America 2017: Day Thirty-Three (22 November)

It’s whispered from a tractor on a flat Midwestern plain
The fields are dry and dusty, there is no sign of rain
It floats out a kitchen window, somewhere in the south
If the river gets much higher, they’ll float away no doubt
You can almost feel it in the air, an American prayer

They’re gonna be alright, they’re gonna carry on
Help from above will come back strong
Got faith in us, got faith in Him
The clouds will part and the sun will shine again, amen

It echoes through the factories up in Michigan
It bounces off the levees, and rides out on the wind
Clear out to California, and back on up to Maine
Don’t matter if you’re rich or poor, a sinner or a saint
Every night, everybody, everywhere
Is praying their American prayer


– Dustin Lynch

Wednesday 22 November

Arlington Heights, IL

Great to be back in Chicago. It’s only been a few months since I was last here for the Donahue wedding – late July/early August – and I’ve bene excited about returning to see all my friends in this city.

Things were going well on the traffic front earlier. We gained back an hour courtesy of the switch from the eastern time zone in Ohio and Indiana to the central time zone here in Illinois. Then we hit Chicago, around 3:00pm, and the traffic pretty much ground to a halt as we glimpsed the iconic Sears Tower for the first time. It felt like all of the Windy City had come out to welcome us.

We must’ve sat in traffic for a good hour. The best I can surmise is that there were a lot of people either going to O’Hare airport for an early evening flight or getting out of the city earlier than usual for their Thanksgiving weekend. Traffic is bad in this city – not Los Angeles or New York City bad – but that early in the afternoon, in my experience, we’ve been okay for the most part, except for the occasional slowdown around O’Hare.

Anyway, we were still at our AirBNB rental at Arlington Heights at a reasonable hour. It’s night and day compared to the place in Staten Island, with three upstairs bedrooms, and one down in the basement. There are skylights all over, so the house is bright, and it’s in a beautiful neighbourhood, your quintessential Midwestern street, really. I’ll post some photos tomorrow.

I’ve commandeered the basement level, with it’s bed, couches, gas fireplace, bathroom and giant television with basically every sports channel known to man available. The ability to watch sport all night is great for me, and I guess the others are pretty glad that they can watch whatever they want on the main TV (or the ones in their rooms) and steer clear of any sporting broadcast. Everyone wins!

We drove to Mariano’s, a supermarket about a mile away, to get some last-minute supplies, and let me tell you, we were not alone in that pursuit. There were people everywhere, buying up all sorts of things ahead of the holiday weekend. We managed to get everything we needed, including plenty of beer and wine for tomorrow, and got out with a minimum of fuss.

Spaghetti bolognaise for dinner. Went down to the cave after that, and watched the Indiana University Hoosiers basketball game, followed by the Chicago Blackhawks (NHL) playing down in Tampa, Florida. Pretty much in sporting heaven here, and plenty more days of this to come!

Big sleep on the cards. Up early for a 5k Thanksgiving Turkey Trot tomorrow.

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