A drive down Highway 10 will snake you through beautiful Green Country. Past trees and hills and green galore. A very different view than the flat, yellow, arid, blowing, dusty pasture grasses that I gaze upon each morning from my kitchen window.
A drive down Highway 10 will snake you past Lover’s Leap, Kooter’s Bar & Grill, and several canoe rentals.
Until you finally arrive at Cabin #1 where I spent my childhood summers.
Where I learned to dig deep and find the best skipping stones and try to outskip my dad. I failed. Every time.
Where I itched with Poison Sumac every year and walked around pink skinned, not from the sun, but instead from the Calamine Lotion caked on my body.
This past Memorial Day, I took a nostalgic drive down Highway 10 and found things much the same, yet much different.
The peacocks who enchanted me with their outspread plumage were no longer swaggering about.
The sliding glass door on Cabin #1 was replaced with a regular fiberglass door and the choice of paint colors no longer made the cabin “rustic”.
The place where we swam was the same, and it was almost peaceful, if not for the annoying college-aged drunks loitering about being much too loud and immodest.
But for a moment, I tuned them out. I stood on the rocky bank of the Illinois River and closed my eyes. And I remembered.
I remembered summers long gone, but not forgotten. A family in tact before divorce and then death separated. I remembered a happy childhood. Loving parents. Carefree moments. And catching fireflies in a jar. I said good-bye.
Then I walked to my car and drove home.