An American Journal: Day 12 (Springfield)

As much of an experience as the cabin had been, it was good to be back with some creature comforts like a hot shower, WiFi and a kitchen full full of breakfast supplies. Bill and Wendy’s house has a long stretch of back garden which has been crafted in Wendy’s unique style. A few tall trees cast shade over a stretch of lawn which is decorated with bushes, statues and ornaments, and makes eating breakfast on the patio which overlooks it an enjoyable way to pass the morning.

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Living room wall of Mari’s parents house

As midday approached, I worked up the motivation to take a run around the neighbourhood down to the local park. The suburb surrounding the park is what you might expect from an upper class neighbourhood with brick face houses that look like mansions and carefully cultivated front lawns. There were surprisingly few people out in the streets for a Sunday afternoon. I expected I’d see more kids out playing in the yards and more than the occasional resident mowing his lawn. The biggest difference in the suburban neighbourhoods I’m used to is that here the properties lack surrounding walls and fences, each property is simply divided by the houses themselves or by a garage or driveway.

Late afternoon we took a drive towards a place called Obed and Isaacs Microbrewery for some beers and an early dinner. Bill took us on a detour through the town, giving me a brief historical run down of the city as we passed by the local neighbourhoods. I got a look at Mari’s old house and a glimpse of of the degradation of certain areas as the ‘middle class’ moves from near the city center to suburbs further away. Before we settled down for our afternoon beers we took a look at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, the home and neighbourhood where Abraham Lincoln lived between 1844 and 1861 before he became president. The whole area has been preserved to look similar to how it would have looked during the time period and seems to be a symbol of pride for the residents of Springfield.

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Obed and Isaac’s Microbrewery and Eatery is just over the road from the Lincoln site and has a large outdoor area with lots of wooden benches. As you might gather from the name they specialise in their beers and I tried a dark IPA and a ‘seasonal’ IPA which went down great with a burger on a pretzel bun with a a side of potato salad. We caught the end of the sun wash over the clean cut buildings of downtown and Bill took the time to sketch pencil drawings of Mari and I. With our appetites for beer and food satiated we headed home to wind down the evening in front of the TV.

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