Kankakee, Illinois

It was good to be back in a city - I love St. Louis, but being in Chicago, exploring the neighborhoods, moving between people on the sidewalks and waiting for a table at a crowded restaurant just doesn't happen much anymore now that I live in The Lou. I visited a great shop I just love called P.O.S.H off of North State Street. It's a wonderful French decor shop. I wanted everything. But all I could do this trip was look. Yep, lots of looking, which means lots of time to sit and sketch. But, I have to say the most interesting part of the trip was my afternoon/evening in Kankakee - a small town an hour outside of Chicago. This small town surrounded by farms that grow corn and soybeans is your typical mid-west town. I went to a graduation party with a friend. Not knowing anyone, I just sat and listened. And as the party went into the evening and the more beer that was consumed, I learned a great deal about Kankakee - more than I wanted to know that's for sure. People are the best entertainment and though I had a great time, I left with a taste of sadness. So many of the people talked about how much they disliked this town where they lived. They were stuck and certainly believed they could never leave. I remembered feeling that way when I lived in Ohio, like the whole world was far better than where I lived. I'm thankful for the chance to have traveled and lived in many different parts of the U.S.A. Now more than ever I appreciate the mid-west. But, I don't think I would have if I didn't leave. Before the sun went down, I took a walk away from the party to see just a little bit of Kankakee. I found it lovely and sat in a field and did this picture in my sketchbook before I went back to the party. You really have to leave for awhile to appreciate your home.You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes. - Pooh's Little Instruction Book