After leaving Madison we headed down to Springfield, Il for the weekend. I would finally have a couple of days off and get to enjoy with the entire family a few days of exploring before heading to Indianapolis for the following week. Weather was perfect, campsite was also, and the weather...also..perfect. Started Saturday evening watching the Royal Blue win an incredible game 6 to advance to the World Series for the second year in a row. Pretty cool way to start the weekend.
Next day was pretty packed after waking to a nice and crisp saturday morning . Started with a work-out outside to include some jump roping. Really starting to like it. and then breakfast with the fam. honey bunches of oats i assume. Tiff has tended only to break out the eggs in the evening but it works then also. Our first destination is honest Abe and basically where he lived before his presidency. 20 years I believe. Also recall them having said all of his kids were also born in this particular house. 4 to be exact. 3 having passed away before he and his wives demise. Sad times for sure. couldn't imagine.
I had been through this tour before but never really 'saw' it the last time I feel. it was on a business trip and believe something took in over lunch. kind of nodded my head. Similar to Chevy at the Grand Canyon probably. This time was different.
These tours are pretty efficient and they have to be. the close courters and the historic level of these house "things" means everything is roped of and you are reminded constantly to be very careful not to touch such items including the. the tour guides highlight how oils, dirt from our skin, exposure to the environment, etc. works against the longevity of such history...i guess is their feeling. maybe true. I know how my house looks with all the kid's "oils" on the walls, crown molding etc. destructors. haha. So like any tour the experts try to bring you back to their time and not just ordinary people yall. We are talking one of the, if not the, greatest president of all time. honest Abe they say. The story this time around was rivoting to me. All the way down them highlighting how Abe really enjoyed laying on the floor. I remember because I myself love to lay on the floor. It's not unheard of me to not be able to fall asleep at nights until I make a bed on the floor. What is that all about? No idea. Ask Tiff and she will highlight I may have slept on most the floors and some point time in our marriage. Some not intentionally i would have to say if you catch my drift.
The simple nature, yet surely upper-middle class, of how they lived and survived was amazing. The things we take for granted like..uh..electricity for example!
There was a place in the tour however that really grabbed my attention, no not the bed pans or the outhouse. not even the view-a-matic machine . This was also the only time during the entire tour where the guide actually permitted, and in fact insisted, you could touch and use something in the house. For the sole purpose of safety. Yup it was a handrail.... leading upstairs to his bedroom.
What gripped me are the memories of what must be embedded in that highly used piece of curved oak.
A support mechanism that our 16th president used on a daily basis through good times and bad. I think of the late nights, the weekends, days after work, evening after a dinner of social gathering, kids wife and guests also. Oh to be the proverbial fly on the wall. What an incredible and historic man yet using his home like the rest of us. then I think of today and those in politics. There is unfortunately no one similar in our modern realm.
Here is a guy who grew up in a 1 room shack in the country, taught himself to read, think he was even kicked in the head by a horse (wasn't listening then maybe). and all his "hand railings" supporting him through the years running upto the Presidency and achieving being one the most powerful men in the world at that time. And not a pleasant time to be such a person I should mention; no different than today. Makes me think about the politicians of today and privilege. Maybe why we haven't since such character in a man/leader because their "hand railings" in life. Brass instead of wood.
The memories and stories which must have flown through this man and at times leaving such historic marks on the path to his upstairs where he hopefully could find some normalcy, comfort...even if it meant the floor that evening. never really looked at a hand railing in such a way and never will again.
It got me to thinking about the hand railing in my new home- the RV and the marks we have already left on it. The excitement, the troubling days, the optimism of tomorrow. I trust it will continue to support us the rest of the way. brought a screw driver just in case.
The day was really a great day progressing through the Lincoln Presidential Museum. An really cool cool experience. Not short corners taken in its presentation. Again a tremendous learning and nostalgic experience. We then moved onto Frank Lloyd Wright's "The Dana House". Another design effort of his in the 'Prairie' Style of architecture. It was made that much more enjoyable having been through his museum in Madison. This work of art was actually one of his largest and most state of the art implementing electricity. Again a tremendous house, story and certainly many more hand rails but now in the hands of Ms. Susan Dana Thomas. I couldn't help but thinking about the parties she through being in high-society at the time and those that frequented her home.
The day ended with visiting the Lincoln memorial and burial site and then back home. The next day Sunday we were on our way to Indianapolis. Wonder whos hand rail we will visit next.