney.  Sure they had goblins jumping out from the shadows to scare you, but a whole 3D floor where you walk through (with 3D glasses on) a revolving simulation of a black hole, a dark maze with ZERO light , a hydraulic cat walk that drops a few inches while you are walking across even startled this old skeptic.  If you ever find yourself in central IL during a weekend in October, go to this haunted house,  you wont be disappointed. 

This weekend in the land of Lincoln has been a joy and affirms what I do for a career, what I have done as a dad, and what great kids I am lucky to call mine.

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