Friday, September 27, 2013

Polka Dots and Pine Trees

 So in case you haven't heard, there's a drought occurring in Illinois currently, meaning it is dry (enter browning crops), warm (enter short sleeves and flip-flops), and... there is little rainfall (no entry for rainboots and umbrellas :( ).  But what I just learned (which kind of bothers me because I've been living in Illinois for nearly 2 decades and just NOW found this out) was that Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa (or was it Ohio?) wasn't even really prairielands long ago. No, instead the cornbelt was wetlands. Swamps, marshes, and lots of nasty diseases and icky swamp animals/ insects. Does this sound like Illinois? Not to me it doesn't. But colonists decided to drain the swamps in order to make way for crops and gardens, and did this by means of clay tiles (and today, long pipes). Which means bye-bye icky-gloppy land and hello nice, dry prairie grasses. In a way, it's kind of disappointing that the true, native Illinois is no longer around, but it's also good because who really wants to live in a swamp?

 I really love living here though. Today I walked all the way home from campus (which is a long way considering I live about 20 minutes off-campus as the car drives), and there was something so gratifying to walk all through town seeing buildings, houses, people, building, houses, people, and then get to the very eastern edge of town, turn a corner, and BAM. Beautiful sky and grass and cornfields as far as the eye can see. So few buildings and houses and people and just so much nature. Feeling the wind blow softly across the fields, hearing the distant birds calling to each other, and watching puffy clouds float lazily through the sky means so much more to me than an iphone does to other people. Being a city girl has its perks, but I wouldn't give up anything for the country girl in me.

xoxo, Sara

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