I was 12 when my home state of Illinois celebrated its 150th anniversary of its admission to the Union. I don’t remember much about the celebrations, but I do remember making this leather patch/necklace in Girl Scouts. I’m going to guess that the colored yarn represented feathers on a Native American headdress, but I could very well be wrong. Maybe they were just for looks.
And while we’re on the topic of Illinois — I just listened to the state song of Illinois (called Illinois) and remember singing it in school. I remembered the lyrics at the beginning, but near the end is this stanza:
Not without thy wondrous story, Illinois, Illinois, Can be writ the nation’s glory, Illinois, Illinois, On the record of thy years, Abraham Lincoln’s name appears, Grant and Logan, and our tears, Illinois, Illinois, Grant and Logan, and our tears, Illinois. Grant and Logan, and our tears, Illinois.
Stanza from Illinois’ state song
I knew who Lincoln and Grant were, of course, but I had to look up Logan. This sentence caught my eye:
In 1853, John A. Logan helped pass a law which prohibited all African Americans, including freedmen, from settling in the state.
This man is honored, not only in the Illinois state song, but has two statues erected of him — one in Chicago and one in Washington DC — and has cities, towns, neighborhoods and at least one college named after him.
I’ve been retired for over two years and I’ve not done much to show for those two years. I’d expected, by now, to have been finished with my to-do list, or at least well underway with it. Instead I can hardly manage the day-to-day mini to-do lists.
There are still boxes under the guest bed full of things I brought back from my mom’s. By now I should have sorted them.
By now I should have at least learned how to use the 8mm and Super 8 Film Reel Converter Scanner and transferred all the Green/Patrick videos to YouTube and shared them with family. I’ve not even opened its box that I bought in 2018.
What have I done? I’ve read a lot. I’ve played a lot of games on my phone (and more recently Nintendo Switch Lite). I’ve baked a lot of bread. I’ve worried about oh so many things. I’ve not slept well.
Sometimes I think I should not have retired. I got more done when I was working. But I knew that was going to happen, didn’t I?
So many people ask me how retirement is going — it’s not going. It’s at a standstill in a rut at a dead end.
When I was a kid — probably pre-teen through late teens — I would spend parts of some of my summer days watching ants. The ants I watched most lived on the south side of my childhood home, under the fragrant rose bush. I was fascinated by their constant movement — they never seemed tired.
I remember one year when my family and I went on vacation and returned to find what had been a whole peanut on the kitchen floor, now reduced to near powder and a line of small ants carrying bits of that peanut powder several feet to the back door and outside. So much work for something so small.
Yesterday while taking care of business in our powder room, I noticed movement on the floor near the door. I looked closer and saw several ants working to maneuver what looked like a corn chip crumb into a tiny hole on the intersection between the door’s threshold and woodwork. I saw that the ants were coming from outside the powder room and followed a line of ants to under our kitchen table.
Please take note that sweeping and washing the kitchen floor was on my to-do list yesterday so no judging please but it was obvious that there was a smorgasbord of food under the table and the ants were taking advantage of it.
Since I had a lunch date with my friend, Suzanne, I ended up not sweeping the kitchen floor and left the ants go about their business.
This morning there are fewer ants and fewer crumbs. They are quieter than a Roomba, don’t get stuck under the refrigerator, and don’t need charging. I think I’ll keep them.