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What on earth is going on around here? Maybe it is the end of the world as we know it: violent winds, destructive storms, raging wildfires, scorching heat, wilting gardens and really weird super fast time passing at lightening speed.

(Insert image of me shaking my head)

About those storms.  Yesterday, after a weekend-filled fun with some zany, dear old college gal pals, I loaded up the big car with two college ladeeez and my high school gal.  Setting off to the Kane County Flea Market, loaded with plenty of high-octane caffeine for VERY worn out me, and a list of goods needed for new college city apartment, we headed west.  Or was it South?  I’m really not too clear about that, and am still bedraggled from total nonstop fun I pray you to not make me remember my navigational points today.

As the gals unfolded their shopping list, my rear view was obstructed by the sheer size of the paper.  They had very cleverly used a ginormous piece of wrap-wear newsprint to jot down things such as: art, end table, couch (70″ tops), frames, doodads and the most vital item of all: a vintage wrought iron full headboard.  Easy.

Turning the car towards our destination, I noticed with a bit of panic a dastardly dark, pitch purple sky.  Calmly, I asked gal #3 if she had any inkling about the afternoon’s weather.  Ridiculously, our departure was just at the middle of the afternoon, leaving us a scant few hours to scour the goods of this really huge flea market before it’s closing time.

The radio instinctively spoke to us, as if conjured by a magic genie, “Dangerously high winds, hail the size of dairy cows and a series of storms wild enough to knock your socks off.”  Oh.  Then, college gal #2, loading up her weather doppler on fancy phone, chimed in, “There’s a huge green blob hanging over our destination address.”

As I envisioned our huge Toyota Sequoia tossing and tumbling on its way to some Illinois Oz, the gals resumed their high-pitched laughter and chatter.  Clearly, I was the only grown up in the car.

I casually announced to no one in particular, “If I was on this outing on my own, I’d turn the car around and head to a few towns with cute antique shops.”

I waited, slowing the car down just a tad, until hallelujah: the reply I’d hoped for came chiming from the back seat.  “Let’s do that, Mom.”


Now, thrills and spills abound accompanied us on a weirdly circuitous ride, which made me recount to my younger companions the phenomenon known, in earlier times, as the “Sunday Drive”: no destination in mind, just following the whim of our curiosity and whim as we passed, as gal #1 stated later, “more than 17 towns today.” Top sites covered on our lazy drive:  a camp for little people; an older woman on a motorcycle with an i.v. taped to her tattooed arm; a local lore boozy lakeside bar that nets the best local gossip; some obscure ugly candy and nut shop that made #3 shriek with excitement; the former home of a former beau; the site where gal #1 broke her collarbone; the site where #3 learned to climb monkey bars; the site of a haunted house where the attendants were mean and inconsiderate (or so the story goes); a bridge and creek where I once shared a surprise kiss on the 3rd of July, circa 1978, with someone who’s name will not be mentioned; a beautifully golden field of wheat; corn clearly over knee-high in time for the 4th of july; the white castle drive thru we’d visited exactly one week before; an ancient barn that was now a pile of rubble; several hundred crossings of the Fox River; and most excitingly, several dozen signs of Storm Damage, proof that we had been wise indeed to avoid the earlier attempt to drive to the flea market.

An hour later, the skies clear and my head nearly falling off of my shoulders from overall weekend fatigue, I turned the car subtly towards home.

Feeling a lightness in my sooner-than-expected group activity, I envisioned my soft pillow and cozy jammies awaiting me in the not too distant future…until…a chorus from #1, #2 and #3 sang out: we still have time to get to the flea market!


Obligingly, I pressed the pedal, adjusted our masques, and aimed around, now feeling as if we’d driven to the north woods of Minnesota and back!  With a caring and aware-of-her-mothers-exhaustion teen in the navigator seat, I soon heard soothing mellow country music to glide us softly to our original destination.

Ah, amazing what fortitude can do to kick in a bit of adrenaline when oh so tired.  As we reached the gates of the County Fairgrounds, my adrenaline kicked in and we all ran lithely out of the car, split up in teams of two, and began to scour the loot in search of some fabulous Lincoln Park-bound bounty.

Praise the heavens above: with only one full lap behind me, the hint of a return to sweltering heat combing through my hair, a fresh cool ice cream cone happily being devoured, gal #3 and I spied our own holy grail: tucked beneath the cooling shade of a circus-like tent, just to the left of the Sheep Building, to the right of the Swine Building: I spy a perfect, spindly, creamy off white, full frame size, turn of the last century, 50% off, wrought iron bed.

Ta da!

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