After a day spent visiting Laura Ingalls Wilder’s childhood homes, we spent one last night in a hotel in Minnesota. The next day we stopped to have lunch with one of my friends in Madison, Wisconsin before making it to our final destination: the farm.
We had grown weary of hotels because our car was so full of stuff. We had forgotten to pack a lot of things onto the moving truck before it left, so we ended up packing the car to the brim. Since many of the hotels along the interstates are targets for thieves, we had to unpack and pack the car everyday, and it was a tight fit, trying to get it all in. The drive to Madison was easy but I found myself missing the wide open plains of South Dakota. We now faced traffic and people.
We met a friend that I used to work with when I was a commodities trader for lunch in Madison. Jake is a funny, pleasant guy who also walked away from the financial world a few years ago. He had lived in Newport Beach, California for years until he moved back to the Midwest. We discussed our time working with the markets of the world, and how it is a zero sum game. Somebody always loses money, and it is never good. You get caught up in the fast paced life, but you can never enjoy it.
Jake has been working on another degree in social services and while in school has been working with addicts in Madison. His life has change a lot from when we worked together. At lunch he explained to me the pace of life in the midwest.
I ordered a beef sandwich without cheese. I am allergic to dairy, so its not an option for me. When I got it there was cheese on it. Jake laughed and said welcome to the Wisconsin, everything has cheese on it here.
We took a polaroid in front of the deli before we left. We were given the polaroid camera as a gift before we left California. We bought film from a company named Impossible and it was expensive. I’ve taken well over 10,000 Polaroids in my life and this film just does not hold up. It takes so much longer than even the early polariod that you had to tear the paper off and then cover with the solution. We did not get even one really good picture out of two 8 packs of the 600 film.
When we left Madison and entered Illinois, the heavens opened and rain came pouring down. It was amazing and we had to stop at a rest area on one of the tollways to use the bathrooms, and we were soaked through and through in the short run from the car to the building and back.
The rain didn’t last more than a half hour, and soon we were headed down the two lane road to the farm. My heart started beating faster. The area was a sea of green. Corn in almost every field! I opened my window to take it in. We pulled up on the gravel drive of our new home. A white house over a hundred years old, with 5 red barns that stuck out like an oasis among the green fields.