Yen’s Illinois Adventure

You’ll see this next photo and think, “I knew you were going to the Midwest for Labor Day, but I didn’t realize you were traveling back in time.”

No, we went to the Thresherman’s Reunion. I think it may have been David’s idea originally, and then one of his coworker’s wasn’t able to take his shift, so David ended up missing it. So Yen did an extra careful job of documenting it so David could see it all.

This, of course, is a demonstration of how plowing used to happen back in the days before tractors.


The Reunion doesn’t just feature tractors; it’s full of vehicles of all sorts.


Here’s me and Dad, heading off to inspect things. Isn’t that sky behind us terrific? I think a front was moving through. It rained a couple of times, but only for brief periods. And it was hot.

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I always enjoy going to things like this with Dad, because he talks about his dad and being a kid on a farm.

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I think this is a steam engine. The guy driving it was actually standing instead of sitting on the seat. David speculated later that it was for better visibility. I think he might be right, but it may also help him out with the steering. You wouldn’t believe how hard he had to crank to move this thing. Power steering wasn’t remotely invented yet.


And here’s an old saw mill set up. Later we watched them demonstrate how it works by slicing a few logs into pieces.


It’s not part of the show, and maybe I shouldn’t be pointing it out, but we simply loved this guy’s wheelchair. I don’t know why more of them aren’t designed this way. He could go absolutely anywhere, including over grass and gravel.


This little guy was driving this engine all by himself. He was clearly very experienced and just puttered around with no problems.

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In addition to actual machines, there were many models. We weren’t sure whether they were sales models contemporary with the larger machines, or something built later.


We went for a nice lunch, and then headed down to Jacksonville to see the Chandlers. We stopped along the way so Yen could see the turbines.


Here we are now on the campus of Illinois College where Brent teaches. I was really tickled when we were walking to campus and heard, “Hey, Dr. Chandler!” and he stopped to talk to one of his former students.


There’s a swing on campus, which I naturally had to try.


This is inside the science building where Brent teaches. He also took us inside the classroom where he teaches, and into the lab.


Here’s his office. You can tell how excited the college is to have him because this office is huge.


Then we slowly made our way back to their house, and Yen took a few photos of the neighborhood, which is historic and full of mature trees.


We came back to find Ruby and Grandma waiting on the front steps.


The neighbor walked by with a six-week-old Jack Russell puppy. Ruby ran out to say hello to the wiggling mass.


I mentioned before how hot it was, I think. The next morning, we woke to find a thick fog had descended. We dressed and ran out to see what it looked like.


This, we all agreed, is the most adorable house in town.


After the fog lifted, it turned out to be a really beautiful day, so we all went for a walk to the town center. Ruby brought along her bike, but didn’t ride it very long.

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Here’s the town center. Nice, eh?


And me and David, lounging by the memorial in the center while Ruby frolics.


Ruby simply adores David. When she heard he was coming the day before, she ran to the window next to the front door to watch for him. She was undeterred when we explained it would be at least an hour before he arrived. Whenever she sees him, she launches herself at him.

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Time to head back!

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By now it was probably 90 degrees with humidity in the 80s. Ruby didn’t care. “Let’s run!” she said.

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Of course you have to run with her when she asks.

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Here she is, back at home, with very pink cheeks.

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Ruby and Grandma decided to stay home and relax in the central air. The rest of us headed into Springfield to investigate the botanical gardens.

Yen is very into pergolas right now.I think if you watch this space long enough, you’ll probably see a photo of one being installed in our yard.


This is a giant carillon. It played most of the time we were walking.

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It’s not a huge garden, but it does have a nice little conservatory.

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The next morning – our last day before heading home – we drove up to Peoria to visit the zoo.


There’s a big walk-through exhibit of Australian animals.

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Check out how carefully we’re protecting our skin from the sun!


We all really loved this animal, which is a takin. It’s so strange. It looks like a member of the bison family, but it moves like a bear.

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This little giraffe’s name is Victoria. Isn’t she sweet?

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We went inside to cool off, and Ruby played with this fake giraffe.

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Here we all are! As usual, Mom doesn’t like having her picture taken.

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We only had another hour or so before our flight, so we headed over to look at the Illinois River. It was such a beautiful day with these high, fluffy clouds and low humidity.

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And then we were off. David is coming out to visit us in a few weeks, and we’ll drive up to Acadia for the weekend. Very much looking forward to that!