As we entered Illinois, we were almost right back where we left it – the outskirts of Chicago. It’s amazing how difficult it can be to avoid these big cities!
Sure this was WAAAYYYY out of the city at one time, but as urban areas gradually sprawl……..
We wondered if Acadian pride had spread to this area, and asked one person who hadn’t heard of that, and actually thought that the stars were just merely decoration, and said that they were made in a nearby town. But the stars seemed to come in bunches – you see one, you see several, and we saw them throughout communities in Indiana, Illinois and Iowa. So we did a little internet searching. We learned:
- Acadians from Maritime Canada migrated to and through New England, with many ending in Louisiana (where they were called Cajuns)
- Other French-Americans, hailing either directly from France or from Quebec in Canada, did settle in the mid-west, but there was no reference to Acadians or Cajuns in those discussions
- One article alluded to the stars representing military service – a blue star for a family member serving in a war, a gold star for a family member lost while serving in a war, a brown star for a military veteran. This actually makes the most sense to us, given the way there were so many seen together in various spots, and the fact that the Acadian culture did not appear to have taken a foot-hold in mid-western USA. Does anybody out there know?
I have plans to share my quilt-shopping experiences in a separate post (or a few posts) after we get home, but do want to share a little about one unique shop. The shop is set in what appears to be an old church, with church pews scattered throughout for displaying quilts. But after entering and doing a complete about-face – this is what is seen:
Hundreds of baskets, each unique, none for sale! It was an amazing display. The saleswoman said they were made by the owner, who has at least as many again at home, and can’t bear to part with any of them. She used to teach basket weaving, but reed is getting harder to access, and the classes are now a thing of the past.
As we drove, we were repeatedly reminded that we were in “Lincoln” country, Illinois being the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln – and then we drove through Hopkins, apparently the hometown of Ronald Reagan. Made us wonder how many other Presidents’ home states we’d driven through – by now we’d visited 14 different states in total on this trip. Hmmm….have to look that up, and maybe check out the Canadian Prime Ministers as well.
Happy travels! Blessings, Peg