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Thursday, April 12, 2012

POST 597: 04/12/12: DE KALB, ILLINOIS

De Kalb business district.

De Kalb is a College Town with much more to be seen. Instead of walking around town, I have spent the past three days visiting with Carol or out walking Highway 23 and 64.


Major much-used train tracks run through the center of downtown ...



Scott, the Maintenance Manager of Carol's Nursing Home allowed me to fill up SPIA's fresh water tank this morning. Not five feet away this squirrel watched the entire process...certainly not much concerned or afraid.


Yesterday, I walked across De Kalb to Highway 64...and back to the Nursing Home.

Today, I walked Highway 64 for 4 hours or so, finding this old bridge crossing.


This group of young heifers courageously walked up to the wire fence as I chatted away at them not three feet away. The dark one up front put her head through the fence to lick my hand.

Two hours later, on my return, they were still waiting and we again had a 5 minute conversation.


This young gal looks a bit P.G....perhaps just the way she is standing.


Please say HELLO to Maryann (l.) and Dusty.

Maryann owns a sheep ranch and has, together with her husband - who passed away 2 months ago - operated a sheepskin clothing boutique on their ranch. Maryann is closing her shop in a week or so, offering discounts on her inventory. I purchased a sheepskin hat and pair of mittens; also found the perfect waterproof sheepskin lined walking boots - guaranteed to be warm to 30F BELOW zero...but, for $200,00, they had to wait.

Dusty is a photographer, taking tons of images of Maryann's shop; she is also the local "mail carrier" for the town of Clare, Illinois 60111.


Maryann's boutique.


Maryann can be reached at 815-895-9678 and at www.completesheepshoppe.com.


The boots I need, but must wait for another day.


Carol's Nursing Home. Home to nearly 100 "Residents", most confined to wheel chairs and in need of considerable care.


I have visited for two days, sharing this comfortable well staffed home. Carol has the opportunity to return to the State of Washington, but feels this to be her home and will most likely remain here.


One of two Dining Rooms. All Residents are welcome to take their meals in the Dining Room, in their own room, or in one of many lounges.


Please say HELLO to Belle.

Belle is an adopted dog, who has become companion to all the Residents. Belle has the run of the home, and makes continuous rounds to check on everyone. Those who are difficult to reach, Belle is escorted by the staff to visit each Resident.

Every night - and much of each day, Belle sleeps / rests on Carol's bed. Belle and I hit it off immediately.


Carol, Belle and I.

Must apologize for the weather beaten features on my face. It is not sunburn. It is, rather, WIND BURN received the past couple weeks walking across Indiana and Illinois to continuous gale force winds..

If the winds persists, I will wear my full face pull-over hat, leaving only my eyes and mouth exposed. I wear wrap-around sun glasses whenever walking...so the white around my eyes.


Please say HELLO to Ruth.

Ruth is Carol's room mate. Both ladies are happy go lucky on superb terms with each other and the entire home staff.

Ruth, whose husband recently left her, is battling MS (Multiple Sclerosis). Ruth and I hit it off immediately also.

The three of us enjoyed a large pizza with yummy salad, watermelon sticks, beer, ice tea, and ice cream for dinner. We took it in the Blue Room, one of the many lounges available.

Visitors are encouraged and made welcome at all times, day or night.

I have been received graciously by all the staff and Residents. It will be difficult to be on my way, but to complete my saga, I must leave tomorrow morning after breakfast with Carol.

I will continue walking Highway 64 West toward the intersection with US 52.

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