The cabins were there or at least they were standing. A "Dead End" sign seemed more than appropriate for them now.
The cabins' window-blinds were sagging and wrinkled like the lids on an old woman's eyes--hey, I'm beginning to resemble that remark. No signs of recent life appeared. Still, I thought I heard the ghosts of loud whispers and giggles from girls sneaking over to the boys' cabin in the middle of the night. Rules and raging hormones somehow cannot coexist in the mind of a teenager. Our teacher, Mr. R, surely must have known that nothing short of a barb-wire fence surrounded by punji stakes could separate the girls from the boys at the end of a week-long field trip away from parental supervision. Back then, I guess school authorities and parents giving their permission were fairly naive about such things. Mr. R and his 18-year-old daughter were our only chaperones for the trip.
Considering the present state of Illinois' economy, the park's condition wasn't too shabby. But I did find the lack of signs about the park's history somewhat shameful. Who, for instance, built this wall?
Maybe a better question is why don't we utilize our state parks for similar purposes today? Why did traditional forms of therapy such as hydrotherapy and massage therapy fall out of favor with people interested in maintaining good health?
Thank goodness the end of the week-long trip that SAM and I made wasn't plagued by unanswered questions or shrouded by the mists of time and fading memory. We stopped on our way home to visit a gardening friend, one I'm sure that many of my visitors are familiar with: Tina of In the Garden fame.
She and Mr. Fix-It had an answer for every question, a wonderful supper for hungry guests, and warm hospitality for visitors who forgot how cold Tennessee weather can be in early October.
And of course, they had plants to share: asters, irises, cannas, and variegated Miscanthus.
I hope we can repay their kindness someday soon. It's been nearly four years since our last meeting in New Harmony, Indiana. I pray it's not so long until the next one.
|Hummingbird on my cold-hardy ginger|