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Posts Tagged ‘The Land of Lincoln’

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR PART OF THE WORLD.   WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO IN YOUR HOME TOWN?

Last week brought record-breaking 80 ° temperatures. This morning saw the mercury dip to the 30’s. The heat of last week, which prompted early blossoms, then the wind and rain which shook those blossoms down into pools of petals at the feet of trees, made quick work of magnolias and cherry blossoms.

So it goes . . .

. . . and why I stopped on Saturday afternoon to take this photo.

I’m not sure what this tree is, a magnolia perhaps. Its flowers are a perfectly hued buttermilk color that matches the shutters of this elegant painted lady in La Grange.  We first noticed it last May, when it was in its proper bloom. This year is different as everything seems to be bursting into flower out of sync, including this gracious tree.

I wondered how the homeowners managed to match the colors so well. Click on the picture for a clearer look.

This is my part of the world. I live in a suburb of Chicago that is far enough away to afford us two little wooded acres with deer and fox, the occasional horseback rider, and forest preserve across the street. We are zoned rural, but we also live at the convergence of major expressways and from a high point on one of our main streets, a remnant of the old Route 66, we can see the skyline of Chicago.

I like to think it is the center of the universe.

Our town has plenty of places to shop and dine and we are but a few minutes from some of the best birding spots and miles of trails for hiking and biking, as well as lakes and sloughs and rivers. We are twenty minutes from one of North America’s Great Lakes, Lake Michigan.

In spite of the fact that Illinois has a record number of governors who have served or are serving prison terms, I’m proud of living in what is called  the Land of Lincoln. The City of Big Shoulders stands at our backs here on the Cutoff, and the cities and towns, both big and small, and some of the best farmland on God’s green earth help to sustain us are at our feet in this place we call the Prairie State.

Won’t you tell us about where you live?

Urban legend has it that the Marx Brothers once lived in these parts. Their mother bought a chicken farm a few miles from where we live now. Farmers were exempt from the draft and Mrs. Marx hoped this would keep her boys from serving in WWI. Instead of collecting chicken eggs, the boys would slept late and spent their time at baseball games and betting on the ponies. A day at the races was more fun that chasing chickens around the farm.

So the legend goes.

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. . . . Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

Abraham Lincoln

First Inaugural Address

Monday, March 4, 1861

Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States.

February 12 is Lincoln’s birthday.

I’ve been thinking about these words today, which is the birthday of Abraham Lincoln, a man widely considered to be among the greatest of United States presidents.

Abraham Lincoln’s birthday used to be a state holiday. If February 12 fell on a weekday, there was no school. We all knew who Lincoln was, what the Gettysburg Address and the Emancipation Proclamation were. We lived in the great prairie state whose slogan was, and is, The Land of Lincoln.  I always liked that. I liked knowing that good ol’ Abe spent a good part of his life, including the years leading up to his presidency, in Illinois. I still do.

” . . . the better angels of our nature”.

That simple phrase from the last paragraph, indeed, the last line of Lincoln’s first inaugural address, has always resonated with me.

Our better angels.

That we would all call upon those angels would be a great thing, don’t you agree?

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