October 5, 2011

Change in the Seasons

By Roger Brann
Bettendorf Health Care

I arrived at Bettendorf Health Care Center just as the seasons were beginning to change. I am not alone when I say that fall is my favorite time of year to live in the Midwest. I have lived in the Midwest all my life and have lived in the Quad-Cities for the past six years.

I look forward to the fall weather not only for the beautiful colors that are displayed on all the trees and reflected on the water, but fall marks the beginning of some of the greatest fall festivals around.

While growing up in Knoxville, Illinois, it became a family ritual to make the Spoon River Drive the first and second weekends of October. We would drive to Maquon, Gilson, and of course, one of the more popular towns, London Mills. London Mills was, and still is, known for their pancake breakfast and butterfly pork chop sandwiches while listening to country music along the creek.

Farmington is by far the largest area to visit for flea markets. They sell everything from funnel cakes to Indian jewelry.

One of my favorite places to visit the Walnut Grove Barn just east and north of Knoxville. My high school friend Jan Hedbloom/King owns it. It is a completely restored barn on a grove of walnut trees. Some of the most creative art and paintings can be found there along with dried flowers of all kinds.

At the end of the day, we would return to my parent’s house in Knoxville for a sit-down dinner of homemade lasagna followed by some games of bingo. We would all bring a wrapped gift to give away as bingo prizes.

My mother passed away in 2000, but we still manage to meet each year for the Spoon River Drive, not only as a family occasion, but to remember my mother, who enjoyed it so much when we would get together as a family, as all mothers do.