Friday, July 18, 2008

For a while I fell off the face of the earth


I landed in Batavia, Illinois, a far-far western suburb of Chicago. Long-time readers might be curious about this journey, but for now, I intend to be discrete and mysterious about my detour along life’s pathways.

My new home, a quaint little town clustered along the Fox River, captured my eye immediately when I first drove into the downtown central business district. Yes, there is still a thriving downtown here, not yet lost to the strip-shopping centers which populate west Batavia along Randal Road where every manner of chain store or restaurant is at your beck and call. The mayor wrote this about his town, “Batavia in some ways looks like a town that time has left alone.” This part of the Fox River Valley is lovely, and I am no stranger to the river having once lived in a Craftsman-style house overlooking the Fox for a short time in Appleton, Wisconsin.

While Batavia is doing a fine job of straddling old and new, I found her charm immediately apparent with tree-lined streets of homes ranging from Victorian painted ladies to one classic Frank Lloyd Wright home. I can walk to my insurance agent, bank, pharmacy, coffee shop, and library.

The library features a mural of the art accompanying this post--John Philip Falter's "Fox River Ice-Skating," which was the Saturday Evening Post cover for Jan. 11, 1958. In the upper right corner, you can see the Challenge Windmill Factory, another Batavia landmark. Batavia dubs itself “The City of Energy,” a right fine tagline since it served as home to five windmill factories during its early years, and it has been the home of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) for more than 40 years.

Well, that’s a short introduction to my new hometown. More later but don't expect me to write about ice-skating on the Fox River or anywhere for that matter.

14 comments:

Sarge Charlie said...

Welcome back to the land of living breathing bloggers, you have been missed. Now that your party has selected its choice I feel sure that we have some stuff to argue about.

Marshamlow said...

I have missed you. The town I currently live in also has a thriving down town. We have all the chains and such on the main road that does not run through our quaint little down town area. I love it. People go there and walk around it is one of the reasons I love this area so much.

Marion said...

Wow, so many changes! I have missed you and your straightforward writing. I've thought of you often, and hope you will continue to let us know how you're doing.

In the meantime, your new home sounds idyllic. It reminds me of Qualicum Beach, without the Beach, but a River.

Keep in touch, Sheila...I look forward to the adventures you surely have in store for yourself!

Lorelei said...

Nice to see you checking in! :)

Palm Springs Savant said...

Welcome back! Glad to see you in the Blogosphere again Sheila.

Sheila said...

Thanks all.

And Sarge, I can't wait to argue politics with one of my favorite Republicans. After all, Obama is now my senator too and there are a bunch of Democrats in this formerly solid Republican bastion. Heck, I happen to live in the congressional district once owned by former House Speaker Denny Hastert but now served by a Democrat.

Sarge Charlie said...

WRONG, WRONG, T Boon is right that we should try to harness wind, I would like to support research on tides, anything that can produce energy. In the mean time we should be using what we have, oil, coal, solar, we need to use it all, you are just wrong on this one.

Obama is poison, he has no experience, and empty suit, he gives a great speech using a teleprompter, watch him speak without one, poor. I understand he has a large following, I fear him, he will make Jimmy Carter look good.

Sarge Charlie said...

by the way, I am very disappointed in Haster, I understand he was involved an a land deal the he pushed taxpayer money for a road, do not know all the details but it shows that republicans clean their own house, not so in your party.

Sarge Charlie said...

Harry Reid has done exactly the same thing in Nevada as Haster did in your town.

Alabama checks said...

that was a very informative post thanks

floridagirl said...

Glad to see you again! I still have my Jesus picture in my dining room.
:)
I am a relatively new Grandma myself- have a 2 year old grandson. There's nothing like it!! Congrats.

Jackie said...

Welcome back Sheila, I see I missed your arrival by a couple of weeks :)

Naomi said...

It's nice to see you back on the Blogosphere again Sheila. Welcome back! We've missed you.

Busplunge said...

Batavia?