Friday, April 18, 2008

Field Trip - java

Before I explain what boggled me when I left Josie's, let me talk about something that's hiding in her hayloft.

The first time I visited her antique barn it was early winter and it was cold, cold, cold. The wind was tearing through the spaces in the barn wood and it was apparent there wasn't going to be much time for browsing before frostbite set in. I noticed something behind a dining room table and chairs. There was something under plastic and just from the outline I could tell it was an MGB! I had one back in the 70's and spent many a sunny day driving around with the top down.

An entire car was parked in the hayloft and didn't even take up 1/25th of the space. That's the scale of this place. Well, it is true that an MGB is a pretty tiny car, but even a Hummer wouldn't make a very big footprint on the floor space. If you know anything about rural America, you know that it's blanketed with vintage cars all waiting to be restored. They're everywhere. You can't always see them because they're tucked in barns, old sheds or hidden under years of vines or brambles. Occasionally you'll see an old Dodge or Buick peeking out from inside a lean-to. But what awaited me as I turned right onto the highway from Josie's place was a big-boggle. A very big boggle.

What's that beyond the pile of gravel? There....see it just behind the silo?






I am not kidding you. This guy has a coffee shop behind his silo.

Do they make traveling, movable coffee shops? Evidently they do, because there's one sitting outside DeKalb. You've got to wonder what he plans to do with this thing. Sell it on Ebay?

And how did he explain it to his wife? What do you possibly say when the big yellow coffee shop arrives on a flatbed?

"Honey, I bought a used coffee shop. It needs a little restoration, but for now I'm going to park it out behind the silo. Next to the truck. And the travel trailer."

YEAH...that's definitely worth a year of shopping at the fabric store. There's NOTHING he could say when she walks in with 65 yards of crepe back satin and a new sewing machine.

"Look.....not a word from you. You've got a stinking coffee shop in the back yard!"

There is a point to my story, beyond the fact that the scene has such comedic possibilities. The point is that this coffee house development is ammunition the next time my family has anthing to say about my plans to create an art car.

"Mom....that's the craziest thing I've ever heard."

"Oh yeah. Well, get in the car, we're going to DeKalb!!"

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Today is April 18th which is the anniversary of the 1906 earthquake that destroyed San Francisco.

Today Illinois experienced a 5.4 earthquake centered around West Salem in the southern part of the state.

As far as fault lines go, California's got nothing on us. The largest and most dangerous fault line in the country in centered in New Madrid, Missouri, which is just across the Mississippi from Illinois. The 1811 and 1812 earthquakes were computed to have been the largest quakes in modern history. It was 8.1 and changed the flow of Mississippi. Church bells rang as far away as Boston. An 8.1 earthquake is unbelievably violent and eyewitness reports reflect the terror it generates.

We pass through New Madrid every time we drive down to Arkansas and believe me, we're always aware of this fact. It makes you a little queasy to say the least.

Both the Farmer and the Farmer's Son need to get up early for work and our alarms went off at 4:30 a.m. The earthquake hit at 4:39. We didn't feel a thing, although there are thousands of report from this entire area and including high rises in Chicago. The Chihuahua's didn't make a peep, but hey....they can sleep through anything. My neighbor e-mailed me first thing and asked, "Didn't you feel it." No, we didn't.

I remember the earthquake we experienced back in 1972. I was living in a small cottage the middle of nowhere and the stove pipe that extended through the roof was shaking and rattling like crazy. It felt as if there was a very large truck rumbling past. The only problem was that my cottage was miles from a major road.

We'll be calling our daughter later to see if she felt anything because she lives about 200 miles from the epicenter.

Never a dull moment around here.

If you'd like to read more, here are some links:

Illinois Earthquake History

New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811 and 1812.



Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

My first email of the morning was from a fig in Illinois who told me all about the shaking going on down there. I had not realized that the the Mississippi's course had been changed by an earthquake once upon a time nor that the largest fault is in your corner and not on the West Coast. I'm getting myself quite an education reading blogs.

That's a great story about the drive through donut shop behind the silo. I suppose the gathering of such things seems normal in wide open spaces. Here that kind of thing would take up the entire lot.

Paula Bauer said...

Wow! Earthquake! I'm used to hearing about flooding and tornadoes in your neck-o-the-woods (or plains in this case), but earthquake? Sheesh! As Elvis says "A whole lot of shakin' going on"

The coffee shop is a hoot. Maybe his cows like a moooo-chain the morning. [Sorry - couldn't resist!]

My youngest 3 girls and I spent summer 2006 in Sycamore helping to care for hubby's mom. I enjoyed the balmy nights, the humidity makes the night air so soft...and I loved Ellwood House! I hope to have a booth at Art at Ellwood (their Fine Arts Fair) in July, 2009. I was tempted this year but decided to abandon my 'Wonder Woman complex' and not try it with the wedding here in July. I'm sure things will be crazy enough without adding to it!

C.C. said...

I heard about an earthquake somewhere on the radio as I was drifting up and out of sleep this morning, but didn't catch where...who knew...earthquakes in Illinois! The guy who owns the drive thru coffee shop could jack it up a bit and then farmers from all over could drive thru in their combines and tractors!

Suzanne said...

Vee - that's very odd. Your first e-mail was from a fig in Illinois? nickname in high school was "fig", as in Fig Newton (my last name).

As a far as the links, I'm always interested in the rest of the story. I was actually surprised that no one in the local news media was aware of the anniversary of the S.F. quake. Oh...wide open spaces. Zowie, we got that for sure.

Paula - I know. Earthquakes are rare but we are VERY aware of living so close to that dangerous New Madrid fault. Did you know that the farmer and I drove along INSIDE the edge of a tornado once? We kept commenting on the fact that it was a pretty bad thunderstorm. We're clueless, what can I say?

Suzanne said...

Dang Blogger didn't let me finish what I was saying.

C.C. - I thought the same thing. Drive up in your John Deere. Heck, they're always driving their combines and tractors all over the roads anyway.