Travel Brochure to the Middle of No-Where

Last week, I found some furniture whose sale, I know,  will pay my winter utility bills. Five pieces of solid walnut furniture decorated with hand-painted scenes and fancy bird’s eye maple and mahogany veneers, very French, and some of the best furniture America ever had to offer after 1880.  I was in the right place at the right time. There were only about 25 people in the auction hall on a dark, wet autumn night in the middle of nowhere.

I made that drive five times this week to pick up the pieces. Each piece of furniture is so big and so heavy that I could only fit one piece in the truck at a time. Two mirrors  and a headboard were one trip in itself.

It rained all week,  Pouring rain or drizzling. Misting, than pitter-pattering. Sprinkling, drumming, Plunking.  It rained and rained. It was a great week to plant grass seed.


Each day began with pink skies.


 As the drives went on, the grass turned a rich, deep green.



All along the way, I saw barns of every style and size.. Most are in disrepair or falling down.

This farm is raising llamas. Sometimes, a big white shaggy dog was with them.

I saw pastures of black cattle, Holstein cows, sheep, small grey donkeys. There were ducks paddle-footing around in groups. A lone zebra, looking like he got off at the wrong stop, was in a field with some donkeys.


I heard on the radio while driving that the last of the feed corn won’t be cut because of all the rain.


This is a typical road through northern Illinois running along the Wisconsin border.  If the road is in tip-top shape,  you are in Wisconsin. When the road is pot-holed, you are in  Illinois. No map is necessary. One good aspect of the poor roads is that it keeps vehicles from speeding.


This is the typical fencing here and the colors of the maples are muted with dripping leaves and gray skies. This is when the smell of autumn is at its richest.


Did you notice the headstones?


 The Alden cemetery had the prettiest maples.

Photo by Jeremy Webb

I made the last trip today and I was so glad to get back to work in my little shop.  Cleaning the furniture before it comes in, is, as always, harder than moving it all by myself. Next, a hot bath and Agatha Christie’s Body in the Library. Tomorrow, I’ll light the boiler for winter.