Friday, August 15, 2014

5 things about Illinois

I spent my teen years in Florida.  I lived in a rural area about 30-40 miles from the beach.  It was an idyllic place to grow up.

Then I met my husband and moved to Illinois.

It was a different world, both in climate and culturally.  Before I go on, I must point out that I live in beautiful, rural SOUTHERN Illinois, which is a totally different place than Chicago.

Southern Illinois is nothing like Chicago.

When I came here, back in the 70's, it felt like stepping back into time.  I felt like the fashions fads and ideas were about 10 years behind Florida.  I also felt people were more caring, friendly and honest here.  The crime rate was low and drugs, gangs and teen pregnancies were almost a rarity.  Now, of course, those things, to some extent, have visited here as well.

Overall, it is still a good place to live. I'm going to share five reasons I love living in Illinois.

1.  There are good-natured friendly people here who will lend a hand when trouble comes.  Not only did friends, family and church members help out when we experienced a flood a few years ago, but total strangers stopped to help fill sandbags!

2.  I like changes in climate.  I love fall with it's color changes and spring with its new growth.  Summer is beautiful with abundant greenery and winter encourages cozy times snuggled up on the couch reading in a candlelit atmosphere.

Parks, forests and lakes - we have them all here in Southern Illinois!  As an avid road-tripper, my favorite thing about my state is easy access to all this gorgeous scenery.

3.  Parks - Illinois has wonderful parks and picnic areas.  The sad thing is often there are days when my hubby and I are the only ones visiting.  Parks are a special resource free for all to enjoy.  Take advantage or we may lose them!

Illinois has a Garden of the Gods, too!

4.  Lakes - love a road trip to a lake.  Here is a couple of my faves:

Crab Orchard Lake

Arrowhead Lake

5.  The great Shawnee National Forest is located in Southern Illinois. (Read about it here.) Covering over 280,000 acres, the Forest is in driving distance of many of my favorite places.  I love feasting my eyes upon the green trees and plants after a long winter viewing shades of gray, brown and occasional white landscapes. When spring arrives, you can see many flowering trees in shades of white, pink and purple. In the fall, the beautiful colorful foliage is a sight to behold.  

Southern Illinois is also a good place to get off the beaten track and go exploring.  You never know what you will find just around the bend.

Consider visiting southern Illinois for its friendly folks and gorgeous scenery. You'll love it!

Mama's Losin' It

This post was written in response to Writer's Workshop prompt 4.) List of things you love about the state you live in. What do you like most about YOUR state?  Leave a comment or consider linking up at Kat's blog, Mama's Losin' It.


Cinella Reyes said...

Never visited.... but wish we had that much green in our area!

Visiting from Mama Kat

Angie said...

Beautiful photos. I've got the Garden of Gods on my bucketlist as a place I'd love to visit :)

Joyful said...

Driven through it a couple times but was never able to visit any place... will have to look into that in the future though. I have lived here (Missouri) all my life. In fact... the very. same. town.

Janet said...

Waves hello to my neighbor; western KY girl here. Yes, Southern IL has some beautiful areas to visit. Great post and yes, it's so sad when the beautiful parks are almost empty.
Visiting from Mama Kat

Mama Kat said...

Beautiful photos! Washington state has all of the changing seasons feels like there is new beauty all year long in a state like that!

Mama Kat said...

Did you happen to see this workshop entry? Your words inspire!:

Faith said...

Love the lake photos!!! Thanks for giving us a glimpse into Illinois. I've always thought of it as one big city...probable much the way people west of NYS think of us here......but we here in the capital region and Adirondacks are NOTHING like NYC!! 😄

I would love going to the parks with you......we love our NYS parks!!!!