Tuesday, March 1, 2016

By thy Rivers Gently Flowing Illinois, Illinois Part 1

 2 years ago Gary and I set out on a quest to find a home in which to retire someday. Looking only in the on line realty sites I realized three things.  The first was that we could not afford to live close to home.  The second was that I wanted somewhere different. And lastly no fixer uppers! It must be move in ready. And so began our house hunting adventure into the land of the new homes.

We made a list of what we wanted and did not want in our future home/home site.  First and foremost we wanted familiarity.  We are Midwesterners. Although we love the beauty of Montana and Wyoming, we are not Westerners. I am the perpetual flatlander. There is something to be said for seeing the horizon line without having to tilt your head back. I also wanted to be able to hop in my car and drive a few hours to my sons should they need me. I would find it hard to live without Lake Michigan or Lake Superior being in close proximity. It was decided. Our search would cover Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and maybe Indiana or Minnesota.  We began our hunt in Illinois.

We traveled first to the areas just beyond the suburbs of Chicago both west and north. Looking to downsize, we had no interest in the the new home builds which consisted mainly of 2 stories. Most of the one floor homes were in  55 and older neighborhoods. That does not appeal to me. We continued to look further and further west. Lordy, when God passed out the natural beauty sprinkles the wind must have blown them right through Illinois without allowing them touch land. Don’t get me wrong. I grew up here and I really am drawn to the beauty of the flat lands, the unending sky, the fields of corn and soy, the plowed tilled earth are all in my blood.  However,when I wake up in the morning and sit with coffee in hand, I want to look out the window and smile at the beauty spread before me. There are a few beautiful places in Illinois, such as the river valleys, but  one of our taboos was to not live on a river. As we continued our search we decided to include newer construction as well. Building from scratch is a lot of work! After a long exhaustive search there were many reasons we did not find Illinois appealing. The quest for the final home continued.