Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Trip to Chicago

This post is inspired by a prompt from Reflections of a Mother's Heart
The prompt was "Share about an outing you took with your Mom or Dad"

Travel back with me on a trip to Chicago with my Dad. When we went to Chicago, I was a mere 13 years of age so use your young eyes to imagine the fun.

We could start out near Union Station with breakfast at Lou Mitchell's. There is usually a wait, but fresh donut holes and Milk Duds make the waiting worthwhile, plus they give you added energy for all the walking ahead in the day. After that, take a walking tour to admire the skyscrapers or the beautiful architecture... quite a site for a little farm girl.

The ice skating at Millenium Park would probably be more fun for me than the sculptures. Then on to enjoy some shopping on the  Magnificent Mile. I love to window shop, but dad is probably more of a people watcher. You can do either of these there. Another amazing sight for a farm girl would be the amazing view from the Hancock Observatory. You can see three states from there!

And finally, end the day with a baseball game or a Broadway musical. I would enjoy the latter, but Dad would be more of a baseball fan.

Now THAT would be an awesome day 
in Chicago with your dad, 
but that was NOT our experience.

Oh no, we were moving our dairy farm from Ohio to Wisconsin when I took a trip to the Chicago Loop with my dad. It was fall. We had purchased a new farm in Wisconsin and we were moving the farm bit by bit as we could.

We were taking a grain bin which looks kinda like this.
It was laid flat on the bed of our truck that looked something like this....

The legs of the grain bin hung out past the end of the bed. So we tied red flags on the legs to worn cars behind us.

So you get the picture, right?

Okay .... It was my turn to be dad's co-pilot. That in itself was a bad decision because just the purring of the engine would put me to sleep. So I was of no use to my dad for anything. No good conversation, just probably some snoring! No map reading, because trying to read anything in a moving vehicle made me nauseous.

Somehow, Dad made it to Chicago on his own.  (By this time, he probably knew the way pretty well.) Anyway, when we got to the city, Dad woke me up and asked for my help. He needed me to watch for the signs. I think it's better than it was in 1974, but there were lanes of traffic everywhere and exit signs all the way across the highway. As you may know, one needs to know where they are going well in advance so that you can be in the correct lane at the correct time.

Dad said, we needed to watch for the Eisenhower, I believe that is I-290, Well, that's neither here nor there. All I know now is that what we did not want was the Chicago Loop exit. I watched intently, for the Eisenhower. And there it was 2 exits ahead. There were two or three exits right in a row.

I called out, "There it is!".  Now, you probably know the way traffic is in Chicago ... not exactly wide open road. Dad whipped that big old truck over a couple lanes of traffic. Who knows how many cars he pushed out of the way, but we made it down the first exit and right onto the Chicago Loop..

So imagine 
driving that loaded truck down this street..

Or maybe this street ...   

Somehow, my amazing dad managed to get us through the traffic and back to the highway. 

We made it safely to Wisconsin

and the new farm where I met new neighbors, saw where I would be attending school, and tried to plant flower bulbs for my mom in the frozen ground (They ended up in the china cabinet until we arrived for good in the spring.) Of course, my family has never let me forget this story.

So, that 
is my unforgettable outing 
to Chicago with my dad.

I've never made it back to Chicago to actually enjoy the city. Maybe it should be on my bucket list. When I was in high school, the band and choir would take a trip to see a musical every year. I decided I would save up and go my senior year .. which is the first year they decided NOT to take the trip.

As far as Chicago traffic. I never got over my nervousness about driving through Chicago's interstates. I drove through Chicago several times a year headed to college. I hated it every time. I would always say a little prayer as I approached the city, "It's me and You, Lord".

  But it was mostly Him!

But isn't that how we should approach life? After all, the Scriptures say ...

You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy; 
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 16:11

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