Knowing the Midwest would be 95 degrees with 95% humidity I packed every pair of shorts and short sleeved shirts I owned. Tim always packs the same thing…2 pair of long pants, 1 pair of shorts and 5 knit shirts regardless of what the weather is. He fits everything in a tote bag. I had to buy a new suitcase to get all my stuff packed. We left Arizona and 112 degrees. Our first night on the road was in Gallup, NM. The next morning it was 68 degrees and raining. Fortunately, I had packed a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt and I pretty much wore the jeans and sweatshirt the whole month.(Yes, I did change clothes periodically so I could wash them.) The weather was absolutely beautiful in the Midwest. The high was 75-85 with the low’s in the 60’s. I swear I could see my breath one morning. No humidity and not one mosquito bite. The moral of the story…pack a tote bag. I never wore any of the clothes in the suitcase.
We arrived in Bloomington, IL on July 19 (Friday) staying with Lucy’s Godparents, Pat and Mike (Mike is also her attorney) and their yorkie, Daisy. Sunday, I took Tim to ER at 6 am. The next Wednesday I took him to ER again after he collapsed getting out of the car . This time he was admitted and spent the next 4 days in the hospital. Sparing all the details leading up to his hospitalization, the diagnosis was orthostatic hypertension and severe dehydration resulting from a C.difficile infection. C.diff is an antibiotic-associated diarrhea where the antibiotics a person has taken (he was on antibiotics for a sinus infection) takes over and kills all the good bacteria and the bad bacteria grows in the intestines. What was suppose to be 3 days in Bloomington turned into 10 days. It was truly a blessing this happened while we were at our friend’s house. They were comforting and supportive and I didn’t have to worry about Lucy. I will also say it was a blessing we had our SkyMed membership because I knew, without a doubt, that if we had to get him back to AZ, all I had to do was make a call. I had complete peace of mind.
After the first ER trip and before the second, I made arrangements to meet with some girlfriends for lunch in my home town of Lincoln, IL. I hadn’t seen three of my
friends for 48 years! We had a great lunch and lots of catching up to do plus loads of "remember when...?" I drove around town to see what had changed since being there 13 years ago. Lincoln 's population is 15,400. The courthouse square use to be surrounded by clothing stores, the dimestore, a bank or two, a jewelry store, Sears and a furniture store. All gone. I didn't recognize any store. I drove by the library and I was surprised how small it was. In my mind, I remembered it the size of the National Library. I loved the library.
The "rec" was where we hung out on the weekends. Pool tables were in the front. Dancing in the rear.
The building has been long gone. All that remains is the parking lot. We would walk across the alley to Guzzardo's for pizza. Thank heavens Guzzardo's is still alive and well. It was bitter sweet driving around town looking for landmarks and previous houses I lived in. The house I lived in with my grandmother has been replaced with a commercial building. The outhouse is gone. The streets seemed narrower. Kroger moved out toward the Interstate next to the Super Wal-Mart. The Tropics (restaurant) is still standing but vacant. The Heritage Inn where I bussed tables and later worked my way up to waitress has been torn down. I couldn't find the housing complex my paternal grandmother lived in. I'm pretty sure it was been replaced with a new townhome complex. The high school has expanded but still has the circular driveway. A lot has changed in my home town but some things haven't...I can still hear the corn grow.