Every summer my family heads to the Midwest to visit our extended family. It is a trip that has become part of our summer ritual. I always look forward to our trip to Illinois where the nights are humid and warm, the horizon endless and fireflies light up the night. Although this year we enjoyed very mild weather and I think the fireflies were replaced by mosquitos.
The town I grew up in, Sidney, Il, has grown….well not that much but it has surpassed the 1000 mark. Once 900 residents, it now boasts a population of 1300. Unfortunately many of the businesses have closed, but the business district still has a certain charm. The old town hall is still there and the library is expanding. And our once dry town now has a tavern that seems to be doing well. I think folks are excited to finally be able to buy beer without having to go “up town”.
While here my kids enjoy a relaxed pace where they stay up late with their cousins and sleep in (which is actually not that different from our days at home in the summer). We hang out reading by the pool, play soccer in the side yard and walk to the local ice cream shop (the Dairy Barn) for an afternoon or evening treat (I worked here when I was 16 and my kids roll their eyes every time I tell the current workers my story).
Yes, this is summer at its best.
Here’s a little peek at this place that I call home. A sweet little town, nestled in the corn fields just 20 minutes away from Champaign-Urbana.
Sidney doesn’t have any stoplights and I think there might be one four way stop. The afternoon that I walked “downtown” to snap these photos, my nephew and son passed by. As you can see there is not much traffic. 🙂
Here’s my old neighborhood and house. The photo on the bottom left is what we referred to as the hill. 😉
There is nothing better than telling your kids to go play outside without any worries. They can play in the yard (or street) and know that they will be safe. And I love that one of the neighborhoods in town still has brick sidewalks.
My kids are always up for a trip to the Dairy Barn. It has actually become quite the hot spot where people from throughout the area come for this creamy treat. I personally think it tastes a bit like ice-milk but my kids love it! Oh and that photo on the left…that’s what happens when I pull out my camera…they all turn their backs on me except my mom…she’s a trooper. The others…they are stinkers!
The house I grew up in backs up to a field. The crop changes each year from soybeans to corn. This year was a corn year and it was very high. It definitely surpassed the expression “knee-high by the 4th of July.”
Every July, Sidney has their Sidney Fun Days, complete with an antique car show, games, rides, parade and tomahawk throwing! My kids were chomping at the bit to toss a tomahawk, fortunately for me they were wearing sandals!
So there you have it….Sidney, Illinois…whose slogan is “Sidney, A Town With Heart.” And I couldn’t agree more.