We left our maple helicopter pad, with a light scent of Japanese lilac lingering, at 7:05 aiming the blue Kia for Illinois. Across the Father of Waters on the J.B Bridge we traveled, where the ol’ man river was still free to roam from home into Illinois backwaters. Greed feeding dikes and levees turning the river into a piped channel in the name of progress and economic development have not yet been inflicted on this area south of St. Louis.
Along highway 3 we hailed Columbia as we passed through, making a pit stop at MotoMart. Then on to Waterloo without meeting ours, skirting around the location of Napoleon’s demise, on a new four lane bypass. Twelve miles on we came to Redbud, where I have never seen any redbuds budding red. The winter wheat was flourishing in the fields as was the yellow rocket in neglected places. Corn which should have been “this high” is not yet planted nor the soybeans. Too wet, “But it’ll turn out alright,” said a farmer at St. John’s, “Always does.”
St John’s is just south of Ruma, pop. 300 where hwy. 155 branches off to old Fort Kaskaskia, the road was closed informed the orange sign. We travel down the hill out of Ruma and up another rise where on its ascent we spot the welcome cross topped steeple with the church soon emerging about a quarter mile off to the left along 1st road, between two fields.
At St John’s the acoustics are grand and the people huggingly friendly. “Should I give the check to you or just give it to your wife?” asks the treasurer who knows. “Give it to my wife, why bother with the middle man?”
After that service we are on south a few miles across the flooded to Kaskaskia river to St. Peter’s where the people are friendly and reserved and the acoustics making singing difficult.
Shortly after 11:00 we are retracing our route, while I eat my lunch arriving home about noon. So, it is on a Sunday morning in the Lord’s vineyard, in his field, among his flock. We’ll be back on June 2nd.